May 11, 2022 - COVID

D.C. sees slight COVID-19 uptick after reporting delay

people line up for covid-19 testing
Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

D.C. saw a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases, after a two-week lapse in data reporting to the CDC and no new metrics posted to D.C.’s website since the week of April 24.

  • DC Health said Wednesday that data was not submitted to the CDC between April 27 and May 8, but provided no explanation why.

Why it matters: DC Health has said the weekly COVID-19 data is meant to help community members assess their risk levels, but no new data for the month of May has been posted until Wednesday, offering case counts for the last week of April and the first week of May.

By the numbers: Between April 27 and May 8, there were 1,062 new cases. That’s a small uptick compared to 704 new cases the previous week, and keeps D.C. in the CDC's low community level category.

  • New weekly hospitalizations remain close to zero.
  • There were no deaths recorded for that two-week period.

What they’re saying: Despite the lack of reporting to the CDC, DC Health said there were no disruptions in data reporting to D.C.'s own key metrics during that time period, which show hospital capacity and case rate, and that those key metrics were accurately updated on May 4 — although this was not reflected on the website before Wednesday.

  • DC Health has not responded to Axios' questions about why data was not reported to the CDC.

Between the lines: D.C. sent data to the CDC on Monday after the nearly two-week lapse, the federal agency confirmed.

  • A footnote on the CDC’s dashboard now says that a “temporary interruption in data submission from D.C.” but also did not say why this interruption occurred.
  • A CDC spokesperson tells Axios that the CDC will work to obtain a back distribution of cases and deaths, if available.

Flashback: In March, DC Health switched from reporting COVID data daily to a weekly reporting schedule.

  • This weekly report only showcases rates and hospitalizations, not exact case numbers.

The intrigue: Meanwhile, D.C. still hasn’t officially launched its wastewater surveillance program, which would monitor and potentially predict COVID surges across the District.

  • DC Health previously told Axios the program was expected to start in April due to delayed equipment delivery.
  • According to an April 27 statement, DC Health still does not have a start date for the wastewater program.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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