Delta variant surge ebbing in DC area

Like much of the U.S., the surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant is ebbing in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas.

Both hospitalizations and cases seem to be decreasing or stabilizing.

“With this delta variant right now, it seems to have hopefully plateaued in our area. Nationally it seems to be plateauing a little bit but especially in our area over the last two to three weeks, it’s really plateaued,” said Dr. Glenn W. Wortmann, the director of infectious diseases at Med Star Washington Hospital Center.

D.C. hit a peak late last week in its seven-day average of case numbers. It has already seen around a 25% drop since then to an average of 196 cases a day as of Thursday.

Meanwhile Virginia and Maryland numbers have remained steady for several weeks. Maryland hit an average of over 1,200 cases per day early this month and those cases have since fluctuated. The average case count was 1,214 on Thursday. Virginian peaked last Thursday with 3,662 cases per day but that number has decreased by about 6% since then.

Hospitalizations due to COVID haven’t increased in over a week in Maryland and D.C. Virginia has only seen a slight uptick over the past week.

“You know why that is? We don’t know for sure. Relatively we have fair vaccine uptake compared to other areas of the country,” said Wortmann. ”I think the D.C. area is above 70% vaccinated. ideally it should be 100%. That’s the only way out — vaccination.”

Meanwhile deaths cause by coronavirus continue to be a lagging indicator. While D.C. is only averaging a death a day, Virginia is seeing deaths increase. An average of 37 people are dying per day as of Thursday.

Maryland’s death rate has remained steady for the last two weeks. An average of 16 people are dying per day.

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