Mark Denison

The Tennessee Department of Health has now reported a total of 1,238,023 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 1,081 cases on Monday from 9,967,636 new test results — a 12.1 percent positivity rate.

Of the total number of cases, 15,323 people have died — with 35 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

The number of active cases in Tennessee has decreased 42.6 percent in the past two weeks, with state health officials reporting that 38,375 individuals are currently infected with the coronavirus. 

The number of patients hospitalized within the state has fallen 32 percent in two weeks, with 2,195 people now being treated for illness caused by the virus.

In terms of capacity, the state reports that 11 percent of inpatient beds and 8 percent of ICU beds remain available. Nearly 66 percent of the state's ventilator supply is still available.

So far, 3,037,065 Tennessee residents have been fully immunized against COVID, which amounts to 46.7 percent of the state's total population of about 6,910,000. More than 133,000 vaccine doses were administered during the past week, an increase from the figure of last week.

A total of 6,851,597 doses have been administered across the state.

Nashville has fully immunized 53.3 percent of its total population and administered more than 810,000 doses thus far. The Davidson County population is an estimated 715,000.

VUMC contributes to antiviral pill research

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center contributed to discovering an antiviral pill that treats COVID-19 now under consideration for approval from the Food and Drug Administration

The drug, known as molnupiravir, was first shown to be efficacious against coronaviruses, including the COVID-19 virus, by investigators in the labs of Mark Denison at VUMC and the University of North Carolina.

According to a press release, Merck & Co. bought the license and released results of a phase three clinical trial on Monday. If the clinical trial results are confirmed and supported by a FDA review, “we believe this could have a major impact to treat and prevent disease, not just with COVID-19, but also with other human coronaviruses or future emerging coronaviruses,” Denison said.