People in the Washington, D.C, area are wondering where COVID-19 cases are trending after Los Angeles County reintroduced its indoor mask mandate — even for vaccinated people — due to a virus surge.
Are COVID-19 cases rising in D.C., Maryland and Virginia? Yes — but currently, COVID-19 is spreading much more slowly in the DMV than in Los Angeles County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Los Angeles County has substantial spread, whereas D.C. and its surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia have moderate spread.
Los Angeles County is reporting 11.7 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. Compare that to 3.7 in the District, 3.6 in Virginia and 2 in Maryland, according to COVID ActNow. (Note: The actual numbers of cases diagnosed this week were 192 in D.C.; 741 in Maryland and 1,148 in Virginia).
Cases are going up locally, however, so it’s important to take care of your health.
Experts say getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and that unvaccinated people should wear masks in indoors and in some outdoor settings.
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Tracking the seven-day average of new cases — the average number of COVID-19 diagnoses per day for the last week — is a good number to reference to see where the trend is headed.
Washington D.C. COVID-19 Cases and Vaccinations
COVID-19 cases are rising; the seven-day average is higher than it was a month ago and rose 120% over the last week.
The seven-day average of new COVID-19 case numbers was at nine or 10 from June 23 to July 9; now it’s at 22. That’s still relatively low: Before vaccinations began, the average hadn’t been that low since March 2020.
D.C. reports 1.8% of COVID-19 tests are coming back positive.
Hospitals are at moderate capacity, and about 80-87% of beds have been full this month. That's close to the 90% point which would be considered insufficient capacity, but the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has been trending downward since May.
D.C. says about 53.3% of residents are fully vaccinated and 62.2% are partially or full vaccinated.
Although D.C. has a nearly equal proportion of white and Black residents, fewer Black residents are reported partially or fully vaccinated (103,405) than white residents (122,954). About 36% of Hispanic or Latino residents and 34% of Asian Pacific Islander residents have been vaccinated, according to District data.
D.C. notes that race and ethnicity data, however, are self-reported and not complete.
Maryland COVID-19 Cases and Vaccinations
The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has been rising steadily in Maryland since June 29.
On June 26, the seven-day average was 48 — the lowest point since March 2020. Now, it’s 119.
The average has more than doubled since July 1 and has risen 56% since last Friday.
The faster spread of COVID-19 is a reason to be cautious, but the figure is still relatively low. Two months ago, an average of 421 people in Maryland were getting diagnosed with COVID-19 daily.
Maryland reports 1.14% of COVID-19 tests are coming back positive, the lowest in the region.
The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased slightly this month from 104 to 120 — a significant decline from May 1, when the number of patients was at 1,009.
Maryland says 58.5% of residents have had at least one vaccine dose; 53.27% have had a second dose and 4.42% of people got the one-dose shot.
There is a disparity between counties, however. The proportion of residents who have gotten at least one vaccine dose ranges from 71% in Howard County to about 40% in Garrett County.
In Montgomery County, 59% of people have gotten two COVID-19 vaccine doses and 4.3% got a single dose shot.
In Prince George’s County, 43.5% of residents received two vaccine doses and 3.1% got the single-dose shot.
Virginia COVID-19 Cases and Vaccinations
Virginia’s COVID-19 cases numbers are going up: The seven-day average has increased 63% from last Friday.
The seven-day case average is 188. One week ago, it 115. One month ago, it was 137.
The case growth isn’t even across the state.
According to Covid Act Now data, daily cases per 100,000 are above 15 for some areas south of Richmond (Colonial Heights City, Charles City, Nottoway County) and in the Shenandoah region (Waynesboro and Green County). That level is considered substantial community spread by D.C.
However, the caseload is much lighter than it was at any point before vaccinations became available. Virginia was reporting hundreds of cases every day through May, and thousands of cases every day during parts of winter.
Virginia has the highest percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive in the region, 2.7%.
Hospitalizations hit a recent low point of 146 on July 6 and have risen to 191. It's a big improvement from 400-600 people hospitalized each day in May.
Virginia says 58.8% of residents have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 52.9% of residents are fully vaccinated. Northern Virginia has some of the best vaccination rates in the state.