One month ago, Tennessee’s hospitals were filled to capacity with health experts warning that another surge of coronavirus cases tied to Christmas get-togethers could overwhelm the state’s health care system.
A month later, the news is much more positive, as the number of coronavirus-linked hospitalizations in Tennessee is in significant decline.
As of Friday, there were a total of 2,264 coronavirus patients hospitalized across Tennessee, including 621 in intensive care units and 377 on ventilators.
That was down sharply from two weeks earlier, when there were 3,217 people hospitalized with the virus across the state, including 797 in ICU and 469 on ventilators.
The number of people hospitalized on Friday represented the fewest people hospitalized with the virus in Tennessee since Thanksgiving.
In the East Tennessee region — which includes Knoxville and surrounding areas, including Scott County — the hospitalization decline hasn’t been as pronounced, but still notable.
As of mid-week, there were 510 covid patients hospitalized in the region’s 19 hospitals, including 110 in ICU and 64 on ventilators.
That was down from 575 covid patients a week earlier.
However, resources remain stretched thin at area hospitals, with only 13 of the region’s 284 ICU beds unoccupied as of the middle of the week. Just about 8% of the region’s total non-ICU adult floor beds were available. Of the 271 ICU patients in East Tennessee’s hospitals, 161 were there for reasons other than coronavirus.
For the week ending Saturday, the TN Dept. of Health reported 464 coronavirus-related deaths across Tennessee. While substantial, that number was down from 651 covid-related deaths the previous week, and 734 the week before that.