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COVID-19 cases, deaths double while hospitalizations fall

These graphs show the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations reported by month in Anderson County from March 2020 through December 2021. (Data from Tennessee Department of Health/Graphs by Oak Ridge Today)

New COVID-19 cases and deaths almost doubled in Anderson County in December, compared to November, while new hospitalizations dropped 50%. The number of COVID-19 deaths last month, 31, was the most in almost a year.

As new cases spike again around the world, the seven-day new case average in Anderson County more than doubled in less than a week from fewer than 30 new cases per day to more than 60. A graph of the increase in new cases shows a steep upward line that is almost vertical.

These graphs show the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations reported by month in Anderson County from March 2020 through December 2021. (Data from Tennessee Department of Health/Graphs by Oak Ridge Today)

 

New COVID-19 cases and deaths almost doubled in Anderson County in December, compared to November, while new hospitalizations dropped 50%. The number of COVID-19 deaths last month, 31, was the most in almost a year.

As new cases spike again around the world, the seven-day new case average in Anderson County more than doubled in less than a week from fewer than 30 new cases per day to more than 60. A graph of the increase in new cases shows a steep upward line that is almost vertical.

The average positivity rate remains very high, more than 20%. That can suggest high transmission of the virus that causes COVID, not enough testing, or maybe both.

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Anderson County reports 53% fully vaccinated


This chart by Oak Ridge Today using Tennessee Department of Health data shows the number of COVID-19 cases each month since December 2020 through Dec. 29, 2021, along with the numbers of vaccines given, vaccine recipients, fully vaccinated, and additional doses.

 

In Anderson County, 53-54% of residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and more than 100,000 vaccine doses have been injected, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

State vaccination data said 41,683 Anderson County residents were fully vaccinated as of December 29. That’s out of an estimated 77,123 residents.

Meanwhile, 14,409 residents have been infected with COVID-19, the Tennessee Department of Health said. That means about 18.7% percent of residents have had COVID-19.

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This chart by Oak Ridge Today using Tennessee Department of Health data shows the number of COVID-19 cases each month since December 2020 through Dec. 29, 2021, along with the numbers of vaccines given, vaccine recipients, fully vaccinated, and additional doses.

In Anderson County, 53-54% of residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and more than 100,000 vaccine doses have been injected, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

State vaccination data said 41,683 Anderson County residents were fully vaccinated as of December 29. That’s out of an estimated 77,123 residents.


This chart by Oak Ridge Today using Tennessee Department of Health data shows the number of COVID-19 cases each month since December 2020 through Dec. 29, 2021, along with the numbers of vaccines given, vaccine recipients, fully vaccinated, and additional doses.

 

In Anderson County, 53-54% of residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and more than 100,000 vaccine doses have been injected, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

State vaccination data said 41,683 Anderson County residents were fully vaccinated as of December 29. That’s out of an estimated 77,123 residents.

Meanwhile, 14,409 residents have been infected with COVID-19, the Tennessee Department of Health said. That means about 18.7% percent of residents have had COVID-19.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today. Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here. Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here: Basic

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If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to: Oak Ridge Today P.O. Box 6064 Oak Ridge, TN 37831 We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here. We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

COVID-19 cases rose in early December, falling now

A daily snapshot of COVID-19 cases in Anderson County on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2021, includes, among other information, the daily number of new cases and the daily positivity rate. (Graphic by Tennessee Department of Health)

The average number of COVID-19 cases per day rose quickly in early December in Anderson County, and the number has been generally slowly falling since December 7.

It’s not clear if the abrupt rise in early December was related to family gatherings during the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving was about 1.5 weeks before the early December peak of 28.7 new cases per day on December 7.

By Sunday, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Anderson County had fallen to 22.4 per day, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health.

The average number of cases has averaged in the 20s so far in December. That’s up from an average in the teens starting in late October but still far below the peak of an average 89.6 new cases per day on September 11. That peak was the height of the summertime delta surge in Anderson County.

