The TN Dept. of Health reported 43 new cases of coronavirus in Scott County on Monday, the most new cases in a single day, as the outbreak of Covid-19 continues to accelerate locally.
Prior to Monday, the most cases that had been reported in Scott County in a single day was 38, reported on Friday. There have now been 342 cases of the virus reported locally during the first 16 days of the month. For perspective, Scott County had fewer than 340 total cases of coronavirus from March all the way through October 20.
Statewide, there were a record 7,951 new cases reported Monday. Prior to Monday, there had never been as many as 6,000 cases reported in a single day. There are now more than 43,000 active cases of the virus in Tennessee — the most people who have been sick at any one time in the Volunteer State since the pandemic began. Additionally, current hospitalizations related to Covid-19 topped 1,800 for the first time on Monday.
Twenty-eight of Scott County’s new cases reported Monday were confirmed by laboratory testing. Fifteen, or 35% of the total, were listed as “probable” cases. Prior to November, 90% of Scott County’s covid cases were confirmed. However, the number of probable cases has risen sharply since then. Nearly four out of every 10 new cases reported during the month have not been confirmed.
As is the case in other states, positive antigen tests in Tennessee are reported as “probable” cases. In some instances, persons who have been exposed to coronavirus and develop certain symptoms consistent with Covid-19 are listed as probable cases.
Testing positivity in Scott County on Monday was 25% — with 118 tests performed and one out of every four of those returning positive. According to CDC guidance, that’s an indication that there is more coronavirus circulating in Scott County than is being detected.
According to the University of Tennessee, the current transmission rate in both Scott and Morgan counties is 1.26, one of the highest rates in the entire state. Only three counties west of Nashville have higher transmission rates, as of Monday. That comes as the transmission rate in both Campbell and Fentress counties — two counties that previously experienced large outbreaks of the virus — have dipped below 1.0, indicating that the viral outbreak is receding in those locations. The transmission rate has dipped to near 1.0 in Knox and Anderson counties, as well.
Of the 43 new cases reported in Scott County on Monday, four involved school-aged children. The Scott County School System announced that it will be switching to a virtual-learning schedule for the remainder of the week, after Tuesday, before closing for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Oneida High School announced that its boys basketball team was halting all activities through November 27.