In the last seven days, 1.1% of D.C. residents have contracted COVID-19. 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 moderate threshold the CDC uses (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.|
Over the last week, every ward had a four-to-six fold increase in positives, with D.C. seeing a 486% increase. This is with a percent positive rate of 11.1%, so who the hell knows what the real number is. We’ve had only four deaths in the last seven days, but with the most hospitalizations for COVID since March 10, 2021, we will probably see more deaths over the next few weeks.
The city, belatedly, has taken some measures. Finally, the city reversed its utterly foolish and irresponsible decision to remove the mask mandate in mid-November. And the city will impose a vaccination mandate on non-essential business which requires at least one dose by… January 15th. Which is about seven transmission cycles from now. I have no idea why the city is waiting so long. People have had months to get a vaccine, and if they still haven’t, they should not be able to partake in certain non-essential activities. This isn’t about ‘teaching them a lesson’ or ‘making them pay’: we simply can not afford to wait.
At least the city is beginning to distribute rapid testing kits, though I can’t see how it will be enough for many people over the next few weeks, which is what is critical.
Even if we were able to reduce R(t) to 0.9, which means one infection leads to 0.9 new infections after 3 days, it would still take a couple of months to get back to the prevalence of COVID infections we had last week. Which sucked. Also, despite many pundits who are fixated on the much higher prevalence among the infected, we should realize that, in absolute terms, the prevalence among those with two or more doses is also really bad. It’s just that the prevalence among the unvaccinated is even worse.
Rage is the appropriate emotion.