Oak Ridge City Council member Ellen Smith has estimated there could have been between 600 to 700 cases of COVID-19 in the city’s main zip code through October 14.
Oak Ridge’s main zip code is 37830.
The Tennessee Department of Health does not publish the number of COVID-19 cases by city or zip code. It does publish the number of COVID-19 cases by county, and it publishes trend maps by zip code, although it doesn’t give the precise number of cases per zip code.
Smith has analyzed the data and the maps to come up what she calls her best-guess estimate: 600 to 700 cases. That’s a bit more than 2 percent of the city’s population.
Smith said the maps indicate about 3.2 to 4.6 new cases per day in the 21-day period ending October 14.
She said the data indicate there have been about 45 COVID tests for every 100 Oak Ridgers, and the rate of new cases per 100 tests is about 4.5 to 5 percent.
Smith provided a brief update about COVID-19 statistics in Oak Ridge to City Council during a Tuesday evening work session.
She pointed out positivity rates in Anderson County and Knox County that have recently exceeded 10 percent, which is considered very high. The numbers are comparable to the COVID-19 peak in late July and early August, Smith said. (The positivity rate compares, as a percentage, the number of new positive tests per day to the total number of new tests.)
Smith said people need to be continue to be prudent.
“We have a lot of virus moving around in the community based on these numbers,” she said.