The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: Worse Than Last Week

I had hoped that D.C. would have a few more weeks of declines before the deluge, but it doesn’t appear that will happen. The entire city and all wards, except Ward 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 0.095% 2.2% 0.168% 2.0%
2 0.099% 1.8% 0.174% 1.7%
3 0.054% 1.4% 0.102% 1.3%
4 0.081% 2.1% 0.185% 2.5%
5 0.129% 2.7% 0.250% 2.7%
6 0.131% 3.0% 0.256% 2.9%
7 0.187% 4.5% 0.352% 4.2%
8 0.216% 4.1% 0.389% 3.9%
D.C. total 0.122% 2.7% 0.232% 2.6%

Other than Ward 4, which had a large decrease, most wards had large increases. The percent positive rate, as usual, is too high in Wards 7 and 8. R(t) rose during the week, topping out at 1.13 (as would be expected given the increase). Ward 2’s increase was disproportionately due to Georgetown and Foggy Bottom/GWU. Vaccination does seem to be keeping the mortality rate lower than it otherwise would be given the high number of cases, but that, of course, doesn’t protect unvaccinated people from death or ‘long COVID.’*

Right now, D.C. desperately needs more vaccine, but it also needs a political leadership that is willing to make the hard choices to limit the spread of COVID-19 over the next two months. Unfortunately, D.C., like most places, lacks that leadership. So we’re back to hoping for bad weather and good fortune–and a massive increase of vaccines.

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.

*In terms of the long-term harm to survivors, we have yet to truly appreciate the consequences of COVID-19.

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