One hundred twenty-five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Anderson County this weekend as the state upgraded its surveillance system while warning, on Saturday, of higher potential new case numbers across the state as a backlog is cleared.
Anderson County reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, a record high, and another 62 new cases on Sunday.
Another 53 new cases were reported on Monday. From Friday to Monday, 217 new cases were reported in the county.
Before Saturday, the previous daily high in Anderson County was 46.
The 14-day average of new cases in the county exceeded 30 new cases per day for the first time. It was 31.1 on Sunday. The average in the previous two-week period was 21.6.
The seven-day positivity rate remained high, 12.2 percent. That means that 12.2 out of every 100 new COVID-19 tests have returned positive results, on average. World Health Organization guidelines have called for a positivity rate at or below 5 percent for 14 days before activities re-open.
On Monday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported a total of 2,176 COVID-19 cases in Anderson County since the pandemic began March 20. There have been 18 deaths and 55 hospitalizations. Two of the deaths and six of the hospitalizations occurred in the first eight days of this month.
Most Oak Ridge residents live in Anderson County. However, the west end of the city is in Roane County. Roane County reported 51 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and 39 on Sunday. The highest number of new cases in that county was 67 last Monday. Roane County reported two more hospitalizations on Sunday.
A total of 1,702 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Roane County, with 10 deaths and 41 hospitalizations. The 14-day new case average was 28.6 on Sunday, up from 18.0 in the previous two-week period.
The positivity rate also remained high in Roane County, 15.8 percent.
The upward case trends in both Anderson and Roane counties passed the July peaks in October.
Many Oak Ridge workers live in neighboring Knox County (the Knoxville area), and many Oak Ridge residents shop there, eat there, and go there for entertainment. Knox County was averaging almost 130 new cases per day on Sunday, with an average positivity rate of 12 percent.
There have been a total of 14,554 cases in Knox County, with 102 deaths and 494 hospitalizations.
To the south, in Loudon County, there have been 1,827 cases, with 13 deaths and 51 hospitalizations. The 14-day new case average was 14.6 on Sunday, with an average positivity rate of 11.3 percent.
To the northwest, in Morgan County, 493 cases have been reported, with six deaths and 11 hospitalizations. The average new case rate was 3.6, and the average positivity rate was 9 percent.
The surveillance system that was upgraded was the state’s national electronic disease surveillance system. It helps the state manage its reportable disease data, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.
Like Anderson and Roane counties, Tennessee is experiencing its second sustained increase in cases, while the United States is experiencing its third upward trend, with new cases per day now averaging more than 100,000 across the country and the number of deaths per day in the range of 1,000.