DC Sees Dramatic Increase of New COVID-19 Cases Since Thanksgiving

The increase was expected and probably won't subside anytime soon, the District’s chief epidemiologist says

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In the District, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to increase each day.

In the first week of December, the number of new cases nearly quadrupled.

Prior to Thanksgiving, the District had been seeing its case rates improving, but since the holiday weekend, the number of new rates has risen dramatically.

On Dec. 1, the daily case rate was at 6.7 per 100,000 people; the District categorized that metric as improving. But those numbers have gone up every day since. The data for Dec. 8, the most recent available, shows the daily case rate at 23.3. It's now categorized as worsening.

The District’s chief epidemiologist, Dr. Anil Mangla, tells News4 that the increase was expected and probably won't subside anytime soon.

"It will eventually go down, but for now, compared to what we've seen in the last year, the phenomenon, this number is going to continue to go up," he said. "It's a holiday season. People are traveling."

But Dr. Mangla says there's also some good news this holiday season.

"The good news is, compared to what we've seen last year, D.C. Health and D.C. overall is much, much more prepared," he said.

On a related note, the vaccine mandate for medical workers is costing D.C. taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There are 80,000 licensed health care workers in D.C., and thousands of them have requested religious exemptions from that mandate. On Friday, the deputy director told the D.C. Council that processing those exemptions is costing about $400,000.

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