Regular readers of my daily and weekly cataloging of the apocalypse in D.C. probably will have send a trend: COVID-19 related deaths in D.C. are skyrocketing. Between October 1 and December 31, D.C. had 164 COVID-19 related deaths, five of whom were in nursing or assisted living facilities. Between January 1 and January 30, D.C. had 125 deaths, 31 of whom were in nursing or assisted living facilities.
Because positives aren’t linked to individuals, and there’s a lag between testing positive and death–and that lag isn’t constant, it’s hard to know the exact rate, but it looks like it’s at least 20% of those who test positive, give or take.
The majority of deaths are still older people outside of these facilities, but the carnage is now hitting these facilities (mostly the nursing facilities). Some of this might be associated with a large post-Christmas surge in staff cases. It’s entirely unclear what testing protocols actually are in place at these facilities (i.e., are staff tested daily? Weekly? Only when symptomatic?). It’s not like the D.C. Council is holding hearings on this so we could find out.
It is clear, however, that when COVID-19 surges outside these facilities, it ultimately winds up in these facilities. As some asshole with a blog has been saying for months now, we need to lower the prevalence. It’s that simple. Certain policies that make sense when prevalence is low and falling are murderous when prevalence is high.
But by all means, let’s keep opening things up, even if a kinder, gentler Trump administration policy really isn’t kinder or gentler.