(WJHL) – This week, the region passed the threshold for 1,000 cumulative COVID-19 cases and broke several other records since the pandemic began in March.
Ballad Health officials reported that they were treating 29 patients within the system on Friday and that the number of hospitalizations had been doubling every seven days.
Officials estimated Friday that about a dozen of the 29 hospitalized patients are being treated in the intensive care unit.
By the end of the week, the Tennessee Department of Health reported a cumulative 833 positive COVID-19 cases in northeast Tennessee counties (Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties) and the Virginia Department of Health reported 259 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in southwest Virginia counties (Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington and Wise counties).
That is 281 new cases in northeast Tennessee counties and 43 new cases in southwest Virginia since last Friday (July 3).
Northeast Tennessee COVID-19 Cases
Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Cases
In northeast Tennessee, there were an average of 28 new COVID-19 cases reported each day this week (from July 3-10). The previous week (June 27-July 3), there was an average of 16 new COVID-19 cases reported each day.
The average of new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks came in at 28 on July, up from an average of 13 reported last week over the previous two weeks.
Southwest Virginia counties trail behind northeast Tennessee counties in sheer numbers but are still experiencing an increase in cases.
Data points to an upward trend in new cases in southwest Virginia counties. There was an average of 6.14 new COVID-19 cases reported each day this week, up from an average of 5.71 new cases reported each day last week.
The average of new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks sits at a nearby 5.38 cases per day, up from the 3.54 14-day average last week.
Tests and the percent positivity rate
As state leaders have pointed out, the more tests that are performed, the more positive tests are likely to result.
The news of “100 new COVID-19 tests” may not mean much on its own. If there are 100 positive tests out of 200 total tests, that would yield a 50% positivity rate of total tests. One hundred out of 1,000 tests would yield a 10% positivity rate. This number is a snapshot of positive tests in relation to the total number of tests performed.
This number is currently only available for northeast Tennessee, as the VDH does not release testing numbers by county.
The percent positive rate for northeast Tennessee saw its highest peak at about 8% on April 12. This means that of the tests being administered, about 8% of them were coming back positive. The percent plummetted to its lowest at 1.55% in mid-June, where it hovered for about a week before climbing back up again.
On Friday, the percent positive rate stood at 2.65%, with an average increase of 0.08% per day last week.
Testing continues its increase in Tennessee counties as well. TDH reported an average of 648 tests each day this week, up from an average of 439 tests reported each day last week.
Overall, there have been a total of 32,521 COVID-19 tests reported in northeast Tennessee counties.
Deaths, recoveries and active infections
The last death officially reported in northeast Tennessee was on May 12 in Sullivan County.
Officials with Christian Care Center of Bristol confirmed Friday that two former residents of the facility died of complications from the virus.
Those cases do not appear to be reflected in state data as of Friday.
As of Friday, northeast Tennessee reported 543 total recoveries from COVID-19, seven deaths, which leaves 283 active cases, an increase of 101 active cases from Tuesday.