The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: It Just Got a Lot Worse

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to state that, if D.C. can’t lower the prevalence of COVID-19 (and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete plan to do that), then it’s going to take off again. The city as a whole and all Wards, other than Wards 2 and 3, were above the German rollback threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 per week (0.05% in the second column below):


Ward one-week prevalence one-week % pos. two-week prevalence two-week % pos.
1 0.075% 1.5% 0.096% 1.2%
2 0.027% 0.4% 0.059% 0.6%
3 0.021% 0.5% 0.043% 0.7%
4 0.082% 2.1% 0.123% 2.1%
5 0.115% 2.8% 0.203% 3.2%
6 0.051% 0.9% 0.080% 0.9%
7 0.069% 2.2% 0.100% 2.2%
8 0.068% 1.6% 0.099% 1.6%
D.C. total 0.065% 1.3% 0.102% 1.3%

For context, a one-week prevalence of 0.007%, column 2, and a two-week prevalence of 0.014%, column 4, would be equal to a daily new case rate of 1 per 100,000 people, which is where we would like to be.

While some of this might be Conet Barret Covidpalooza nomination related, Ward 5 had a horrifying week, and all wards, other than Wards 2 and 3, had large increases. Simply put, D.C. is on its way to losing control, yet all of the discussion is about loosening restrictions. Remember that these data are telling us about what happened one to two weeks ago.

There doesn’t appear to be a specific strategy to lower infection rate, other than hoping things burn out on their own (which really isn’t a plan). What’s disturbing is that we haven’t even reached the point where everyone is inside–it’s very nice out (most days).

As I routinely remind readers, we are four to six weeks away from returning to normal-ish, but we intentionally remain four to six weeks away from safely returning to normal-ish because we’re unwilling to do what it takes to make that happen.

Anger is still the appropriate emotion.

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