COVID update 8/3

Source: Tennessee Department of Health

The Tennessee Department of Health has now reported a total of 900,418 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 1,716 cases on Monday from 9,804 new test results — a 15.5 percent positivity rate.

Of the total number of cases, 12,758 people have died — with nine deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

The number of active cases in Tennessee has more than tripled in the past two weeks, with state health officials reporting that 23,131 individuals are currently infected with the coronavirus. 

The number of patients hospitalized within the state has more than doubled in two weeks, with 1,244 people now being treated for illness caused by the virus. In terms of capacity, the state reports that 13 percent of inpatient beds and 11 percent of ICU beds remain available. Nearly 76 percent of the state's ventilator supply is still available. But the major issues hospitals now face is low staffing. 

So far, 2,683,623 Tennessee residents have been fully immunized against COVID, which amounts to 39.3 percent of the state's total population of about 6,830,000. More than 85,000 vaccine doses were administered during the past week, picking up the pace nearly 25 percent week-over-week after demand had waned throughout the summer. 

A total of 5,634,927 doses have been administered across the state.

Williamson County is seeing its active case count skyrocket, now sitting at 879 active cases as of Monday. 

The Metro Public Health Department has not recorded new outbreak data in the past week. 

Nashville has fully immunized 53.5 percent of its total population and administered more than 688,537 doses thus far. The Davidson County population is an estimated 695,000.

Facing severe staffing shortages, some Tennessee hospitals already overwhelmed 

Hospitals in Tennessee are already facing capacity issues, Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said Monday morning, as a new wave of COVID hospitalizations pile on top of facilities during extreme staffing shortages.  

Facilities across the state have enough beds, ventilators and equipment to take on the most recent surge of COVID hospitalizations — coupled with outbreaks of viral and bacterial diseases typically only prevalent in the winter — but there aren’t enough nurses to staff them. 

The industry is facing an enhanced labor shortage after the pandemic exacerbated the pre-existing issue. Hospitals have been forced to utilize more costly contract labor to make up for shortages. And health care executives are already implementing new strategies to recruit and retain their workforce. 

In Tennessee, hospitalizations have increased more than 256 percent in the past two weeks and deaths are beginning to spike. New case rates are on a steep upward trajectory that does not indicate slowing in the near future — putting regions of Tennessee on a slippery slope to overwhelming local hospitals.