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Unclear how City of Oak Ridge affected by president’s vaccination mandate

The Oak Ridge Municipal Building is pictured above on Tuesday evening, May 5, 2020. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

The City of Oak Ridge does not currently require its employees or residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under a state law passed this year, a municipal attorney said Tuesday.

But it’s not clear if that state law could be in conflict with a vaccination or testing mandate that President Joe Biden announced this month.

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The Oak Ridge Municipal Building is pictured above on Tuesday evening, May 5, 2020. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

The City of Oak Ridge does not currently require its employees or residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under a state law passed this year, a municipal attorney said Tuesday.

That state law, Senate Bill 187 and House Bill 13 (Public Chapter 513), bars the city from COVID-19 vaccination requirements, said Alexander J. Cramer, staff attorney in the City of Oak Ridge Legal Department.

The Oak Ridge Municipal Building is pictured above on Tuesday evening, May 5, 2020. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

The City of Oak Ridge does not currently require its employees or residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under a state law passed this year, a municipal attorney said Tuesday.

But it’s not clear if that state law could be in conflict with a vaccination or testing mandate that President Joe Biden announced this month.

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Oak Ridge, TN 37831

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Hospitals urge vaccinations as COVID hospitalizations, infections rise

Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge is pictured above. (Submitted file photo)

Hospitals and health care networks in East Tennessee on Wednesday urged those who are eligible to get vaccinated as COVID-19 infections rise and hospitalizations reach and pass winter peak levels. They also encouraged people to wear face masks and maintain physical distances when possible.

“The past 18 months have been difficult for everyone in many ways, and the surge in COVID-19 infections over the past months has been exceptionally challenging,” the hospitals and health care networks said in a joint statement. “We have seen a sharp rise in delta variant-related infections, and community hospitalizations have exceeded the COVID-related census we witnessed in January 2021.”

The statement was from Blount Memorial Hospital, Covenant Health (which includes Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge), East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Sweetwater Hospital Association, Tennova Healthcare, and University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The statement recognized that people are eager to move on from the coronavirus pandemic, and it said vaccinations will help.

[Read more…]

COVID cases quintuple in schools in one week

This graph shows the total number of COVID-19 in Oak Ridge Schools by school between Wednesday, Aug. 4, and Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. Schools not shown have reported no COVID cases. The number of cases in the school system quintupled in one week. There were nine total cases in the schools on Wednesday, Aug. 4, and five times as many, 45, on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Total cases include both current cases and recovered, and they include both student and staff cases. (Data published by Oak Ridge Schools/Chart by Oak Ridge Today using Flourish)

The number of COVID-19 cases quintupled in one week in Oak Ridge Schools. There were nine total cases in the schools on Wednesday, August 4. There were five times as many, 45, on Tuesday, August 10. Total cases include both current cases and recovered, and they include both student and staff cases.

Almost half of the school system’s total cases, 20, have been at Willow Brook Elementary School. Sixteen of those are considered current cases. Face masks are now required at Willow Brook. That change went into effect on Monday.

The next largest group of cases, 11, has been at Robertsville Middle School. Ten of those are current. No change in the face mask policy has been announced at Robertsville. With the exception of Willow Brook, face masks are optional in Oak Ridge Schools this school year after being required last year.

[Read more…]

About 43 percent vaccinated in Anderson County

The charts above show total COVID-19 vaccines in Anderson County and new vaccines by day; total vaccine recipients and new recipients by day; and the total number of fully vaccinated people and number of new fully vaccinated people by day. (Charts by Oak Ridge Today using Tennessee Department of Health data and Flourish for chart production).

After more than seven months, about 43 percent of people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Anderson County–lower than the national average–and the number of daily vaccinations remains far below the peak this spring, according to state data.

The largest increase in vaccinations in Anderson County was between about late February and mid-May. There were eight days with about 900 vaccinations or more during that time period and three days in April with more than 1,000 vaccinations, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. The peak was 1,256 vaccinations on April 10.

Now, though, vaccinations are in the range of about 100 per day, with all peaks below 200. At that rate, it could take months, maybe more than a year, to approach a vaccination rate of 70 percent or higher.

