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Home News Local News Coronavirus cases surge in Morgan, Fentress counties

Coronavirus cases surge in Morgan, Fentress counties

Active coronavirus cases in Tennessee as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Active coronavirus cases in the northern Cumberland Plateau region ticked up notably on Tuesday, as the TN Dept. of Health reported several new cases in Morgan and Fentress counties.

Five new cases of Covid-19 illness were reported in Morgan County on Tuesday, while three new cases were reported in Fentress County.

Morgan County already had six active cases of the virus, with five of those linked to the state prison near Wartburg. Fentress County had three active cases, although a new recovery was reported by the Dept. of Health on Tuesday. As a result, there are five active cases in Fentress County.

In all, there are 24 active coronavirus cases in counties adjoining Scott County — the most so far. Pickett County, which had not had a case of coronavirus until May 10, has two active cases, and there are six active cases in Anderson County.

There are no active cases in either Scott County or Campbell County. There was a new case of coronavirus reported in Scott County on Monday; however, local health officials determined that to be a data-entry error at the state level, and the case was removed by the state Dept. of Health on Tuesday. Scott County has had 11 total cases of coronavirus — none since April 15.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the first case of the coronavirus was reported in Hancock County, a rural county on the TN-KY border in upper East Tennessee, meaning that the virus has now been detected in all 95 Tennessee counties.

Even as the first case was being reported in Hancock County, Hawkins County, which borders Hancock County to the east, was determined to be free of active cases for the first time in weeks — one of just nine counties across the state, including Scott County, without an active case of the virus.

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Overall, upper East Tennessee is fairing better than any region in the state. There are only 12 active cases in the entire region, which includes the Tri-Cities metropolitan area. Three of the state’s nine coronavirus-free counties are in the region.

Active cases drop sharply: Tennessee’s tally of active coronavirus cases dropped to 7,104 on Tuesday, its lowest point in nearly two weeks. The reason for the sharp decline was more than 1,000 recoveries reported by the Dept. of Health on a day when there were 367 new cases. Most of the recoveries were in Trousdale County, where many of the state prisoners at the Trousdale Turner state prison in Hartsville have been determined recovered by the TN Dept. of Corrections. More than 1,000 inmates at the facility tested positive for the virus earlier this month. Three men died at the prison, though most were asymptomatic.

Another sharp drop in active cases is likely coming on Wednesday. The Dept. of Health continues to list nearly 500 active cases in Trousdale County, while the Dept. of Corrections lists only 99 active cases at Trousdale Turner.

Cases rise in Putnam County: Cookeville and Putnam County are seeing one of the fastest increases of coronavirus cases in the state. On Tuesday, the Dept. of Health reported 46 new cases in Putnam County — an increase of nearly 20% in just 24 hours. New cases have increased 40% in Putnam County in just 48 hours, and there are now 155 active cases there — the most of any part of Tennessee outside the Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga metropolitan areas.

No reason for the increase in Cookeville has been given. There was an earlier outbreak at Signature HealthCare, an assisted living facility in the city, where five residents died. On Sunday, Cookeville Regional Medical Center reported its first coronavirus-related death — an elderly Nashville man with chronic illnesses, the Cookeville Herald-Citizen reported.

Coronavirus in Knoxville: There are 47 active cases of coronavirus in Knoxville, the nearest metropolitan area, according to the Knox County Health Department. That’s up two from Monday. There are no current hospitalizations in Knoxville that are related to Covid-19 illness. There have been 37 coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the city since the outbreak began, including five deaths.

In addition to the 47 active cases, the Knoxville health department reports four probable cases — cases where someone who has been exposed to the illness, such as a family member of someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19, is showing symptoms but has not been tested.

Hospitalizations remain low: For a third consecutive day, the Dept. of Health reported new hospitalizations in the single digits on Tuesday. Only nine coronavirus-related hospitalizations occurred across the state over the past 24 hours. There have been 24 hospitalizations in the past 72 hours.

The Dept. of Health reported four new coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total number of Tennesseans who have died from Covid-19 illness to at least 305.

By the numbers: 346,123 people have been tested for coronavirus in Tennessee, or 509 per 10,000 people. In Scott County, 554 people have been tested, or 252 per 10,000 people.

• 5.3% (18,378) of those tests have been positive, including 4.2% (367) of the 8,695 new test results reported Tuesday. In Scott County, 2.0% (11) of the tests have been positive.

• 8.2% (1,498) of those who have tested positive have required hospitalization, including nine new hospitalizations reported Tuesday.

• Tennessee’s 305 coronavirus-related deaths equates to 20.4% of the hospitalizations.

• 1.7% of Tennessee’s confirmed coronavirus cases have ended in death.

• 59.7% (18,378) of people diagnosed with coronavirus in Tennessee have recovered, the highest percentage thus far, including 1,083 new recoveries reported Tuesday.

• There are 7,104 active cases of coronavirus in Tennessee, down from 7,824 on Monday.

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IH Staff
Contact the Independent Herald at newsroom@ihoneida.com. Follow us on Twitter, @indherald.
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