Coronavirus in the DC area – weekly update 59

Colorized picture from California, 1918. Source: reddit

This is weekly update number 59 on the coronavirus in the DC area. This week the D.C area (pop. 5.4 million) increased slightly to 2,015 new cases. Last week it was lower than it was forty-six weeks ago. There were 1,981 new cases last week and 3,676 new cases the week before. Seventeen weeks ago it was 18,934 new cases.

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, reported 4K new cases for yesterday, which is a notable improvement. The UK continues to keep the virus under control with 2K new cases reported for 17 May. Its high was 68K new cases on 8 January. France has the fourth highest number of cases in the world (after U.S., India and Brazil). Their death count of 108,208 (population 67.4 million) is the eighth highest reported deaths in the world (behind U.S., Brazil, India, Mexico, UK, Italy and Russia). Still, it is less than the UK with 127,956 dead in a population of 66.8 million or Italy with 124,646 deaths in a population of 60.3 million. Yesterday they reported for France 17K new cases, so they do appear to be getting this back under control. The new case count yesterday for Spain is 4K, for Germany it is 8K and Russia remains at 8K as it has for weeks (not that I particularly trust the Russian figures and will blog about this soon). The U.S. (population 331.4 million), which has never gotten the virus under control, had 28K new cases yesterday, which is an improvement over last week. Our high was 300K new cases on 2 January. This is in contrast to places like China (no report, but very low), Japan (5,204), South Korea (653), Taiwan (243, which is one of their highest daily totals), Vietnam (153, which is one of their highest daily totals), Singapore (38), Australia (9) and New Zealand (5).

All the data is from the Johns Hopkin’s website as of today, 1:20 PM:  Johns Hopkins CSSE. This website has been recently revised and is worth looking at.

……………………..….Population…last week…this week…Deaths
Washington D.C…….…..702,445…….48,282….48,634…..1,124
Arlington, VA……………..237,521..…..15,239….15,279……..256
Alexandria VA……………160,530…….11,759….11,799……..135
Fairfax County, VA…….1,150,795.……76,460….76,717…..1,081
Falls Church, VA…………..14,772.……….430……..434…………9
Fairfax City, VA……..…..…24,574..………556…..…557………..19
Loudoun County, VA….…406,850…….27,686….27,817…..…277
Prince Williams C., VA…..468,011…….45,064….45,197……..496
Manassas…………………..41,641..…….4,296……4,302……….47
Manassas Park………….…17,307….…..1,217……1,218….……11
Stafford Country, VA……..149,960…….11,239…..11,327….…..79
Fredericksburg, VA…………29,144……..2,122…….2,122….…..23
Montgomery C., MD…….1,052,567……70,298.…70,686…..1,537
Prince Georges C., MD.…..909,308……83,987.…84,561…..1,491
Total……….…….….……..5,365,425….398,635…400,650…..6,585


This is a 1% increase since last week. The Mortality Rate is 1.64%. Three weeks ago there were 6,457 fatalities reported, now it is up to 6,585 total fatalities or 128 fatalities in the last three weeks. The number of new cases in the last three weeks is 400,650 – 392,978 = 7,672. This is a mortality rate of 1.67%. The population known to have been infected is 7.47% or one confirmed case for every 13 people. The actual rate of infection may be higher, perhaps as much as four times higher. I gather that the number vaccinated (at least one shot) is around 70% for this area and if we add to this the number previously infected we are looking at around 80% or more of the population partially protected.

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, Liberty University (LU) at Lynchburg and Virginia Tech (VT) at Blacksburg. I do not report on places like William and Mary (W&M) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as they are located in or near major population centers. I gather that they have all emptied out now and gone home for the summer. Therefore, this will be the last time I report on this.

Harrisonburg, VA (pop. 54K) is reporting 6,489 cases (6,477 last week) and 94 deaths, while Rockingham County (pop. 81K), where the town resides, is reporting 6,770 cases (6,739 last week) and 107 deaths. This is where James Madison University is located.

Charlottesville, VA (pop. 47K) has reported 4,011 cases (4,010 last week) and 57 deaths, while Albemarle County, VA (pop. 109K), where the town resides, has reported 5,784 cases (5,760 last week) and 83 deaths. This is where UVA is located. One notes with similar populations the comparison between Harrisonburg/Rockingham vs Charlottesville/Albemarle.

For UVA, https://returntogrounds.virginia.edu/covid-tracker, after peaking at 229 new cases on 2/16, they had imposed new restrictions. The number of cases dropped precipitously and they partially eased up the restrictions. This Monday (5/17) there were no new cases. It does show what can be done with quick reaction and actual lock-down procedures.

Lynchburg (pop. 82K), the home of Liberty University, has reported 7,841 cases (7,744 last week) cases and 150 deaths.

Further south, Montgomery County, VA (pop. 99K) has reported 9,390 cases (9,363 last week) and 96 deaths. This is where Virginia Tech is located.

I do report the population, number of cases and number of deaths for each of these areas. This is because this is somewhat of a “laboratory-like” situation where you have four universities of 23K to 36K students located in rural areas of around 100K population. They do have different rates per capita in cases and in deaths.

Virginia (pop. 8.5 million) had only 378 new cases yesterday. Last week it as 600 cases. Sixteen weeks ago it was 4,707. 

Dare County, North Carolina (pop. 37K), a beach area in the outer banks, has 2,123 cases (2,114 last week) and 10 deaths.

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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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