The TN Dept. of Health on Wednesday reported two additional coronavirus-related deaths in Scott County, bringing the total number of people who have died from the virus to at least 32.
The deaths reported by the Dept. of Health on Wednesday were the 24th and 25th deaths reported locally since Dec. 1, and marked seven in the past eight days.
Additionally, the community learned Wednesday evening of the death of former Oneida High School teacher and football coach Jared Henry, who died at a Lexington, Ky. hospital from complications of coronavirus.
The 47-year-old Henry was an alternative school teacher in Morgan County, and defensive coordinator for the Coalfield High School football team. He had battled covid since early December and seemed to be improving as recently as the weekend, according to updates from family members.
Henry’s brother, 54-year-old Keith Henry, died of the virus in early December. He was head coach of the Coalfield football team. Their mother, Brenda Henry, also died of the virus in December.
In Scott County, there had been only seven deaths linked to coronavirus as November ended, but that number began to rapidly rise in December. The more than two dozen deaths that have been recorded since are tied to two separate surges of the virus — one that began in early November and a second that began just after Thanksgiving.
As a result, Scott County’s covid case fatality ratio has risen to 1.5%, well above the statewide case fatality ratio. The case fatality ratio in Scott County was just 0.6% as December began.
For perspective, seasonal flu has a death rate of between 0.1% and 0.2% in an average year, according to the CDC.
There are still new hospitalizations being reported locally as a result of the virus, as well. The Dept. of Health has reported three in the past 48 hours, bringing the total number of coronavirus-linked hospitalizations in Scott County to 47.
Meanwhile, the number of active cases of the virus continues to decline, with a feared third surge of the virus tied to the Christmas holiday failing to materialize. The Dept. of Health reported 10 new cases of the virus in Scott County on Wednesday, with three of them confirmed and seven probable cases.
There have been 80 new cases of the virus reported in Scott County in the past seven days. That’s down from 139 new cases the previous week, and 123 cases the week before that.
There are now 169 active cases of coronavirus in Scott County, the fewest since Dec. 8.
Testing positivity in Scott County for the past week has been 18%.
In all, at least 2,186 Scott Countians have been sickened by coronavirus, of which 1,985 have recovered.
Statewide, there were nearly 150 new covid deaths reported yet again on Wednesday. At least 8,148 Tennesseans have died of the virus, and more than 3,000 people are currently hospitalized with the virus across the Volunteer State. There are more than 76,500 active cases of the virus in Tennessee.
In the East Tennessee region, hospitalizations linked to the virus are finally beginning to decline. As of Tuesday, there were 549 people hospitalized with the virus in the region’s 19 hospitals, including 113 in ICU and 75 on ventilators. That number is down from a high of 671 on Thursday. As of Tuesday, 36 of the region’s 284 hospital beds were available, the most in several weeks.