Scott County’s active coronavirus cases decreased significantly on Tuesday, but the accomplishment might need an asterisk.
The number of local Covid-19 cases locally decreased from 333 to 288 after the TN Dept. of Health reported eight new cases of the virus and more than 50 recoveries. It was the fewest cases reported in Scott County in a single day since November 6.
However, there were only five test results reported by the Dept. of Health in Scott County on Tuesday. All of them were negative. All of the new cases reported by the Dept. of Health in Scott County on Tuesday were “probable” cases.
In fact, there were actually nine “probable” cases reported Tuesday; one positive case that had been previously reported was retracted.
Since November 3, Scott County had averaged 16 positive test results per day prior to Tuesday. A reason for the lack of test results in Tuesday’s data dump by the Dept. of Health was not given, but it wasn’t an issue that was specific to Scott County. Statewide, fewer than 5,500 test results and only 1,304 new cases of the virus were reported on Tuesday, after the Dept. of Health’s daily update was delayed for several hours.
What it likely means, however, is that Scott County will see an uptick in new cases later in the week — perhaps as soon as Wednesday — when the Dept. of Health reports the influx of test results from the weekend and Monday.
Meanwhile, the percentage of Scott County’s new coronavirus cases that are being labeled as “probable” rather than “confirmed” remains a head-scratcher. It’s likely that two big reasons for the increase in probable cases are the number of cases occurring within families where there has already been a confirmed case — in some cases, people who develop certain symptoms consistent with coronavirus after being exposed to someone with the virus are listed as a probable case even if they aren’t tested — and the increase in antigen, or rapid, tests being administered in Scott County. Positive antigen tests are listed as probable cases in Tennessee.
However, the percentage of Scott County’s coronavirus cases that are being labeled as “probable” still greatly exceeds the statewide average, as well as the average in most neighboring counties — where antigen testing is also on the increase.
Since November 1, 40% of Scott County’s new cases of coronavirus have been probable cases. Prior to November 1, only 10% of new cases in Scott County were probable cases.