Scott County has seen a rise in new cases of coronavirus in recent days, which has caused the number of active cases within the community to jump.
The TN Dept. of Health reported 51 active cases of Covid-19 in Scott County on Monday, a number that has more than doubled in less than two weeks. On April 20, there were 24 active cases of the virus in Scott County.
The reasons for the increase aren’t completely clear. There were 16 new cases of the virus reported on Wednesday, the most in a single day since Feb. 16, as the Dept. of Health designated old cases of the virus that were previously unassigned to specific counties.
What’s not clear is whether all 16 of those cases were diagnosed in a short period of one or two days, or whether the numbers were higher on Wednesday because the Dept. of Health was dumping a larger batch of test results that hadn’t previously been reported. While there were 10 positive PCR test results reported in Scott County on Wednesday — the most since Valentine’s Day — there were also 36 negative test results reported, which was the most in 11 days.
Nevertheless, there were 39 new cases of the virus reported in Scott County for the week ending Monday, and the 16 new cases on Wednesday make up fewer than half of those.
That number of new cases is up from just 18 the previous week, and 19 the week before that.
Additionally, testing positivity is up. The testing positivity rate for the week ending Monday was over 12%, the first time testing positivity in Scott County has surpassed the CDC’s danger threshold of 10% since early January. The CDC has long held that testing positivity above 10% is a sign that there are more cases of the virus circulating within a community than are being detected.
Despite the increase in new cases, the Dept. of Health hasn’t reported a covid-related death in Scott County since March 31, and has reported only one in the past two months. The state hasn’t reported a covid-related hospitalization in Scott County since April 10.
More than 3,100 Scott Countians are known to have been infected with Covid-19 since the pandemic began more than a year ago, and there have been at least 45 deaths and 64 hospitalizations tied to the virus from this community.
Coronavirus in schools
With the increase in Scott County’s new covid cases last week came an increase of covid cases in youth between the ages of five and 18. There were 10 new cases of the virus reported by the Dept. of Health in that age group last week. It was the first time in weeks that more than four cases had been reported among school-aged children in a single week.
More than 1 in 4 new cases last week involved school-aged children.
However, that percentage wasn’t up significantly. Over the past several weeks, more than 1 in 5 new coronavirus cases in Scott County have involved school-aged children between the ages of five and 18.
Since the pandemic began, 15.1% of Scott County’s total cases have been in people between the ages of 11 and 20. That’s second only to people in their 40s, who have made up 15.7% of the total cases.
To put those numbers in perspective, about 16% of everyone between the ages of 11 and 20 in Scott County has had a diagnosed case of Covid-19.
The rise in new cases of Covid-19 locally comes as the number of new vaccinations is dropping.
According to the Dept. of Health, there were 576 new doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered in Scott County for the week ending Monday. But that number was over 1,000 just two weeks earlier. The decline of more than 40% may indicate that Scott County has reached a plateau where most of those who want the vaccine have already received it.
Fewer than 3 in 10 Scott Countians have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus. The total number of fully vaccinated stood at 6,187 on Monday, up 386 persons for the week. But that number was slightly more than half of the number of people who had become fully vaccinated over the course of a week two weeks earlier.
About 33% of Scott County’s population have received at least one dose of the vaccination.