Now a year into the pandemic, take a look back at how COVID-19 has affected our region.
Virginia investigates three residents but does not confirm any cases of COVID-19 in the state. The Virginia Department of Health develops a COVID webpage.
The Virginia state health commissioner declares COVID-19 a “disease of public health threat.”
A U.S. Marine at Fort Belvoir tests positive for COVID-19, likely exposed through international travel. Officials say that the risk of the virus spreading is low.
VDH officials announce a second presumptive positive case at a press conference. The patient began to develop symptoms of respiratory illness on Feb. 28 and was hospitalized on March 5.
VDH reports that an Arlington County resident has tested positive.
Two Virginia residents in two different parts of the state test positive, marking the fourth and fifth cases in Virginia.
Loudoun County announces its first case.
The ninth case in Virginia is announced.
An Alexandria resident tests positive.
Gov. Ralph Northam issues Executive Order 51 declaring a state of emergency due to COVID, effective until June 10; activates the Virginia National Guard; and authorizes $10 million in state funds coordinated through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
The Prince William Health District reports its second case; Fairfax County reports a total of six cases.
VDH reports the first death in the state from COVID.
Northam announces new measures to combat COVID-19: All restaurants, fitness centers and theaters are mandated to significantly reduce seating capacity to 10 patrons or close.
Northam orders an increase in the number of beds in hospitals and nursing homes based on reports from VDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to increase within the commonwealth and in neighboring states. “It is anticipated that the number of persons who will need to be admitted to a hospital or nursing home for care within our communities may exceed the current capacity of our hospitals and nursing homes.” The order goes until July 10. On June 22, he extends this order.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announces the closure of the National Mall to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Northam issues Executive Order 53, prohibiting all public and private in-person gatherings of 10 or more people. It includes ending all in-person instruction at K-12 schools, public and private, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Essential retail businesses may remain open during their normal business hours.
Northam issues an order closing all inpatient and outpatient surgical hospitals.
WMATA closes 19 of its 91 stations indefinitely, including many in Northern Virginia.
Northam issues Executive Order 55, telling everyone in the state to remain at their place of residence except to get food or medical treatment.
Campgrounds and public beaches are closed. Virginia confirms over 1,500 cases of COVID-19, and the region, including Maryland and Washington, DC, surges past 4,000 cases. Virginia and Maryland report single-day records for the number of new cases, consistent with the previous 10 days.
Northam postpones the June 9 primary election to June 23 and mandates the closure of all dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms and farmers markets.
Virginia reports over 10,000 total cases, with over 1,500 residents hospitalized and 350 deaths. The DMV region nears 30,000 cases total.
Northam further extends order from March 23 prohibiting all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 10 individuals.
Northam issues Executive Order 61, to go into effect May 15, to begin easing business restrictions, allowing takeout and outdoor dining, with occupancy at 50 percent, tables positioned 6 feet apart and no more than 10 patrons seated as a party. Bar seats are closed. Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, sports facilities and exercise facilities are allowed to reopen for outdoor activities only; beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage centers, tanning salons, tattoo shops and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed may reopen. Other reopenings (campgrounds, churches, some retail businesses) are outlined.
In a joint letter written by local leaders in Northern Virginia’s five largest jurisdictions, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Prince William County, the region advises Northam that it is not ready and not willing to limit restrictions on social distancing, teleworking and the reopening of nonessential businesses.
Northam issues an extension of the state of emergency.
Most cities in Virginia move to Phase 2 of the pandemic restrictions, which includes staggering worker shifts, encouraging teleworking and screening workers for COVID.
Northam announces a $22 million vaccination budget for the state.
Northam announces more COVID restrictions, including mandating indoor and outdoor face coverings, requiring residents to stay home between midnight and 5 a.m. and prohibiting restaurants from serving alcohol after 10 p.m. Virginia is averaging 1,500 newly reported COVID-19 cases per day, up from a statewide peak of approximately 1,200 in May.
In a special session to revise the budget, Northam adds more funding to help with K-12 schools and announces a moratorium on utility disconnections and relief from evictions.
Northam announces that hospitalizations had increased by approximately 83 percent in the previous four weeks. COVID-19 ICU hospitalizations had been increasing for 33 days, and the statewide rate (4.4 per 100,000 persons) had exceeded the threshold of concern (3.5 per 100,000 persons) for the rate of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes the first COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the United States (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine).
The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are given to front-line health care workers.
As of this date, VDH shows that there are 422,634 COVID cases in the state, 19,741 hospitalizations and 5,656 deaths.
President Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. The next day, he releases a federal plan to ramp up vaccine distribution.
First case of the COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7, is identified in a sample from an adult resident of Northern Virginia with no reported travel history.
Virginia Department of Health launches text messaging service to streamline positive test result awareness and exposure notifications.