Arlington, VA

With COVID-19, there’s a lag between when social distancing measures are put in place and when the pace of reported infections starts slowing down.

Arlington, it seems, has not yet hit the point at which the curve starts flattening.

The latest numbers from the Virginia Dept. of Health show 119 cases in the county, up from 104 yesterday and 86 on Monday. Statewide, there are 1,484 known cases, 208 hospitalizations, 34 deaths, and 15,344 people tested.

There are questions about just how representative the numbers are of the reality of the ground. For one, emerging research suggests a substantial percentage of people with a coronavirus infection do not have noticeable symptoms, and thus are unlikely to be tested. For another, it’s taking a week or longer for many patients (and local health departments) to receive their test results. Also, some people with presumed cases may not bother getting tested.

In a joint statement yesterday, leaders from Arlington and around the D.C. region urged residents who don’t need to leave the house to stay in.

“As the chief elected officials of 21 local governments in the National Capital Region, we are joining in one voice to implore each of the more than five and a half million individuals in our region to stay home unless you are performing an essential activity as permitted by authorities,” the statement read. “This is the most important thing each of us can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the threat to our most vulnerable neighbors, including older individuals and those with chronic health conditions.”

“The COVID-19 virus ignores jurisdictional boundaries, political viewpoints, and socioeconomic differences. We must be united as one region while we each do our part to protect ourselves and each other,” the statement concluded. “Staying home, practicing social distancing and avoiding gatherings, washing hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces regularly, and staying away from others when sick are simple but vitally important ways to keep each other safe. Please join us in this most critical fight.”

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