COVID case rates climb in DC region before Fourth of July holiday

While hospitalizations have stayed relatively level in the D.C. area in recent weeks and deaths remain low, the percentage of people who are testing positive for COVID-19 is climbing.

According to the most recent data from the Virginia Department of Health, the 7-day positivity rate for PCR tests is at 20.5%.

Ahead of last year’s holiday, the positivity rate was less than 2%.

D.C. is seeing its highest 7-day average in months heading into July 4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 9.56% of tests taken came back positive.

In Maryland, the state’s COVID dashboard reported an 8.74% positivity rate on Thursday.

Both D.C. and Maryland had a less than 1% positivity rate this time last year.

On Friday, Virginia reported 32 new COVID deaths, but VDH noted on its website that the number may have spiked, “as death certificates are being processed following a 2-week blackout period.”

As of Thursday, the 7-day death rate in D.C. was at zero, according to the CDC’s COVID tracker.

New COVID deaths in Maryland have remained under 10 a day since early March.

Although two new highly-contagious omicron subvariants have been driving a recent rise in cases nationwide, it hasn’t fueled a surge in COVID deaths.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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