Uptick in coronavirus cases still possible from Labor Day, health expert says

Coronavirus cases are slightly down in the D.C. area, but one public health expert says it’s too early to tell if that’s going to continue.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said if people let their guard down, the region could see an increase in coronavirus cases over a four to six week period.

“It really depends both what happened on Labor Day and what’s happened since,” Sharfstein said.

Northern Virginia reported its fewest new COVID-19 cases on Monday in over two months, with 757 new cases reported. Hospitalizations decreased statewide as well, remaining at their lowest level in about two months.

Maryland reported 536 new cases on Monday, slightly down from the day before. The state also saw a decrease in hospitalizations with 347 new patients, the lowest since the end of March. Its seven-day average number of deaths has been its lowest since April 3.

D.C. also saw slight declines in the seven-day average number of cases since the beginning of August. The District reported 30 new cases and no deaths on Monday.

“We’re sort of stable at a moderate level of transmission still, with a little bit of a decline in recent days,” Sharfstein said. “I think that we’re in a fragile place, because there’s still enough virus that should something change to increase transmission, we could see a lot more cases quickly.”

He said that people need to be careful with fall events, such as parties for the new football season.

“Like if someone’s having a huge number of people over to the house to watch a game and everyone’s going to be screaming, don’t go. That’s not a safe environment,” Sharfstein said.

He also thinks the area needs to see lower numbers before in-person school returns. “I’d like to see them come down more before people can really feel confident in returning to school,” Sharfstein said.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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