On Wednesday, both Williamson and Maury counties shattered records for the average number of daily reported cases of COVID-19, with Williamson County reporting 3,140 new cases from Jan. 12 - 19, and Maury County reporting 1,775 for a daily average of 449 and 254, respectively.
Deaths attributable to COVID-19 have also risen during this most recent wave, with Williamson County reporting 16 COVID-19 deaths during that week alone, and Maury County reporting six.
As of Thursday, Maury Regional Health is treating 91 COVID-19 patients, with MRH CEO Martin Chaney saying in a statement he expects those numbers to rise.
"On Jan. 20, MRH had 91 COVID inpatients in our hospitals and, given the increasing numbers of patients presenting in our primary care practices, urgent care facilities and emergency departments across the system, we anticipate that number will continue to climb," Chaney said.
"Predictive modeling indicates that this wave of COVID isn’t expected to peak in our region until around the first of February.”
As of last weekend, Williamson Medical Center has fared slightly better, with the Franklin hospital treating 33 COVID-19 patients, which while still a higher number than average, was less when compared to the previous week.
Of those 33 patients, 19 were unvaccinated, with three of the four patients on ventilators being unvaccinated.
"Williamson Medical Center urges that everyone continue taking precautions during this current surge of the Omicron variant," reads a statement from the hospital. "Recommendations include wearing masks when traveling and around others indoors, observing social distancing, and limiting indoor gatherings."
Yet despite the high number of new COVID-19 cases in both counties, deaths — while still higher than average — have not risen in tandem with case numbers, likely attributable to two factors; the Omicron variant being less severe than previous variants of the virus, and the majority of Americans (more than 63 percent) being fully vaccinated.
Both Williamson Medical Center and MRH continue to encourage residents to consider getting vaccinated.
While breakthrough infections of COVID-19 are possible to those fully vaccinated — and recent data suggesting such cases are more common with the Omicron variant — those who are vaccinated are significantly less likely to end up hospitalized or dead from the virus.
According to data collected by the CDC between Sept. 19-Nov. 20, an unvaccinated person is 10 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and 20 times more likely to die from the virus compared to a fully vaccinated person.