Scott County ended the week with 212 active cases of Covid-19, only about 40% of the total number of active cases just 17 days ago, as the most recent surge of the virus continues to fade.
The TN Dept. of Health reported only 97 new cases of Covid-19 in Scott County for the seven-day period ending Thursday, marking the first time in more than two months that fewer than 100 new cases were reported in one week.
There were 142 new cases of Covid-19 reported during the previous seven-day period, and 233 the week before that.
Testing positivity for the week was up slightly, hovering right around 10%.
The week began with 303 active cases of Covid-19, which was down significantly from the peak of 516 on Sept. 20. But the numbers continued to steadily decline, dropping to 212 by Friday’s data release by the Dept. of Health.
There has not been a new covid-related fatality reported in Scott County since Sept. 13. And there hasn’t been a new covid-related hospitalization reported locally since Sept. 23. Overall, there have been 54 deaths and 82 hospitalizations linked to covid in Scott County, including six deaths and 10 hospitalizations during the most recent surge of the virus.
The number of cases among school-aged children is also in rapid decline. Scott County hasn’t reported a double-digit number of cases in that age group in more than 10 days, and only reported a total of 18 new cases among school-aged children for the week ending Friday — a little less than 19% of the total number of new cases during that time span. At one point when the virus was raging just weeks ago, nearly 50% of new cases were in school-aged children.
All grades and schools are scheduled to return to class on Monday, as students come back from fall break. It will be the first time in several weeks that entire classes or schools have not been on a remote learning schedule, though those moves to a virtual schedule were often necessitated by a lack of available substitute teachers.
A majority of Scott Countians have now received at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The number of first-dose injections surpassed 50% early in the week.
It isn’t just in Scott County that the numbers are rapidly improving. Statewide, the number of people hospitalized by covid dropped to just over 2,000 on Thursday. At one point, the number of hospitalized covid patients was approaching 4,000.
In the East Tennessee region of Knoxville and surrounding areas, including Scott County, the number of hospitalized covid patients dropped to 416 on Thursday, down from a peak of 757 on Sept. 10. A little more than 1 in 4 of those hospitalized were in ICU, and most of those in ICU were on a ventilator.
Covid transmission rates are dropping shockingly fast, according to the daily tracker maintained by the University of Tennessee. As of Friday, only three counties in the state had transmission rates above 1.0, meaning the prevalence of the virus was growing in those areas. Two of those were adjoining Scott County: Pickett County at 1.02, and Campbell County at 1.03. But in Scott County, the transmission rate was measured at just 0.91 on Friday, the lowest in the northern plateau region.
A majority of counties across Tennessee now have a transmission rate below 0.9, meaning the prevalence of the virus is shrinking even more quickly in those communities.