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DC Among States That Best Mitigated Fall Surge in COVID-19, Report Says

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DC is one of the areas that best mitigated the increase recorded in COVID-19 cases last fall, along with Maryland, and Virginia, according to a recent report.

DC had an effective combination of successful social distancing policies and relief measures, including restrictions on mass gatherings, face mask mandates, and other measures taken for reopening businesses, said the report written by Talus Analytics and Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security for the Office of the DC Auditor and released on April 22.

DC’s successful “enabling and relief policies” such as foreclosure delays, support for essential workers, modification of unemployment benefits, and leave entitlement adjustments also contributed to the District’s success in “bending the curve” of cases.

Titled “Bending the Curve: Policies to Mitigate COVID-19 in DC & the Region,” the report, which examined how states handled the spread of the coronavirus in the fall and winter of 2020, particularly focused on the DC area.

The District has been ranked sixth among all states in “apparently lessening the severity of the fall surge of COVID-19.”

It was revealed that District and neighbor states “had among the earliest and most comprehensive policy responses to COVID-19” and saw “fewer cases and deaths than much of the United States especially during the fall and winter surge.”

“A key central message … is that early action increases the success of public policy intervention, slowing disease spread and saving more lives,” DC Auditor Kathleen Peterson said in her letter to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

“A major caveat on the region’s success has been the country’s failure: ‘even the areas in the United States that had the most effective response to the pandemic had many more cases than other parts of the world,'” Peterson added.

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