Dec 13, 2021 - News

Coronavirus cases see bump in D.C. region

Muriel Bowser, mayor of D.C., at a coronavirus briefing

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are up throughout the region, as the Omicron variant spreads across the nation.

Driving the news: DC Health confirmed on Sunday evening the District's first cases of the Omicron variant.

By the numbers: D.C. is recording 180 cases per 100,000 people over seven days, according to CDC data, up more than double from the start of the month.

Hospitalizations are up 38% in D.C. over the past week.

  • The trend is mirrored in Montgomery County, Maryland, where officials reinstated a mask mandate that was briefly lifted — a move D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has declined to make.

In Arlington County, Virginia, the positivity rate is up to 4.99%, much higher than what public health experts hope for.

  • The dashboard for Prince George’s County in Maryland hasn’t been updated since late November, when the latest spike began in other places across the region after Thanksgiving.

What they’re saying: “Every time we believe the end of the pandemic is near, there is a new setback,” Montgomery County executive Marc Elrich said last week.

  • Local officials have urged vaccinated residents to get a booster shot in order to shore up their virus immunity against the Omicron variant.
  • In Montgomery County, nearly 82% of all residents are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows. Officials say most cases are from people who are not fully immunized.
  • Elrich said that about two-thirds of children aged 5 to 11 remain unvaccinated, and urged parents to make arrangements for shots soon, as holiday events increase the risk of virus transmission.

Yes, but: Deaths, which can lag behind spikes in cases for weeks, remain low. The District has reported six deaths over the past month, per data from last Thursday.

  • The city will release new COVID-19 data today that include numbers from over the weekend.

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