Woman shopping with mask

In Williamson County, COVID-19 cases increased by 51 since Tuesday — and the county's positivity rate is at 7 percent.

Two people have died of the virus in the past day in the county, and 51 have died since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

The Tennessee Department of Health has reported a total of 235,861 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 2,292 cases since Tuesday on 19,210 new test results — an 11.8 percent positivity rate. 

Of the total number of cases, 9,734 people have been hospitalized and 2,970 have died — up 53 and 18, respectively, from the numbers 24 hours earlier. More than 3.4 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. Black people make up 27 percent of the state’s overall death toll despite being only 17 percent of the population. In addition, nearly 94 percent of all deaths have come from adults aged 50 and older. 

The state reported 452 new infections and 43 new deaths among residents within long-term care facilities in the past week. To date, nursing homes have accounted for a total of 5,877 cases of COVID-19 and 834 deaths.

The number of active cases in Tennessee has climbed 44 percent from the figure two weeks ago, with the state reporting 22,648 people currently infected with the virus.

The number of patients currently hospitalized with COVID across the state has risen more than 28 percent in the past two weeks. The department of health reports nearly 1,246 people are currently being treated at 106 hospitals, the highest number of COVID hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic. They make up 11 percent of all hospital admissions. 

In terms of capacity, the state reports that 15 percent of inpatient beds and 11 percent of ICU beds remain available. Nearly 69 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 110 new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday, bringing the countywide confirmed case count to 32,014. Of those cases, about 30,100 tested positive more than 14 days ago and 278 people have died. 

As of Wednesday morning, nearly 14 percent of all inpatient beds and 15 percent of ICU beds in Middle Tennessee were available. The city’s transmission rate of 1.15 and occurrence rate of 27.8 cases per 100,000 residents are at what public health officials define as “unsatisfactory” levels.

TDH, National Guard to ramp up testing in rural counties

Gov. Bill Lee’s Unified Command Group said Wednesday that Tennessee National Guard medics and Tennessee Department of Health staffers will this weekend begin setting up drive-through test sites in some of the rural counties hard hit by COVID’s fall wave.

This Saturday, testing centers will be open from 9 a.m to noon in Coalmont in Grundy County, Jamestown in Fentress County and Dyersburg in Dyer County. The Lee team said they are  at the beginning of “an ongoing effort” this fall to expand testing opportunities in rural Tennessee.

“Bringing back weekend drive-through testing helps with access to testing,” Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said. “In addition to testing, Tennesseans need to take simple, yet impactful, precautions — wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing — to protect themselves.”

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