Scott County reached a new all-time high number of active coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 345 reported by the TN Dept. of Health. The previous record was 333 active cases, set on November 23.
That November 23 peak was the climax of Scott County’s first surge of coronavirus cases, which began in early November. Active cases rapidly began to decline from there, and reached a low of 135 on December 5 before beginning to climb again.
The latest surge of new cases is believed to be tied at least partially to Thanksgiving gatherings. There have been four days so far in December with at least 50 new cases of coronavirus reported in Scott County, including 52 new cases on Saturday.
The Dept. of Health reported 35 new cases and just seven recoveries on Sunday, bringing the number of active cases to its new high.
Sadly, the number of deaths linked to coronavirus is also surging in Scott County. There was one new death reported on Sunday, and one reported on Saturday. There have been at least 16 people in Scott County who have died of coronavirus, but nine of those have been in the month of December, and seven have been in the past 10 days.
Since December 1, 1.4% of Scott County’s known cases of coronavirus have ended in death. That is not a true case fatality ratio, as there is a lengthy delay between diagnoses and deaths. However, Scott County’s case fatality ratio is climbing, up from 0.6% at the beginning of the month to 0.9% as of Sunday.
For perspective, seasonal flu has an average death rate of 0.1% to 0.2%, according to the CDC.
The Dept. of Health reported one new hospitalization in Scott County on Sunday, bringing the total number of Scott Countians who have been hospitalized due to coronavirus to 34. That is just 1.9% of all known coronavirus cases in Scott County, which is significantly less than the state average. Again for perspective, the hospitalization rate for influenza during the 2018-2019 flu season was an estimated 1.4%, according to the CDC.
Of the 35 new cases of coronavirus reported Sunday by the Dept. of Health, 27 were confirmed cases while 8 were probable cases. For the month of December, probable cases have made up 29% of all new Covid-19 cases in Scott County. That’s lower than in November, when probable cases made up 40% of all new cases, but it remains significantly higher than the statewide average. Statewide, probable cases have made up 17% of all new cases since December 1.
Probable cases include antigen tests — or rapid tests — that are returned positive. In some instances, people who are exposed to coronavirus and later exhibit certain symptoms specific to the virus are counted as probable cases, as well.
Prior to November 1, only about 10% of Scott County’s total coronavirus cases were probable cases.
Testing positivity in Scott County has been 34% over the past 48 hours, and 29% over the past week. During that timespan, 223 of 773 test results have been positive.