- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A new D.C. auditor’s report shows that the coronavirus pandemic has hit hardest in the city’s most vulnerable wards.

“This analysis indicates a disproportional impact (by population) on Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8, the same wards with the highest proportion of population lacking health insurance and without a high school diploma,” states a special report released Tuesday by D.C. Auditor Kathleen Patterson.

The 28-page report provides a preliminary review of mitigation efforts in the D.C. region, with a focus on social distancing and relief policies.

It is the first report prepared for Mrs. Patterson by the national consulting firm Talus Analytics and Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security. The groups are collaborating to research policies that help reduce spread of the virus in the District, Virginia and Maryland.

When and where the policies were implemented, as well as who they affected and how, were used as key data components. Demographics, mobility, caseload, deaths and economic metrics also were analyzed.

Mrs. Patterson will release more of the groups’ findings within the next six months.

Another report, released Monday, compares D.C. Department of Health public health statistics with best practice methods created by the nonprofit Resolve to Save Lives (RSL). The organization is led by Thomas Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the 46-page document, Mrs. Patterson and RSL found that the health department’s reporting is “strong” but has room for improvement.

The Office of the D.C. Auditor “finds that the District is at the top of states and cities in collecting and releasing COVID information but recommends improvements both in collecting and sharing critical data,” according to a press release.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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