The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: Slightly Better, But That’s Not Saying Much

And September could turn out to be a real nightmare. Before we get to that, no wards 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; n/a is not available):


Ward one-week prevalence one-week % pos. two-week prevalence two-week % pos.
1 0.13% n/a 0.28% n/a
2 0.08% n/a 0.16% n/a
3 0.05% n/a 0.12% n/a
4 0.12% n/a 0.28% n/a
5 0.18% n/a 0.35% n/a
6 0.17% n/a 0.31% n/a
7 0.25% n/a 0.53% n/a
8 0.28% n/a 0.57% n/a
D.C. total 0.16% 3.9% 0.32% 4.0%

The entire city didn’t get below the German rollback threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 per week, but we did see a four percent city-wide decrease in cases, with only Wards 5 and 6 increasing. We also lack percent positive rates for each ward, so there’s no context for these numbers. City-wide, the percent positive rate is still too high, meaning we’re underestimating cases.

We have had four deaths in the last week, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising, but the rate of increase is slowing (I don’t know to what extent that’s ‘real’ versus stricter admissions due to limited resources). Vaccination is back to a 0.1% increase per day for the entire population. As I keep saying every week, D.C. needs to limit certain indoor non-essential activities to the fully vaccinated because we do not have time to wait for people to reach the right decision because this rate of vaccination simply isn’t fast enough.

Because winter in-person school is coming.

I wrote about this yesterday, but the short version is that, unless there’s something unseen that will stymie the spread of COVID-19 in schools, September and October could be really bad. Like 5,000 infected kids bad–and that’s pretty close to the best case scenario. Of course, many of these kids might not be tested, and the testing frequency is so low, D.C. will probably miss outbreaks until they already have happened (does anyone really think that if a group of fifty student suddenly goes from zero to, let’s say, seven positives in a week, that the cases in that class will remain at seven? Especially since it’s likely that this group really didn’t have zero cases the previous week).

Unlike Vegas, what happens in school with COVID-19 doesn’t stay in school. Throw in lower vaccination rates among the under forty set, and we could be set for a massive explosion, especially in the lower vaccination wards (note that I write lower, not low, since no wards are where they need to be, some are just worse than others).

None of this needed to happen.

Rage is the appropriate emotion.

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