Apr 14, 2022 - COVID

Howard University moves classes online amid COVID-19 rise

A medical worker takes a nasal swab sample from a man for COVID-19 testing in Washington, D.C.,
A medical worker takes a nasal swab sample from a man for COVID-19 testing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Howard University will move its final days of classes online amid a rise in COVID-19 cases on campus.

Why it matters: Howard University is the latest school in the D.C. area to react to a rise in cases as the BA.2 variant, a more transmissible subvariant of Omicron, becomes the most dominant variant in the region.

  • American, Georgetown, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins universities have reinstated their mask mandates in recent weeks.

Details: In a Wednesday email to students, Howard's COVID-19 positivity rate has risen from 2% to 5% in the last week, corresponding with an increase in the number of students in quarantine.

  • Undergraduate classes will be held online starting Thursday through April 22. Masks are also required on campus.

By the numbers: D.C. has seen a steady uptick in its weekly COVID-19 case rate since the start of March. The BA.2 variant makes up more than 70% of sequenced cases.

  • According to DC Health, D.C. is now experiencing “medium” community transmission levels for the first time since the holiday Omicron surge subsided in February.
  • As of the week of April 3rd, D.C.’s COVID-19 weekly case rate was 204.2 cases per 100,000 residents. The weekly case rate the first week of March was 51 cases per 100,000 residents.

Yes, but: The weekly rate of new hospital admissions, which often lag behind the initial surge of cases, has not budged from zero since the week of March 20.

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