The Tennessee Department of Health has now reported a total of 1,064,427 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 3,199 cases on Thursday from 8,652 new test results — a 24.8 percent positivity rate.
Of the total number of cases, 13,554 people have died — with 36 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.
The number of active cases in Tennessee has increased 47 percent in the past two weeks, with state health officials reporting that 78,523 individuals are currently infected with the coronavirus.
The number of patients hospitalized within the state has increased 37.5 percent in two weeks, with 3,538 people now being treated for illness caused by the virus — an all-time high. In terms of capacity, the state reports that 10 percent of inpatient beds and 6 percent of ICU beds remain available. Nearly 62 percent of the state's ventilator supply is still available. But a major issue hospitals continue to face is low staffing, officials said.
So far, 2,868,852 Tennessee residents have been fully immunized against COVID, which amounts to 42 percent of the state's total population of about 6,910,000. More than 139,000 vaccine doses were administered during the past week, declining from last week but still nearly quadruple the demand during the summer.
A total of 6,263,243 doses have been administered across the state.
The Metro Public Health Department reported 1,240 cases since Monday, bringing the county total to 114,777 cases. Of them, 5,714 infections are currently active and 988 people have died.
Nashville has fully immunized 51.4 percent of its total population and administered more than 752,000 doses thus far. The Davidson County population is an estimated 715,000.
Tennessee among world's worst for outbreaks
Outbreaks in Tennessee have become some of the worst in the nation, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tennessee is leading the country in new COVID infections per capita but trailing among the worst states for vaccine uptake. The state is currently recording 489 new viral infections per 100,000 residents and boasts a vaccination rate of only 42 percent. COVID hospitalizations are at an all-time high and continue to climb, causing backlogs in emergency rooms and forcing hospitals into diversion.
The circumstances put Tennessee residents at very high risk, whether from being infected with the virus or not being able to receive proper medical treatment if needing hospital-level care, officials said.
Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate majority leader, physician and local health care executive called on Tennessee leadership to “step up and take action,” on Thursday after Gov. Bill Lee showed no intention of changing strategy.
“It’s time our leaders did more to prevent community spread and encourage Tennesseans to take the life-protecting step — for them and for others — of getting vaccinated,” Frist, a Republican, tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Without action, hundreds, even thousands, will needlessly die whose lives could have been saved.”