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UPDATED: Arlington reaches ‘medium’ CDC Covid level

Covid levels in the D.C. region on 4/12/22, according to the CDC

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Arlington is now the only jurisdiction in the immediate D.C. area to reach a “medium” level of Covid infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC’s “Community Level” map shows Arlington in yellow while the rest of the metro area is in green, with levels of infection and hospitalization considered to be low.

A weekly rate of more than 200 new Covid cases per 100,000 in population is what pushed Arlington from low to medium on the CDC’s recently-revamped scale. Covid-related hospitalizations in Arlington remain relatively low, at just under 2 weekly admissions per 100,000 people.

As of this morning, Virginia Dept. of Health data shows a seven-day moving average of 90 cases per day in Arlington, up from a seasonal low of 24 daily cases just over a month ago. Arlington’s test positivity rate currently stands at 5.4%, twice the 2.7% low point one month ago.

Covid cases in Arlington on 4/12/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

Wastewater data similarly shows a sharp uptick in detected Covid levels in Arlington. According to the monitoring data from Biobot, the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant accounts for over half of the detected Covid strains in Arlington.

Virginia Hospital Center ER chief Mike Silverman said in his most recent update on social media that locals should expect “rapid changes… for a while” as Covid numbers fluctuate. While the recent lull in cases after the winter surge — combined with relatively low levels of severe illness — prompted Silverman to relax some precautions, he said it’s too early to totally let one’s guard down.

“Although our ER numbers still look good regarding COVID, we saw another increase in the number of patients we diagnosed with COVID this week, compared to previous weeks, and another bump in the percent positivity rate,” he wrote. “This is the highest number of cases we’ve had since mid-February. I think it speaks to COVID being part of daily existence, and that we still need to track the numbers”

“The Coronavirus is not done with us yet,” he concluded. “Get vaccinated (or your booster). Keep a mask handy.”

Separately, on Tuesday afternoon, County Board member Matt de Ferranti sent an email to supporters says he had recently tested positive for Covid.

On Sunday morning, I tested positive for COVID 19. I am fully vaccinated and boosted and have been in touch with my doctor. I am isolating at home.

This morning, the coronavirus count for cases in Arlington is up 128% from the count 2 weeks ago. The count is an indicator, but, as you may know, the hospitalization rates are what the CDC uses now as the best metric for COVID in a community. We have not yet seen a significant uptick in hospitalizations according to Dr. Mike Silverman’s most recent post from the Virginia Hospital Center’s emergency room, but we do know, and I can tell you firsthand, that you don’t want to get Covid. For the first time in a long time, Arlington is seeing more cases than other parts of Virginia and the nation. Get boosted. Wear a mask when in doubt. Please, please take care of yourselves and your health.

Sleeping and hydrating with your health and safety on my mind and in my heart.

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