COVID map Aug. 2021

The Tennessee Department of Health has now reported a total of 936,614 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 5,507 cases on Thursday from 25,828 new test results — a 16.5 percent positivity rate.

Of the total number of cases, 12,912 people have died — with 20 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

The number of people currently infected with COVID-19 in Tennessee has grown more than 127 percent in the past two weeks, with state health officials reporting that 41,379 active cases — the highest level reported since January.

The number of patients hospitalized within the state has more than doubled in two weeks, with 2,078 people now being treated for illness caused by the virus. In terms of capacity, the state reports that 10 percent (1,125) of inpatient beds and 7 percent (149) of ICU beds remain available. Nearly 70 percent of the state's ventilator supply is still available.

So far, 2,733,121 Tennessee residents have been fully immunized against COVID, which amounts to 40 percent of the state's total population of about 6,830,000. More than 101,000 vaccine doses were administered during the past week, picking up the pace nearly 55 percent after demand had waned throughout the summer. 

A total of 5,803,925 doses have been administered across the state.

The Metro Public Health Department reported 519 new cases this week, bringing the county total to 105,303 cases. Of them, 3,754 infections are currently active and 961 people have died.

Nashville has fully immunized 49.3 percent of its total population and administered more than 706,303 doses thus far. The Davidson County population is an estimated 695,000.

Vanderbilt: COVID hospitalizations rising faster than ever

Hospitalizations of COVID-19 are climbing faster than ever before during the pandemic, according to a report by Vanderbilt University officials, with projections the growth will continue through October.

Since early July, hospitalizations of COVID-19 have jumped from just 200 to more than 2,000 and counting as the Delta variant takes ahold of the state. Only 150 intensive care unit beds remain available in the entire state, and pediatric hospitals are especially overwhelmed as they battle an uptick in COVID cases among outbreaks of other infectious diseases as children go back to school.

Statewide, hospitalizations have exceeded last year’s summer peak by 147 percent already, with East Tennessee and South Central facing the most hospitalizations. Middle Tennessee is reporting approximately 117 percent more hospitalizations than at the same time last year.

In a report from the Metro Public Health Department, officials said the new Delta variant is nearly as contagious as the chicken pox and is causing death in much younger individuals: The average age among COVID deaths reported in the last week was 57.4, compared to 73 years old traditionally.

More than 95 percent of hospitalizations due to COVID are among unvaccinated individuals, according to Vanderbilt. In Nashville, three people who were vaccinated have died, all with significant co-morbidities and over the age of 65.

Health officials say the best ways to slow the spread are to get vaccinated, wear a mask when indoors and keep socially distanced at all times.