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

DC, Maryland and Virginia all reported a record high number of coronavirus cases over the Christmas weekend.

Each jurisdiction so far reported the highest seven-day average of new cases of any point in the pandemic on Monday, according to the Washington Post.

More than 18,500 people in Virginia tested positive for the coronavirus over the three-day weekend and 25 are believed to have died from COVID-19. In Maryland, more than 15,000 cases of the coronavirus were reported over the weekend and 5,376 new cases were reported on Monday. About 9,200 new cases of coronavirus and two deaths were reported in Washington from Dec. 23-26, the outlet noted.

The rise in the number of cases is not only said to be the result of more people seeking testing before the holiday season, but also reflects the rapid spread of the omicron variant, according to the Post.

The rate of people testing positive for the virus in Washington is reportedly higher than it has been since 2020, with 16% of all tests the district reported coming back positive on Sunday. In Virginia, suburban counties have seen a rapid increase in reported cases.

Loudoun County reported 1,062 new cases over the weekend, while Prince William and Arlington counties also saw the number of cases rise to 1,000. More than 3,228 cases have been reported in the Fairfax County during the same period, the Post reported.

“We are seeing a lot more people sick, some of whom come in because they want to make sure they are okay, others want to know if it is COVID or the flu,” David Goodfriend, the director of health. in Loudoun County, the Post said. “But it keeps our front-line people very busy. “

Gigi Gronvall, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, told the Post that the emergence of the omicron variant came at a time when people were more likely to congregate indoors without wear a mask, increasing the potential for exposure.

“Some things are part of the omicron. There are things that are part of us, of our behavior, ”said Gronvall, noting the increase in the number of cases over Christmas. “Omicron is sort of increasing the focus on people at risk. “

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

“I’m concerned that even though it’s milder, the mere fact that it appears to be more transmissible will find people more vulnerable to send them to hospital at higher rates,” Gronvall said at the point of sale.

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