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Scott County’s covid cases continue to climb, as most emerging signs point to a coronavirus comeback in Tennessee

Scott County's active covid cases have increased 61% in nine days

The number of active covid cases in Scott County has increased 61% in nine days, and the number of people being tested for covid has increased 200% in two weeks, a sign of growing illness within the community that extends beyond just covid. Part of that is the typical progression into the cold weather season, which brings a heightened prevalence of influenza, strep, and respiratory viruses and the common cold. But statewide, most available signs are pointing towards another reemergence of coronavirus. Already, hospitalizations related to the virus are slightly increasing.

Scott County’s active covid cases continue to climb.

As of Wednesday, there were 191 active cases of Covid-19 in Scott County, up from 151 a week earlier, and up from 131 two weeks earlier.

Scott County’s active cases of the virus dropped to a low of 119 on Nov. 8, but have since increased 61% in just nine days.

Testing positivity in Scott County remains elevated above the statewide average, at 11.7% for the week ending Wednesday. The number of people being tested for covid has also greatly increased in recent days, an indication of increasing illness — not just covid — within the community as we head further into the cold weather season. For the week ending Wednesday, there were 350 covid tests conducted in Scott County, up from 166 the previous week and 85 the week before that.

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Overall, the TN Dept. of Health reported 118 new cases of coronavirus in Scott County for the week ending Wednesday, up from 102 the previous week and 77 the week before that. The percentage of new cases that have been diagnosed in school-aged children this week was 17%, a number that is in line with recent weeks.

The Dept. of Health reported a 62nd covid-related death in Scott County earlier this week. It was the first that had been reported since Nov. 2.

Statewide, covid-related hospitalizations are slightly increasing after several weeks of decline, but there are still fewer than 700 people hospitalized with the virus in Tennessee. At one point in September, there were more than 3,700 people hospitalized with the virus.

That slight increase has also been seen in East Tennessee, where the number of covid patients at Knoxville-area hospitals has risen from 127 to 142 this week.

However, the trends are more alarming when looking at transmission rates across Tennessee. At one point just weeks ago, the transmission rate had dropped below 1.0 in virtually every county as the prevalence of the virus swiftly declined. Now, most counties have transmission rates above 1.0 once more, as the virus begins to reemerge. Scott County’s transmission rate, as measured by the University of Tennessee, is currently 1.09. A little further east, in Claiborne County, the covid transmission rate has soared to 1.93, the state’s highest. The covid transmission rate is now above 1.0 in three of the state’s four largest cities, with Chattanooga being the only exception.

The signs all point to a reemergence of coronavirus in Tennessee. This time, it appears Scott County is on the leading edge of the resurgence. In late July, as the delta variant caused the virus to surge, numbers in Scott County only began to rise after the increase was seen in much of the rest of the state.

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It remains to be seen what the early warning signs might eventually grow into, but Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is not overly concerned. The governor announced Friday that he will allow Tennessee’s Covid-19 state of emergency to expire at midnight, officially ending the 20 months that the state of emergency has been in effect.

Lee said he would consider reinstating covid measures temporarily if the virus surges again.

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Independent Herald
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