JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ballad Health reported 59 new COVID-19 hospital admissions across its system Friday, pushing the total number currently hospitalized for the virus to 322.

The number is up 28 from Thursday’s total and is the highest it’s been since Sept. 29, when the COVID census was 323 and in the midst of a decline from its early September peak that came after the first Delta surge.

Those censuses bottomed out in mid-November at 135 but began climbing steadily again by the end of November as a resurgence of the Delta variant reflected in hospital admissions.

The COVID census is up 19% since the end of December and 54% since the beginning of December, when it stood at 209 Dec. 3.

Ballad’s daily scorecard also showed Friday that two more children are battling the novel coronavirus at Niswonger Children’s Hospital — a total of four pediatric COVID-19 patients.

Increases were seen in critical COVID-19 cases; Ballad reported five more coronavirus patients in its intensive care units. A total of 75 people are in ICU for COVID Friday, and 57 are on ventilators.

The 59 new COVID admissions were close to the daily high points reached during the August and September surge. The system recorded 31 new discharges to equal the net gain of 28 hospitalized.

The system reported 206 new COVID admissions Monday through Friday this week, up from 192 the previous week and 179 the week before.

Ballad used state-reported data to reveal there have been 64 COVID-19-related deaths within the past seven days. The region’s positive rate stands at 29.7% — meaning nearly a third of COVID-19 tests in the area are returning positive.

The following is a breakdown of COVID-19 data provided by Ballad Health on Jan. 14:

  • Total COVID-19 hospitalizations: 322 (+28)
  • Total number of COVID-19 PUIs (patient under investigation): 7 (-2)
  • Total COVID-19 admissions: 59 (+30)
  • Total COVID-19 discharges: 31 (-3)
  • COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit: 75 (+5)
  • COVID-19 patients on a ventilator: 57 (-2)
  • Pediatric patients in Niswonger Children’s Hospital: 4 (+2)
  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 47.7%