D.C. is now one of the biggest hot spots for the coronavirus in the U.S. The average daily cases have increased by about 1,300% since the beginning of December.
The District went from a seven-day average of 77 new cases per day at the beginning of the month to more than 1,100 as of Wednesday. Its daily average of more than 150 cases per 100,000 people is by far the highest rate in the country, where the daily national average is 51 cases per 100,000.
Hospitalizations are also on the rise. As of Dec. 22, there was a seven-day average of 138 people hospitalized — a 138% increase since Dec. 1. But health data released by the city shows only about 3% of total COVID-19 cases are going to the hospital, the lowest since the pandemic began.
Deaths in D.C. still remain low, with 10 deaths reported between Dec. 1 and Dec. 21. That could be a credit to the city’s high vaccination rate. About 84% of residents are at least partially vaccinated.
In Maryland, cases and hospitalizations are also sharply rising. More than 1,500 people are hospitalized in state — a 130% increase since Dec. 1. That triggered various changes on Thursday, including cutting back on non-COVID-19 procedures to free up beds and workers.
Deaths due to COVID in Maryland are unclear because a health department data breach disrupted reporting.
The seven-day average of deaths in Virginia has doubled since Dec. 1, with about 28 people dying of COVID each day.
Health data from Virginia shows that unvaccinated people were 4.2 times more likely to catch COVID than those who got the shots.
Health officials say vaccination is the best protection against severe disease and death, and urge anyone experiencing symptoms to get tested.
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