The number of people dying from coronavirus in Tennessee remains elevated, as the TN Dept. of Health announced another 14 Covid-19 deaths on Thursday.
Thursday’s death toll marked the second time in two days that Tennessee has reported as many as 14 deaths in a single 24-hour period, bringing the total number of people who have died of the virus in the Volunteer State to at least 287.
Tennessee has reported 46 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 96 hours, the highest four-day total since the virus outbreak began in March. Another two deaths were reported in McMinn County, where there has now been 10 Covid-19 deaths since an outbreak began at an assisted living facility in Athens.
The percentage of Tennessee’s known coronavirus cases ending in death remains well below many other states, primarily because of the amount of testing that has been performed in the state, uncovering mild and asymptomatic cases that might have otherwise gone undiscovered. In neighboring Kentucky, for example, there have been 321 coronavirus deaths — some 11% more than in Tennessee, even though Kentucky has less than half as many known cases as Tennessee.
In Kentucky, 4.7% of known coronavirus cases have ended in death. In Tennessee, just 1.7% of known cases have ended in death.
In both states, about 1 in 5 Covid-19 patients who require hospitalization will not surprise. In Kentucky, the number of deaths equates to 17.6% of hospitalizations; in Tennessee, it’s 20%.
That makes the rise in deaths in Tennessee unsurprising. Two weeks ago, an elevated number of people in the state began to be hospitalized for coronavirus symptoms. In the past 17 days, there have been an average of 36 people newly hospitalized every day. Prior to that, the number of new hospitalizations was in the upper single digits on a daily basis for nearly two weeks.
The TN Dept. of Health reported 47 new hospitalizations on Thursday, the highest number in a week.
Tennessee does not make enough data public to ascertain the exact cause of the rising hospitalizations and deaths. However, many of the deaths in the state have been associated with nursing homes outbreaks like the one in Athens.
According to data from the TN Dept. of Health, there have been 87 coronavirus-related deaths in Tennessee’s assisted living facilities — 30% of all Covid-19 deaths reported in the state. However, that data is only updated once weekly and is not current. At the Life Care Center of Athens, for example, only four fatalities have been recorded — less than half the actual number of deaths that have occurred there.
The Athens nursing home outbreak has become the second-worst in the state thus far. Last month, more than 150 people were sickened at Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation & Healing in Sumner County, and 23 people died.
By the numbers: 302,317 people have been tested for coronavirus in Tennessee, or 445 per 10,000 people. In Scott County, there have been 478 people tested, or 217 per 10,000 people.
• Of those tests, 5.5% (16,699) have returned positive, including 3.5% (329) of the 9,400 new test results reported Thursday. In Scott County, 2.3% (11) of tests have returned positive.
• 8.6% (1,435) of Tennessee’s known coronavirus patients have required hospitalization, including 47 new hospitalizations reported Thursday.
• Tennessee’s 287 coronavirus-related deaths equate to 20% of the hospitalizations.
• 1.7% (287) of Tennessee’s known coronavirus cases have resulted in death.
• 53.2% (8,881) of those diagnosed with coronavirus in Tennessee have recovered, including 257 new recoveries announced Thursday.
• There are 7,531 active cases of coronavirus in Tennessee, up from 7,473 on Wednesday and the highest number thus far. There are no active cases of coronavirus in Scott County.