The number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decreased in Anderson County in January, but the number of deaths increased. The death rate, comparing total deaths to total cases, has increased significantly.
The number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Anderson County dropped by more than 900 from December to January. There were 2,524 new cases reported in Anderson County in December, according to data published by the Tennessee Department of Health. That fell to 1,608 new cases in January, a 36 percent drop. Still, that was an average of about 52 new COVID-19 cases per day last month.
December and January have been the worst two months of the pandemic so far, with November the third-worst month.
In the past two months, the number of new hospitalizations decreased by 16 percent, falling from 43 in December to 36 in January, according to the state health department data. That was an average of a little more than one new hospitalization per day in Anderson County.
However, deaths increased by 13 in January, compared to December. There were 43 COVID-19 deaths reported in Anderson County in December. That rose to 56 in January. It was a 30 percent increase. There was an average of 1.8 deaths per day due to COVID-19 in Anderson County in January.
It’s not unusual to see lags between increases or decreases in cases and hospitalizations and deaths because there can be a lag of up to several weeks between when a patient tests positive for COVID-19 and when they might be hospitalized or die.
Vaccinations are now under way, and it’s possible that the number of new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations will not return to their December and January peaks. However, health officials caution people to not get complacent, especially with new virus variants reported in the United States.
As of Thursday, another 337 new COVID-19 cases had been reported in Anderson County in February, an average of about 30.6 new cases per day. That’s down from the roughly 52 new cases per day reported in January.
Since the pandemic began March 20, there have been 7,576 cases of COVID-19 in the county. The disease has affected almost 10 percent of the county’s roughly 77,000 residents.
There have been 18 new hospitalizations in the first 11 days of February, about 1.6 new hospitalizations per day. There have now been 167 total hospitalizations of Anderson County residents due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
The hospitalization rate, comparing total hospitalizations to total cases, has remained relatively consistent. It’s now at about 2.2 percent.
There have been 19 more deaths so far in February—roughly 1.7 deaths per day—and a total of 147 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The death rate has risen significantly. It’s now 1.9 percent. From March to December, it had been 1.3 percent. It’s not clear why the rate has increased.
The average positivity rate—the number of new positive tests per day compared to the total new daily tests—has dropped. In December, it had been up around 20 percent. On Thursday, the seven-day average of the positivity rate in Anderson County was 15 percent. However, that’s still much higher than health officials recommend. World Health Organization guidelines have called for a goal of a positivity rate at 5 percent or below.
See the Tennessee Department of Health data about COVID-19 here.