Williamson County saw 166 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday as Tennessee reported 100 new deaths. 

12,804 is the new number of overall cases in the county since the pandemic's start, with 968 of those cases active as that number falls under 1,000. 

11,748 people in Williamson have either recovered or had their cases deemed inactive, and 88 have died. 

117,873 negative tests have been conducted thus far. 

State totals 

The Tennessee Department of Health has reported a total of 414,749 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 6,019 cases since Monday on 30,659 new test results — an 18.5 percent positivity rate.

Of the total number of cases, 5,109 people have died — up 100 from the numbers 24 hours earlier, a new single-day record.

The number of active cases in Tennessee has fluctuated during the past two weeks due to delayed reporting from the Thanksgiving holiday and backlogs at labs. On Tuesday, officials said 38,477 individuals around the state are currently infected with COVID.

The number of patients hospitalized with the disease in the state is at its highest point yet, with more than 2,566 people at 114 hospitals now being treated for a confirmed case of COVID, more the doubling the summer outbreak’s peak. Hospital admissions attributable to the virus have risen 19 percent in the past two weeks.

In terms of capacity, the state reports that 15 percent of inpatient beds (1,772) and 9 percent of ICU beds (189) remain available. Nearly 77 percent of the state's ventilator supply is still available. 

Saint Thomas Rutherford reports 40% of admissions are COVID-related

Nearly 40 percent of the patients at Saint Thomas Rutherford last week had been admitted for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, according to newly released federal hospital capacity data. Only a handful of beds remain available at the 354-bed hospital.

Saint Thomas Rutherford has the fourth-highest population of COVID patients in the state, ranking alongside facilities — such as Vanderbilt University Medical Center — that are nearly triple in size. Of its 277 adult inpatient beds, the Rutherford hospital reported to the federal government that 254 were occupied on average last week. Of those, 103 were filled with COVID patients. 

Rutherford County, much like the rest of the state, is experiencing the highest number of COVID cases and hospitalizations on record. Over the last seven days, the county averaged a positivity rate four times greater than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s safety benchmark and a daily case rate of 78 cases per 100,000 residents. The Tennessee Department of Health reports 338 county residents have been hospitalized with the virus in total.

Tennessee parents skeptical of vaccinating children, poll suggests

According to a poll conducted by the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy, only 53 percent of parents in Tennessee reported they would vaccinate their children for COVID when an FDA-approved vaccine comes available.

Researchers found that many of the 1,066 parents polled said they lack trust in the sources of information they receive surrounding the pandemic, including public health organizations and medical professionals. Only 38 percent of parents said they trusted the CDC and the state health department to provide accurate information on the virus, 35 percent said they trusted their child’s health care provider and more than 40 percent of parents said they didn’t trust any information source. 

The poll also found that 57 percent of respondents said they wear a mask every time they were in stores, businesses or outside of the home in the past month. In addition, 48 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to wear a mask if there was a statewide mandate. 

“We know through this poll that parents have not consistently or universally embraced mask-wearing and many are hesitant to get vaccinated, despite public health organizations, physicians, and officials urging Tennesseans to take steps to limit the spread of the virus,” Stephen Patrick, a neonatologist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy, said. “We need to focus on building trust with these parents to keep them and their children safe.”

This post originally appeared in our partner publication, the Nashville Post

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