COVID cases and hospitalizations have seen a significant uptick in the District and nationally since mid-June, according to wastewater data from Biobot Analytics and the CDC’s hospitalizations tracker.
In D.C., hospitalizations have risen by 29% between June and July, according to analysis by Axios’ Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj. They reported a 39% jump in hospitalizations during the same time period in Maryland, and a 15% increase in Virginia. Nationally, hospitalizations have gone up 17%.
Still, across the country and locally, COVID cases and hospitalizations remain nowhere near as high as they were during the pandemic’s peak. During January 2022, D.C. saw some days where over 90 people went to the hospital for COVID; in recent weeks, despite the uptick, daily hospital admissions in the District have remained in the single digits, according to CDC data.
Another variant, EG.5, has made up most of the new COVID cases nationally, though experts say it’s not necessarily driving the surge in cases and hospitalizations.
The Washington Post reported last week that a new booster should become available by the end of September. While it’s not specifically designed to target EG.5, it will provide
important protection against the virus’s spread going into the fall, when more people will gather inside and other respiratory illnesses, like the flu, will start to hit hard as well.
Wearing masks, especially in crowded indoor settings, and staying home if you feel sick remain smart ways to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID.