The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: We Have Stalled Out

Even gotten a little worse. The entire city and all wards, including the ‘low prevalence bastions’ of Ward 2 and 3, are still well above the German rollback threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 per week–which also is the threshold the CDC suggests schools for all grades can reopen (0.05% in the second column below):

Ward one-week prevalence one-week % pos. two-week prevalence two-week % pos.
1 0.132% 2.5% 0.199% 2.3%
2 0.123% 3.1% 0.192% 2.7%
3 0.074% 2.0% 0.140% 2.2%
4 0.087% 2.4% 0.205% 3.1%
5 0.146% 3.3% 0.291% 3.8%
6 0.162% 3.4% 0.260% 3.2%
7 0.126% 4.3% 0.271% 5.1%
8 0.195% 5.4% 0.318% 4.7%
D.C. total 0.132% 2.9% 0.234% 2.9%

The ‘good place’, which is one new case per 100,000 people per day, would be 0.007% in column two and 0.014% in column four–and, as usual, we’re still nowhere near that. Wards 1, 3, 6, and 8 had large increases in prevalence, while Ward 4 had a significant drop. The percent positive rate is too high in most wards and is unchanged only because of Ward 4’s surprisingly low number of cases.

COVID-19 related deaths also increased last week, to 22 (from 16). At some point, vaccination will begin to lessen the American Carnage, but probably not for a few weeks (remember that people who die usually were infected three to five weeks before). R(t) also seems to be rising and has been greater than one for the last few days.

The increase appears to be driven largely by 20-40 year olds, and especially by the 20-30 age group. What’s disturbing is that, typically we see increases in older cohorts three to five days after the 20-40 age group spikes. Again, vaccination will help, but I don’t think we vaccinated enough older people or people with comorbidities soon enough to stem the tide (obviously, I hope I’m wrong about this and hopefully, the over 65 group will be partially protected).

Again, loosening restrictions the moment things improve slightly–which is what Mayor Bowser has done throughout the pandemic (and the D.C. Council has done nothing to stop her)–not surprisingly, failed. Hoping for crappy weather so people stay home really isn’t plan. Now, we have to race the virus, though, as I’ll discuss tomorrow, there are some real puzzles regarding the vaccination data–we might be screwing that up here in D.C.

As usual, I’ll remind you that the good news is we still could be only around six weeks away from returning to normal-ish, even though we intentionally remain six weeks away from safely returning to normal-ish because we’re unwilling to do what it takes to make that happen.

Anger isn’t the appropriate emotion, rage is.

This entry was posted in COVID-19, DC. Bookmark the permalink.