Williamson County saw 84 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday's report. 

The overall case count is at 7,319 since the start of the pandemic, with 795 of those cases deemed active by the state. 

6,468 people in the county have either recovered or had their cases labeled as inactive, and 56 people have died. 87,187 negative tests have been conducted thus far. 

The Tennessee Department of Health has reported a total of 254,220 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 2,446 cases since Tuesday on 22,000 new test results — a 10.7-percent positivity rate.

The new numbers follow record tallies of new cases and deaths in recent days.

Of the total number of cases, 3,241 people have died — up 34 from the number 24 hours earlier. The number of people currently hospitalized with the disease dropped by 117 since Tuesday to 1,254, down slightly from record levels last week.

Nearly 3.6 million tests have now been administered in the state.

Across the state, Black and senior residents continue to die at disproportionate rates versus those of the rest of the population. Blacks make up 24 percent of the state’s overall death toll despite being only 17 percent of the population. In addition, 95 percent of all deaths have come from adults aged 50 and older.

The number of active cases in Tennessee dropped slightly since Tuesday, with the state tallying 26,157 active cases of COVID.

In terms of capacity, the state reported Tuesday that 16 percent of inpatient beds and 12 percent of ICU beds remain available. More than 68 percent of the state's ventilator supply — which was low in March until officials acquired about 1,000 more — is still available.  

Metro Public Health Department officials reported 199 new cases of COVID since Tuesday, bringing the countywide confirmed case count to 34,156. Of those cases, 289 people have died, an increase of one in the past 24 hours. Including both confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, 300 Nashville deaths have now been attributed to the disease. 

As of Wednesday morning, 14 percent of all inpatient beds and 11 percent of ICU beds in Middle Tennessee were available. The city’s transmission rate, 14-day new case trend and rate of new cases per 100,000 residents remained all at what public health officials define as “unsatisfactory.”

Report: Areas without mask mandates see more hospitalization

More research from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and School of Medicine found a correlation between mask mandates and lower COVID hospitalization numbers.

Though all areas of Tennessee have seen an increase in COVID hospitalizations since early October, hospitals that draw patients from counties without mask requirements are experiencing much sharper increases, according to the Vanderbilt analysis.

And though business restrictions have been lifted in much of the state, spending at those businesses has declined as cases and hospitalization has risen in rural areas.

“We’ve seen a statewide increase in hospitalizations since early October, indicating that masking alone is not sufficient to curb further spread of the virus,” said John Graves, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Economic Modeling. “But it’s very clear that areas where masking requirements have remained in place have seen much lower growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

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

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