The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: Big Decline, but Some Data Problems

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.
1 0.275% n/a 0.706% n/a
2 0.377% n/a 0.748% n/a
3 0.236% n/a 0.530% n/a
4 0.284% n/a 0.669% n/a
5 0.304% n/a 0.796% n/a
6 0.345% n/a 0.804% n/a
7 0.225% n/a 0.539% n/a
8 0.277% n/a 0.639% n/a
D.C. total 0.308% 3.4% 0.732% 4.5%

All wards except Ward 2 had large declines in new cases, with the entire city decreasing by 27 percent. Self-reported tests are declining too. While the percent positive rate is still high, so we’re likely missing cases, it is declining. However, yesterday’s new positives totaled 61 cases, when the daily average has been 250-350 new cases per day (and school new daily cases were unchanged), which suggests very strongly that there are reporting or collection issues. I still think the decline is real, but it might not be as large, once the data are cleaned up.

ICU cases, while still high, are declining, and deaths have declined to twelve in the last week. D.C. has announced that five days of isolation is not enough without a negative test–which means D.C. is making more sense than the CDC. Despite that, what some asshole with a blog said last week is still germane:

While it’s unclear what the city’s or the country’s long-term strategy is, the good news is that three doses provides pretty good protection against infection and very good protection against hospitalization, so encourage others to get vaccinated. You also can get free, at-home antigen tests at D.C. public libraries, and the online federal site is now up and running. We also need free distribution of good masks, though the federal government will be shipping those at some point.

That said, the failure to plan for contingencies is infurating. It didn’t need to be like this.

Meanwhile, a bunch of Thinky Thought Leaders and Substack Bois have decided They Are Done With COVID™ even though the prevalence is high, and they don’t have any specific reasons for why they are calling for rolling back the few restrictions most of the country has right now (my guess is most of them have never dealt with a chronic health condition requiring lots of effort, and they thought they were free and clear, until Omicron arrived, which broke them).

Rage is the appropriate emotion.

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