Covid Numbers Rise Along With Return of Students

Due largely to stubborn vaccine hesitancy, Covid has continued to rage throughout DC at rates it hasn’t seen since some of the worst pre-vaccine days of last winter. But it is an uneven wildfire. While it races through neighborhoods east of the Anacostia–where seven day average positives rates reach as high as 260 per 100k residents–in the western side of the city it remains low. And that includes Georgetown. That said, Georgetown has seen an increase in positive cases that dates to mid-August, i.e. the time when thousands of Georgetown students began returning to campus.

But GM doesn’t want to exaggerate the uptick. Last week, the city reported that just 11 positive cases were found in west Georgetown, and 13 in east Georgetown (which for data collection’s sake includes west Dupont). This is up from where the levels were the last time GM looked into it in July. At that point, west Georgetown had only two cases for the whole month. East Georgetown had a bit more at eleven. Yet even still, west Georgetown is still only reporting positives at seven day average rate of 16 cases per 100k residents. East Georgetown reports a similar rate of 19 cases per 100k residents. (For comparison’s sake, the great state of Connecticut, which is currently reporting the lowest levels of all states, has a rate of 18 per 100k.)

GM wants to offer a gigantic caveat to all of this: He is not 100% certain that the city is actually reporting all the cases from GU. The university runs its own dashboard that reports on cases from the school’s population. Since August 21, it has reported 103 cases from students (81), staff (14), and faculty (8). Over that same time period, the city has reported just 47 cases in west Georgetown and an identical 47 cases in east Georgetown. While not all students live in either west or east Georgetown, most do. So either nearly 100% of cases in the neighborhood are from students over the last month (a real possibility!) or we’re simply not counting correctly.

The long and the short of it is that this is still not over, but our neighborhood continues to avoid the worst of this disease’s ravages.


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