Washington, D.C., and Maryland are each reporting a spike in the number of people who have died from COVID-19, according to NBC News data.
The rapidly rising death toll comes after weeks of rising hospitalizations that have strained local health care centers.
D.C. reported 10 more people from COVID-19 on Thursday, the third-largest single-day death toll in a year. It’s the highest number of fatalities since vaccines have become freely available to anyone who wants one.
Fatalities are up 780% over two weeks in the District, according to NBC News.
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Deaths in Maryland are up about 58% over two weeks, NBC News calculates.
Twenty-eight Marylanders died of COVID-19 on Thursday, the lowest number since Christmas. The state reported 65 deaths on Tuesday, among the highest counts of any single day since the pandemic began, according to Maryland Department of Health data.
Three-quarters of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the University of Maryland Medical System weren’t vaccinated, according to data from Dec. 6 to Jan. 5, Gov. Larry Hogan said.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe illness from COVID-19.
Nationwide, many recent COVID-19 deaths are still linked to the delta variant, even as the omicron variant becomes dominant, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said this week.
The rapidly rising death toll comes after weeks of rising case numbers and growing hospitalizations.
Hospitals report they’re strained by the number of COVID-19 patients, and some local health centers have moved to crisis standards of care to keep up. D.C. and Maryland have declared public health emergencies this month.
There are some signs that the recent wave of infections could be starting to recede. This past week in both Maryland and D.C., COVID-related hospitalizations have dipped, and the weekly average case rate has been trending downward.