D.C. Coronavirus Update: The End May Be in Sight


Things are slowly but surely starting to look up, virus-wise. As long as we continue to mask up, social distance and get vaccinated when eligible, we could be nearing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the District Department of Health, the level of community spread is 17.8. As of the end of February, the rate of transmission is .96 and the test positivity rate is 5.1 percent. Approximately 8.5 percent of hospital patients are coronavirus patients and around 85 percent of beds are available “without surge” (March 2 data).

For community engagement, we can do a bit better. According to the DC Health, just 77.4 percent of Washingtonians were observed correctly wearing masks (over both nose and mouth). As a reminder, those under age two, actively eating or drinking or vigorously exercising with no one else nearby or alone in an enclosed office do not have to wear a mask.

As far as fully vaccinated residents, the number was 4.2 percent at the end of February. The city is currently in Phase Two, meaning moderate community spread, moderate health and public health capacity and fair community engagement.

Ward 4 currently stands as having the most COVID positive cases: 6,505. Black and African American residents have been affected the most, with over 20,000 positive cases, compared to nearly 11,000 cases for white residents and 8,455 for those who identify as Hispanic or Latinx.

D.C. opened its first high-capacity vaccination site this past weekend at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. DC Health issued 2,500 shots on Saturday, March 6, the first day the site was open. It was the first time the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine was used.

For those who are fully vaccinated, the CDC recently released somewhat relaxed guidelines. Small gatherings among vaccinated persons are likely to be of very small risk, the safest being those in private settings, such as a dinner with vaccinated friends or family at someone’s home. Risk increases as gatherings grow and take place outside the home.

The bottom line is: social decisions for the fully vaccinated depend on how much risk they want to take.

More information on COVID-19 in D.C. is available HERE.

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