The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that D.C. is considered a high-transmission area for COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with several neighboring counties.
COVID-19 transmission is also high in parts of Maryland, including Charles and Prince George’s counties, and Virginia, including Fauquier, Prince William, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear masks when indoor in areas with high or substantial transmission — which includes all of D.C., Maryland and Virginia except seven counties.
CDC COVID-19 Community Transmission Map
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COVID-19 Case Data in DC, Maryland, Virginia
The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has been climbing since the beginning of July.
Cases have increased about tenfold in Maryland and D.C. and about eightfold in Virginia between July 7 and Aug. 7, 2021, data shows.
According to Dr. Laquandra Nesbitt, director of the D.C. health department, new COVID-19 cases in the District are being primarily driven by 25-34 year olds, though 5-14 year olds are now accounting for more cases. Children between these ages represent 1 out of 10 new cases.
The majority of COVID-19 cases overall are found in people who are not vaccinated, Nesbitt said.
COVID-19 Hospitalizations in DC, Maryland, Virginia
Hospitalizations have also been increasing in the D.C. area for weeks.
This month alone, hospitalizations have risen nearly 130% in D.C., about 75% in Virginia and 56% in Maryland.
Nesbitt said over 90% of hospitalized people in D.C. are not vaccinated, and 0.18% of people who have received their shot report breakthrough infections. These are defined as instances in which a person received a positive COVID-19 test result at least 14 days after the final dose of any COVID-19 vaccine series. This definition includes everything from asymptomatic infections to cases that result in hospitalization and death.
Health experts say that getting a COVID-19 vaccine reduces the likelihood that you'll get seriously sick or die if infected.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said less than 0.01% of fully vaccinated Maryland residents have been hospitalized, and less than 0.001% of the fully vaccinated have died.
Is There a Mask Mandate Near Me?
Prince George’s was among one of the counties to reinstate a mask mandate just as the CDC said its community transmission rose from "substantial" to "high."
“After consulting with health officials who are monitoring our COVID-19 metrics daily, we have been advised that we are now at a point where we must reinstitute an indoor public mask mandate to keep Prince Georgians safe,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said.
CORRECTION (Aug. 9, 2021; 6:55 a.m.): An earlier version of this story misidentified the location of Charles County.