The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: Getting Closer to the Good Place

The entire city and all wards except for Ward 7, are below 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 0.016% 0.8% 0.056% 1.1%
2 0.011% 0.4% 0.025% 0.3%
3 0.002% 0.1% 0.019% 0.2%
4 0.032% 1.1% 0.062% 0.9%
5 0.025% 0.8% 0.095% 1.2%
6 0.016% 0.7% 0.045% 0.7%
7 0.062% 2.1% 0.172% 2.5%
8 0.034% 1.0% 0.169% 1.8%
D.C. total 0.024% 0.8% 0.079% 1.1%

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 Ward 2 is there, and Ward 3 is really close. Ward 7 still is higher than one would like, but all wards except for Ward 4 had large declines this week. Encouragingly, the percent positive rates are all good, so the low numbers aren’t the result of underreporting–at some point, that could become an issue, but it hasn’t so far. R(t) is around 0.66, which is promising. As was the case last week, the one down note is the continuing deaths. Given the number of cases from three to five weeks ago, we likely will see around 1 death per day for the next two to three weeks.

The divergence by ward in vaccination is still stark: if anything, the gap between east-of-the-river and the rest of the city has grown wider. At this point, the percentage of partially and fully vaccinated people is increasing by around 0.3% per day, and that needs to be larger Again, I’ll raise the idea of keeping vaccination centers open later than 7pm, so people can get vaccinated during the work week. D.C. also should stop worrying about collecting insurance information–that’s being pennywise and pound foolish, and very well could be discouraging people. And, at some point, D.C. will have to consider the stick, not just the carrot, too.

All this said, I think we’ll be in a very good place in a few weeks, though we’ll need to see what happens regarding vacciation in Wards 7 and 8. I can’t forgive the city’s leadership for refusing to stop the surge in early November (or even in October), which likely led to a couple hundred needless deaths. But at least we’re getting towards the end of this nightmare, though I’ll still be angry about the greatest domestic policy failure in my lifetime. Not willing to forgive that.

*Due to data issues, the data are from Monday to Monday, not Sunday to Sunday as usual.

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