COVID-19 case rates rise in DC region

Climbing COVID-19 case numbers are pushing many D.C.-area jurisdictions from low into medium community spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines low community spread as a seven-day total of fewer than 200 cases per 100,000 residents.

A sample of localities’ numbers based on the most recent data available on new cases shows:

In all of those jurisdictions, seven-day averages for new hospitalizations, hospital bed use and deaths are still considered low.

Montgomery County, Maryland, announced it had moved into a medium level of COVID-19 transmission on Monday. The health department reported a sharper reduction in deaths in April — not surprising, because deaths and hospitalizations often lag.

“Sometimes, of course, death certificates can take several weeks before they’re finally confirmed because of additional testing and consultations by the providers,” said Sean O’Donnell, public health emergency manager for Montgomery County Health and Human Services. “But right now we did see a greater reduction of deaths in April. This is obviously not the first metric that changes when you see transmission go up. But this is one we want to keep as low as possible.”

The percentage of beds currently being used by COVID-19 patients in Montgomery County is 3.3%. In both Prince George’s County and D.C. it’s 2%, and it’s 1.9% of available hospital bed capacity in both Arlington and Fairfax counties.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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