Scott County’s week-over-week active cases of Covid-19 have dipped slightly, according to the latest data from the TN Dept. of Health, the latest indication that the current surge of the virus may be at or nearing its peak.
The Dept. of Health reported 357 active cases of covid in Scott County on Thursday, down from 364 a week earlier. That number came after health authorities reported 16 new cases of the virus and 39 recoveries in Thursday’s report.
There were 213 new cases of covid reported in Scott County for the 7-day period ending Thursday, down slightly from 220 for the previous 7-day period.
About 1 in 4 of the new cases over the course of the past week — 26.3% overall — were in school-aged children. That’s a percentage that continues to fall since it peaked at nearly 50% two weeks ago.
For the previous 7-day period, 39% of Scott County’s covid cases were in the five-to-18 age group.
While there appears to be a silver lining in Scott County’s covid numbers, the same cannot be said of the state as a whole. Covid-related hospitalizations are at record-high levels both in the Knoxville region and across the state as a whole, with the overwhelming majority of hospitalizations occurring among the unvaccinated. And testing positivity across the state remains above 20%, with thousands of new cases being reported daily.
Locally, Scott High School Principal Melissa Rector said during Thursday’s meeting of the Scott County Board of Education that Scott High has surpassed 100 students who are either isolated or quarantined due to covid.
“We suspected this would come after that Labor Day weekend,” Rector said, adding that another wave of quarantines are expected tomorrow. “We’re not seeing many positive changes in student isolations and quarantines. In fact, it’s moving the other way quickly.”
However, Rector said that the school has seen a positive change among its faculty and staff, with the extended holiday weekend giving those who were sick or quarantined a little extra time needed to prepare for a return to class.
“This week, knock on wood, for adults in the building, we’re holding strong,” Rector said.
Rector said she is seeing a lot of faculty and staff that are being affected by covid within their home who are able to continue working without missing days because they have been vaccinated. She added that guidance was received Thursday that a booster shot for the Moderna vaccine has been approved, and will be funneled through the health department, beginning Sept. 20, though it will only be available in phases that will be approved by the Dept. of Health.
“If we’re going to keep things going, we have to have adults in the building,” Rector said. “Having quick access to those boosters may be a part of that.
The school is going to make a decision Friday on whether to move forward with its annual Heritage Festival, which is scheduled for Sept. 25 at the Museum of Scott County on campus. Rector said the school is prepared to host the festival, but wanted to gather input from the board of education and others.
“We certainly don’t want to do something that we feel like would go against what the board would want or what the community would want,” she said.
Board chairman Esther Abbott indicated that she felt that the decision on whether to move forward with the festival should lie with Rector and others at the school — an indication that the festival will likely move forward. Rector said it is important to make a final decision on the festival two weeks before-hand, since participants are already purchasing supplies needed for the event.