Public/Global Health

DC, Maryland, Virginia report record number of COVID-19 cases Christmas weekend

D.C., Maryland and Virgina all reported record-breaking numbers of coronavirus cases over Christmas weekend.

On Monday, each jurisdiction reported the highest seven-day new case averages of any point throughout the pandemic so far, according to The Washington Post.

Over 18,500 people in Virginia tested positive for the coronavirus over the three-day holiday weekend and 25 reportedly died from COVID-19. In Maryland, over 15,000 coronavirus cases were reported over the weekend and 5,376 new cases were reported on Monday. About 9,200 new coronavirus cases and two deaths were reported in D.C. from Dec. 23 to Dec. 26, the news outlet noted.

The surge of cases is reportedly not just a result of more people seeking to get tested going into the holiday season, but is also reflective of the rapid spread of the omicron variant, according to the Post.

The rate of people testing positive for the virus in D.C. is reportedly higher than it has been since 2020, with 16 percent of all tests the District has reported coming back positive as of Sunday. In Virginia, suburban counties have seen a rapid uptick in reported cases.

Loudoun county reported 1,062 new cases over the weekend, while Prince William and Arlington counties also saw cases surge into the 1,000s. Over 3,228 cases were reported in Fairfax County over the same period of time, the Post reported.

“We’re seeing a lot more sick people, some of whom are coming in because they want to make sure that they’re going to be OK, others want to know whether it’s COVID or the flu,” David Goodfriend, the health director in Loudoun County, told the Post. “But it is keeping our front-line folks very busy.”

Gigi Gronvall, a senior scholar in the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, told the Post that the emergence of the omicron variant came at a time when people were most likely to gather indoors without wearing a mask, increasing the potential of exposure.

“Some things are part omicron. Some things are part us, our behavior,” Gronvall said, noting the surge of cases during Christmas. “Omicron kind of ups the ante on people getting exposed.”

The omicron variant has been reported to induce a milder illness in people who contract it compared to the delta variant of the virus.

“I am worried that even if it is milder, just the fact that it appears to be more transmissible will find more vulnerable people to send them into the hospital at higher rates,” Gronvall told the outlet.

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus cases D.C. Maryland omicron Virginia

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