Anderson County reported 83 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the most in more than three months, and the positivity rate spiked to 24%, which is very high.
It’s not clear if the spike in cases and positivity rate is due to the new omicron variant, the older delta variant, or a mixture of the two.
The last time more than 80 cases were reported was on September 16, when 87 new cases were reported near the peak of the delta surge.
The delta surge, the third of the pandemic in Anderson County, peaked at 152 new cases on September 10.
COVID-19 cases fell after that, averaging about 16 to 17 new cases per day through much of November, before rising past a higher average of 20 new cases per day in early December, according to Tennessee Department of Health data.
The Tuesday spike helped push the seven-day average of cases past 30 new cases per day for the first time since October 7.
It’s not clear if the Tuesday spike is related to Christmas gatherings last week or the omicron variant, or if the increase in cases will continue. The omicron variant, which is very contagious, has led to a steep rise in cases in other parts of the country, but it’s not clear yet if that will happen in Anderson County. If there is another surge, it would be the fourth of the pandemic in Anderson County. Besides the delta surge, the other two surges were in summer of 2020 and from November 2020-January 2021.
Experts continue to urge people to get vaccinated and a booster shot if eligible, wear a high-quality mask such as an N95 if possible when around people outside your home, and take other health precautions such as maintaining physical distances from people outside your home.
The 24% positivity rate reported Tuesday is the highest in Anderson County since a 25% rate on August 31, near the peak of the delta surge.
The positivity rate in Anderson County had fallen to a low of 1% on November 5, but it has often been higher than 10% since then. On Wednesday, the seven-day average of the positivity rate was 15.4%. The positivity rate measures how many COVID-19 tests are positive each day out of all the tests conducted.
In Anderson County, 14,321 COVID-19 cases have been reported since the pandemic began here March 20, 2020. About 18.5% of the county’s residents have been infected.
There have been 329 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 during the pandemic (a 2.3% hospitalization rate using reported cases) and 263 deaths (a 1.8% fatality rate using reported cases).
Statewide, 10,193 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, with 38 more deaths and 96 additional (net) hospitalizations.
There have been about 1.4 million COVID-19 cases in Tennessee since the pandemic began in the state on March 5, 2020, according to Tennessee Department of Health data. There have been 20,776 deaths and 42,228 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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