Even as there are continued signs that the coronavirus outbreak is slowing in many of Tennessee’s hardest-hit areas, Thursday was the deadliest day since the pandemic reached the Volunteer State, as the TN Dept. of Health reported 42 new fatalities, easily the most thus far in a 24-hour period.
As of Thursday afternoon, at least 1,186 Tennesseans had died of coronavirus. The new report does not mean that 42 people died in the past 24 hours; rather, it means 42 deaths were reported within that time frame by state health authorities. Sometimes, deaths can lag by several days. For example, Scott County is reported to have had its first coronavirus-related fatality on Saturday, and the state has not reported that in its data.
Prior to Thursday, the most deaths reported in Tennessee in a 24-hour period was 37, on July 23. That had been the only time up until Thursday that there had been more than 30 deaths reported in a single day.
Also on Thursday, Tennessee also reported 108 new hospitalizations related to the virus. That wasn’t a record; on July 29 there were 110 people hospitalized in a 24-hour period. But it marked the second consecutive day with more than 100 hospitalizations, after nearly a week of daily hospitalizations falling short of that number.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus has stabilized statewide, with around 1,100 people currently in the hospital due to Covid-19. In Knox County, the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized with coronavirus is slowly declining from a high of 46. It dropped from 35 to 33 on Thursday, even as the number of active cases there continues to rise. There are now more than 2,300 active cases of the virus in Knox County.
Overall, 1% of Tennessee’s coronavirus cases have ended in death. Sixty-seven percent have recovered, and the remaining are still listed as active cases. About 3% of active cases are hospitalized.
Since July 1, 0.8% of Tennessee’s known Covid-19 cases have ended in death.
In Scott County, the number of active cases reached a new high of 64 on Thursday, after the Dept. of Health reported five new cases and no recoveries. There have been a total of 110 coronavirus cases in Scott County. Thursday’s increase came after no new cases were reported on Wednesday, and after the number of active cases had declined for consecutive days.
According to the Dept. of Health, Scott County’s recent surge of cases has been greatest by population in the Pioneer zip code, followed by the Huntsville zip code and then the Oneida zip code. This trend has been largely unchanged in recent weeks, except for an uptick of cases by population in the Oneida zip code.
The White House coronavirus task force has placed two of Scott County’s neighboring counties — Morgan County and Fentress County — in a “yellow zone” of counties where it warns of the coronavirus spread. Curiously, Scott, Campbell and Anderson counties were all excluded from that list. The list is reportedly based on transmission rates in each county; Scott County has consistently had one of the higher transmission rates in the state. As of Wednesday, the local transmission rate was measured by the University of Tennessee at 1.26, one of the 10 highest transmission rates in the state.