7-day average of daily new reported cases per 100k
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Seven months in, the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to impact life in the District, Maryland and Virginia, with most schools still shut down, social and commercial activity restricted, and people asked to wear masks around others and stay home whenever possible. What started as a trickle of cases in early March has ballooned to hundreds of thousands of confirmed infections and more than 7,000 deaths.
The number of new daily cases and deaths peaked in April and early May, then declined sharply following a prolonged economic shutdown. They surged in July, after the region began to slowly reopen but plateaued again in August. As of Sept. 21, nearly 280,000 people in the District, Maryland and Virginia — or about one in every 55 residents — had tested positive for the virus.
Experts warn that the region’s daily caseload, which has stabilized around 1,500 since late July, is not likely to significantly decline in the coming months, given public fatigue over the virus and a lack of civic or political will for stricter restrictions. As officials continue to lift restrictions on activities, and as cooling weather sends people indoors, local governments and hospitals a bracing for a possible uptick in infections.
Maryland’s test positivity rate has fluctuated around 4 percent since the start of August, while Virginia’s has hovered between 6 and 7 percent. D.C. has kept the city’s rate around 3 percent since June.
New daily reported cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia
At least have been reported since Feb. 29.
Virginia is reporting nearly twice as many cases a day than Maryland and now has more new cases per capita, a switch from the first few months of the pandemic, when Maryland was much harder hit.
Reported cases per 100,000 residents since last week
At the peak of the crisis, the rate of infections in the Washington metropolitan area, which consists of D.C. and its surrounding suburbs, was more than three times the rate in other parts of Maryland and Virginia. In July, the Baltimore metropolitan area overtook Maryland’s most populous counties — Montgomery and Prince George’s — in new daily infections, but by September, Prince George’s returned to the top of the list.
Counties/cities with highest rates of reported cases
|Maryland||Reported cases per 100k||New cases in last 7 days per 100k|
|Virginia||Reported cases per 100k||New cases in last 7 days per 100k|
Public health officials say the caseload will continue to grow, especially as testing expands. But even when governments procure more test kits, it can be difficult to ensure that residents are able to access them. In D.C., rapid growth in testing capacity was not matched with rising demand in May; in July, Montgomery County, community groups said low-income, underserved communities were not informed of the free testing being offered. In recent weeks, some health officials have noted what they call “testing fatigue," contributing to a dip in tests administered.
Even with widespread testing, officials rely on effective contact tracing to control the virus. This has been a challenge in many places, including the District, where officials said in September that less than half of newly infected people had been providing contact information for the people they exposed.
Tests reported per 100,000 residents
|State||Total tests per 100k||Tests in last 7 days per 100k||Percent positive in last 7 days|
Leaders in Virginia, Maryland and the District have all pointed to daily numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients as crucial measures in determining the severity of the virus and the ability of local hospitals to handle cases.
In all three jurisdictions, those measures trended downward from May to June. In D.C., the metrics have held mostly steady, despite a slight uptick in infections in July. But in Maryland and Virginia, hospitalizations rose briefly in July before declining in August through September. Experts note that hospitalization metrics tend to lag behind changes in infections and that young people — who constitute an increasingly large share of new cases in the region — are less likely to get seriously ill.
Reported covid-19 hospitalizations
|State||Currently hospitalized for covid per 100k||Currently occupied ICU beds per 100k||Change in hosp. from last week|
Design and development by Leslie Shapiro, Youjin Shin and Chris Alcantara. Story by Rebecca Tan. Dana Hedgpath, Fenit Nirappil, Kevin Uhrmacher, Gabriel Florit, Danielle Rindler, Armand Emamdjomeh, Dana Hedgpeth, Rachel Chason, Erin Cox, Antonio Olivo, Jenna Portnoy, Patricia Sullivan, Laura Vozzella, Ovetta Wiggins, Perry Stein and Hannah Natanson also contributed to this report. Contact the team at email@example.com.
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Recent changes on this page
August 24 Replaced the modeled trend with a more standard 7-day rolling average of new daily cases and deaths.
July 23 Redesigned and added new features to the page, including visualizations of hospitalization data, a 14-day modeled trend of new reported cases and deaths, testing data and this changelog.