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JUST IN: Arlington and entire immediate D.C. area now at CDC’s “low” Covid level

CDC Covid level map as of Aug. 25, 2022 (via CDC)

Arlington County and the rest of the immediate D.C. area is now in the CDC’s “low” Covid level.

The county was moved from “medium,” where it had been since April, to “low” this afternoon, after the number of weekly cases per 100,000 residents dipped below 200, to 195.

Arlington is currently seeing 6.3 weekly hospital admissions for Covid per 100,000 residents, per the CDC’s website. Just under 5% of staffed inpatient beds are in use by patients who are Covid positive.

Arlington’s Covid positivity rate has also been falling, from around 22% just over a week ago to 17.6% today, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

CDC Covid level for Arlington as of Aug. 25, 2022 (via CDC)

The District of Columbia, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Charles County are all also now in the CDC’s “low” Covid level.

Despite the good news, cases reported by health authorities are becoming a less reliable metric as of late due to the prevalence of at-home rapid testing.

Virginia Hospital Center ER chief Mike Silverman, in his weekly public Facebook post last week, cautioned against reading too much into case trends.

The number of reported positives that you find online is probably not the best statistic to follow anymore. Certainly, many and possibly a large percentage of people are diagnosing themselves with rapid tests and never getting counted in the total case count. Hospitals and testing centers continue to report their data. The number of patients who remain hospitalized with COVID has remained fairly constant at VHC. But over the last 4 weeks, we have seen a decrease in the amount of emergency department patients who required our COVID isolation status. The total number of cases being diagnosed in the ER in both the symptomatic and asymptomatic population remains fairly consistent. Over the pandemic, we’ve had months where our weekly case count would go down into the single digits. That has not been the case for the last several months. We have had a steady state of patients that we diagnose each week that is not too far below the total number that we saw during our first winter peak/surge in December 2020. Unfortunately, COVID is certainly going to be with us for quite some time.

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