There are only two parts of the state still relatively unscathed by the spread of coronavirus — the northern Cumberland Plateau region and a swath of rural West Tennessee between Nashville and Jackson. But, slowly, the higher level of coronavirus spread is closing in on the northern plateau.
The TN Dept. of Health on Tuesday reported five new cases of Covid-19 in Campbell County, bringing the total number of active cases there to nine. And there are 32 active cases of the virus in Anderson County. Just to the west of the plateau region, there are 43 active cases in Cumberland County, 186 in Putnam County and 16 in Overton County.
Scott County continues to dodge the trend, with just one active case of the virus in the local community. There have only been 14 total cases of the virus here, and no new cases in the past 12 days. There have been a total of 1,185 tests conducted in Scott County — or 54 per 1,000 residents. That’s a little less than half as many tests per capita as have been conducted statewide, but tests continue to be conducted, with new results reported almost daily.
Scott County is one of just three counties across the state with no more than one active case of the virus. Moore County also has one active case, and Hawkins County does not have an active case of the virus.
Statewide, the number of active cases eclipsed 15,000 on Tuesday, as the TN Dept. of Health reported more than 1,200 new infections. It marked the fourth out of the past five days with at least 1,000 infections in a 24-hour period. The state also surpassed 600 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, as the Dept. of Health reported 12 new fatalities linked to the virus.
So far, Tennessee has not seen a surge of coronavirus deaths. However, that is likely coming, based on the number of hospitalizations. The Dept. of Health reported another 66 hospitalizations on Tuesday, and the total number of coronavirus patients currently in the hospital in Tennessee rose to 527. Historically, 1 of 5 Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalization does not survive.
There have been reports from other parts of the country suggesting that new coronavirus patients who enter the hospital are recovering more quickly — in part because they’re younger — and dying less often. There has been no confirmation of that trend in Tennessee. However, as the Independent Herald has reported, the rate of hospitalizations is in decline in Tennessee — even as total hospitalizations rise. In the month of June, only about 4% of new patients have required hospitalization. Earlier in the pandemic, the rate of hospitalizations was more than twice that.
While other states are reporting much younger median ages for the infected, the numbers have not changed drastically in Tennessee. People in their 20s have been the hardest-hit age group since the pandemic reached the Volunteer State, in terms of the sheer number of infections. To date, more than 1 in 5 coronavirus patients in Tennessee have been in their 20s, and another 1 in 5 have been in their 30s.
However, Tennessee is seeing an uptick in children and teens who test positive for the virus. People between the ages of 11 and 20 now make up 1 in 10 cases of the virus. Throw in children ages 10 and under, and the under-20 age group makes up 15% of Tennessee’s coronavirus cases. There have now been three pediatric deaths in Tennessee that have been linked to the virus.
While the increase in new cases is creeping closer to Scott County, Knoxville is seeing rapid growth of its case count. According to the state Dept. of Health, there are now 293 active cases in Knox County. The independent Knox County Health Department reports 234 active cases, with 14 people hospitalized. The number of hospitalized patients in Knoxville has dropped from 18 to 14 since Sunday.