The number of new vaccine recipients can vary widely each day, but there does appear to be an increase in the number of new recipients as the new daily case rate rises again in Anderson County.

[Read more…]

COVID case, positivity rates rising as school resumes

A daily snapshot of COVID-19 cases in Anderson County on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, includes, among other information, the daily number of new cases and the daily positivity rate. (Graphic by Tennessee Department of Health)

Note: This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. July 28.

The COVID-19 case and positivity rates are rising in Anderson County as school resumes in Oak Ridge. More than 100 new COVID-19 cases, four hospitalizations, and three deaths have been reported since mid-July. The positivity rate, a measure of how many COVID-19 tests are positive each day, is about 10 percent, which exceeds World Health Organization guidelines.

Cases in Tennessee have surged from a low of a few hundred new cases per day about a month ago to roughly 2,100 new cases on Tuesday. Current hospitalizations across the state have climbed from a low of a few hundred to 762. Fifty-one hospitalizations were reported Tuesday.

In the past two weeks, the rate of new COVID-19 cases per day in Anderson County has steadily climbed from a low of about one new case per day in Anderson County to 7.6 new cases per day. The county reported 112 new cases of COVID-19 between Monday, July 12, and Tuesday, July 27, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. (See also here and here.)

There were 74 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the week between Tuesday, July 20, and Monday, July 26. That’s an average of about 10.6 new cases per day. The one-week average of 10.6 new cases per day was higher than the 14-day case average of 7.6 reported by the state.

Two new deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in Anderson County on Monday, although that doesn’t necessarily mean the deaths occurred Monday because the state reporting can lag a few days behind when the deaths occurred.

Also in the last two weeks, the positivity rate has climbed from about 2.3 percent on Monday, July 12, to 9.3 percent on Tuesday, July 27. The WHO has recommended a positivity rate below 5 percent.

[Read more…]

COVID-19 case rate rising quickly, positivity spikes

A daily snapshot of COVID-19 cases in Anderson County on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, includes, among other information, the daily number of new cases and the daily positivity rate. (Graphic by Tennessee Department of Health)

The COVID-19 case rate in Anderson County remains low, but it is rising quickly–and the positivity rate has spiked over 20 percent, according to information published by the Tennessee Department of Health. There has been another death due to COVID-19 in Anderson County.

In late June and early July, the number of new cases of COVID-19 per day in the county had dropped to an average of roughly one new case per day. That was the lowest level observed in a year or more, since the first peak in July 2020.

In the past week or so, though, the new case average has climbed past two, then three, and now four new cases per day.

During the past 14 days, Anderson County has averaged 4.4 new cases per day, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. That was up from 0.8 new cases per day in the previous two weeks.

The positivity rate, which measures how many patients test positive out of those tested each day, has climbed even quicker. It had been in a low range of around 2 percent to 3 percent, lower than the World Health Organization guideline of 5 percent. But Tennessee Department of Health data shows the positivity rate has spiked past 20 percent, which is high, and the seven-day average has climbed quickly to 10.2 percent in about a week or so. The number of tests per day remains fairly low, however, and it’s not clear what part the low test rate might play in the high positivity rate. When the case count was higher, Anderson County was testing several hundred people per day.

[Read more…]

COVID cases still low but rising again

A daily snapshot of COVID-19 cases in Anderson County on Monday, July 19, 2021, includes, among other information, the daily number of new cases and the daily positivity rate. (Graphic by Tennessee Department of Health)

The number of new cases of COVID-19 remains low in Anderson County, but the rate of new cases per day is rising again. Also, the positivity rate has climbed back over 5 percent, and there have been four new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the past week.

About a week ago, the number of new cases per day was at about one. That was the lowest it had been since cases first started rising more than a year ago, before the first COVID-19 case peak in July 2020. The case average has been low for weeks after a slow decline starting in January.

In the past week, however, the new daily case rate has slowly climbed again. In the past two weeks, Anderson County has averaged three new cases of COVID-19 per day, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. That is up from an average of 1.1 in the prior 14 days.

[Read more…]