Scott County’s first two coronavirus-related deaths of the new calendar year were reported on Saturday, as the total number of covid infections locally surpassed 2,000.
The TN Dept. of Health reported the county’s 24th and 25th covid deaths on Saturday. Both deaths were actually reported to the state on Friday, but no data was released publicly until Saturday, due to the New Year’s Day holiday.
With the latest report, 18 deaths related to Covid-19 have been reported in Scott County since Dec. 3.
The latest deaths were significant in more ways than one. For the first time, Scott County’s coronavirus case fatality ratio has surpassed the statewide case fatality ratio. The case fatality ratio in Scott County — or the percentage of known covid cases that have ended in death — is 1.22%. Statewide, the case fatality ratio is 1.15%.
Scott County’s case fatality ratio entering December was just 0.6%, but has since doubled as the number of coronavirus-related deaths catch up to the surge of covid cases that began in early November.
While Scott County long fared well with fewer cases of Covid-19 causing serious illness and a death rate that lagged well behind the state and national averages, it is not surprising that the case fatality ratio here has surpassed the statewide rate. Scott County has a higher percentage of residents who suffer from chronic health conditions that have been linked to serious illness and death in coronavirus patients — such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
Additionally, hospitalizations linked to covid cases continue to rise locally. There have now been 42 Scott Countians hospitalized with the virus, after four new hospitalizations were reported by state health authorities in the past five days. Overall, 2.1% of known covid cases in Scott County have resulted in hospitalization.
On a more positive note, the number of covid cases being reported in Scott County has not yet seen a return to pre-Christmas levels. The Dept. of Health reported 26 new cases on Friday and 28 on Saturday, and there are now 233 active cases of the virus locally, down from 272 a week ago.
Scott County once had the highest coronavirus transmission rate in Tennessee. With the latest data, however, it has one of the 10 lowest covid transmission rates in the state. The current transmission rate is 0.9. In a nutshell, that means every 100 people who are infected with coronavirus are passing the illness on to 90 people. A transmission rate greater than 1.0 means the prevalence of the virus is growing larger, while a transmission rate smaller than 1.0 means the prevalence of the virus is growing smaller.
The total number of Scott Countians infected with coronavirus surpassed 2,000 on New Year’s Day. There have been a total of 2,048 cases of the virus diagnosed in Scott County — or just over 9% of the population.
Of the 54 new cases reported the past 48 hours, 35 were confirmed cases while 19 were probable cases.
Testing positivity remains high, with 24% of tests conducted in the past seven days returning positive.
There were six cases reported among school-aged children, ages 5 to 18, in the past 48 hours, or 11% of the new cases reported in that time frame. For the past seven days, school-aged children have made up 17% of all new covid cases in Scott County, despite schools being closed. That’s the same percentage as in November, when schools were open for three weeks of the month, and two percentage points higher than in October, when schools were open all month.
Statewide, the Dept. of Health reported more than 8,500 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. There are just over 74,000 active cases of the virus in Tennessee, of which just over 3,100 — or a little more than 4% — are hospitalized. In Knox County, there are 4,439 active cases of the virus, of which 179 are currently hospitalized.