Coronavirus in the DC area – weekly update 39

Colorized picture from California, 1918. Source: reddit

Weekly update number 39 on the coronavirus in the DC area. Decided to maintain my very current and relevant picture.

This week the D.C area (pop. 5.4 million) increased by 16,418 new cases. This is worse, but the statistics may be distorted because of the holidays. Last week it improved to be at 12,087 cases, as the week before there were 15,323 new cases. Eight weeks ago there were only 4,256 new cases. We are still at least six months way from having a vaccine available for everyone.

Almost all of Europe is still struggling with controlling the spread of the disease. Italy (pop. 60.3 million), the original epicenter of the European outbreak, is still struggling with 11K new cases reported for yesterday.  It remains high in the UK (53K yesterday, it was 19K two weeks ago), France (11K), Spain (14K), Germany (19K) and Russia (27K). The U.S., which has never gotten the virus under control, had 202K new cases yesterday, slightly down from 216K new cases three Tuesdays ago. This is in contrast to places like China (77 cases), Japan (3,629), South Korea (1,048), Taiwan (2), Vietnam (3), Singapore (13), Australia (32) and New Zealand (7 on 12/28). 

The number of reported cases in the DC area was hovering around 8,000 to 9,500 a week for several months, then declined to a low of 2,406 cases twenty-six weeks ago. It has since increased. All the data is from the Johns Hopkin’s website as of 9:22 PM: Johns Hopkins CSSE

……………………..….Population…last week…this week…Deaths
Washington D.C…….…..702,445…….26,900……28,758……..780
Arlington, VA……………..237,521………8,121……..8,786…….181
Alexandria VA……………160,530.…..…6,782……..7,231…..….87
Fairfax County, VA…….1,150,795…….40,483……43,434…….679
Falls Church, VA…………..14,772………..157……..…174……….6
Fairfax City, VA……..…..…24,574.………..281……….304………10
Loudoun County, VA….…406,850..……12,925……13,996……158
Prince Williams C., VA…..468,011….….23,041……25,247……256
Manassas…………………..41,641….……2,708……..2,867…….30
Manassas Park………….…17,307…………869……….926………8
Stafford Country, VA……..149,960……….4,578…….5,099…….24
Fredericksburg, VA…………29,144.………..941……..1,021……..9
Montgomery C., MD…….1,052,567……..42,551…..45,791..1,120
Prince Georges C., MD.…..909,308……..51,006….54,127…1,079
Total……….…….….……..5,365,425……221,343…237,761..4,427

This is a 7% increase since last week. The Mortality Rate for the area is 1.86%. This last week, there were 174 new fatalities reported out of 16,418 new cases. This is a mortality rate of 1.06%. This increased mortality rate is almost certainly driven by people who got ill several weeks ago, so in sense, the figures are now catching up from the lower mortality rates over the last few weeks. The population known to have been infected is 4.43% or one confirmed case for every 23 people. The actual rate of infection has been higher, perhaps as much as 4 times higher.

Virginia has a number of large universities (23,000 – 36,000 students) located in more rural areas, often tied to a small town. This includes James Madison (JMU) at Harrisonburg, University of Virginia (UVA) at Charlottesville and Virginia Tech (VT) at Blacksburg. Most of them were emptied out due to Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas holidays. Many of the students are now home until mid-to-late January.

Harrisonburg, VA is reporting 4,343 cases (4,098 last week) and 44 deaths, while Rockingham County, where the town resides, is reporting 3,842 cases (3,386 last week) and 47 deaths. This is where James Madison University is located.

Charlottesville, VA has 2,182 confirmed cases (2,089 last week) and 34 deaths, while Albemarle County, VA, where the town resides, has 2,756 confirmed cases (2,509 last week) and 31 deaths. This is where UVA is located. UVA had a covid tracker which is worth looking at: https://returntogrounds.virginia.edu/covid-tracker. This is definitely worth looking at, as you can see how they were able to bring the virus under control with a student body of 25,000. Apparently college students are more responsible than many adults. 

Further south, Montgomery County, VA has 5,138 cases this week (4,853 last week) and 38 deaths. This is where Virginia Tech is located.

Keep in mind all these increases in this towns is occurring while the universities are not in session. It is currently growing faster than it was when they were, reinforcing my point that college students appear to be more responsible than many adults.

Virginia (pop. 8.5 million) had 4,122 cases yesterday. Last week it was 3,591. For a long time, it pretty much ran 1,000 cases a day, neither going up or going down.

Dare County, North Carolina, a beach area in the outer banks, has 996 cases (888 last week) and 5 deaths. With summer over, not sure why this continues to grow. It is growing a lot faster than during the summer.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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