With Christmas over, Williamson County now sits above 17,000 COVID-19 cases. 

17,207 is the overall count for the county now since the pandemic's start, up 1,221 from the last time we did a tally (last Tuesday). 2,310 of those cases are active. 

14,778 people have either recovered or had their cases deemed inactive, while 119 have now died. 

135,926 negative tests have been conducted thus far. 

State totals 

The Tennessee Department of Health has reported a total of 564,080 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 3,188 cases since Saturday on 11,517 new test results — an 18.1 percent positivity rate. An additional 26,873 cases were reported over the extended holiday weekend. 

Of the total number of cases, 6,512 people have died — up 69 from the numbers 24 hours earlier.

The number of active cases in Tennessee has increased 33 percent in the past two weeks, with officials reporting that 77,341 individuals are currently infected with COVID.

The number of patients hospitalized with the disease in the state has climbed 6 percent in the past two weeks. More than 2,983 people at 114 hospitals are now being treated for confirmed cases of COVID — an all-time high. 

In terms of capacity, the state reports that 17 percent of inpatient beds (1,954) and 14 percent of ICU beds (281) remain available. Nearly 71 percent of the state's ventilator supply is still available. With inpatient beds at a premium, hospitals are admitting only the sickest patients.

Dozens of hospitals report full ICUs, critical staffing shortages

In Tennessee last week, at least 21 hospitals reported full intensive care units, and more than 40 suffered critical staffing shortages. 

As COVID-19 spreads aggressively throughout the state, leaving more than 14,000 people to date requiring hospitalization, health care organizations are near their breaking point. Nearly 3,000 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, taking up 49 percent of beds in the ICU and 25 percent of inpatient beds. 

“That means there aren’t ICU beds for severe heart attacks or car wrecks or strokes,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said.

If the state experiences a post-holiday surge in cases, similar to the doubling of active cases after Thanksgiving, health officials warn hospitals will not be able to keep up. 

“If we have another surge after Christmas or after New Year, it will completely break our hospitals,” Piercey told reporters last week.

53,000+ have received first vaccine dose 

The Department of Health reports 53,258 people in Tennessee have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state is still in the early phases of its vaccine distribution plan, getting doses to hospitals, regional health departments, first responders and nursing homes. CVS Health on Monday began a 12-week campaign to vaccinate all staff and residents across 451 long-term care facilities. All 95 counties have reported administering at least one dose of vaccine.

Of those who have been vaccinated, 23 percent are aged 31 to 40 years old and 44 percent are 41 to 60 years old. Only about 4 percent of the doses have gone to people 71 years and older. 

The state last updated its vaccine count on Dec. 25. Tennessee has administered 8,222 doses per day on average, with more than 15,500 people receiving a dose on Dec. 24. Updated vaccine data is published on Tuesday and Friday at 5 p.m.

This post originally appeared in our partner publication, the Nashville Post

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