Bedford County COVID spread slowing down

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

On Sept. 8, it had been 187 days since COVID-19 made its first appearance in the state and more Tennesseans have died in six months from the coronavirus than diabetes, flu/pneumonia, suicide or kidney disease during the entire year of 2017.

From March 5, when a 44-year-old Williamson County man became the first person in Tennessee to test positive for the coronavirus, to Sept. 13, the state health department reports that 2,078 Tennesseans had died.

In all of 2017:

• Diabetes claimed 1,915 lives.

• Flu/pneumonia claimed 1,656 lives.

• Kidney disease claimed 1,140 lives

• 1,166 Tennesseans committed suicide.

The leading causes of death in Tennessee in 2017 were heart disease (16,019) and cancer (14,302).

During the 31 days of August 2020, there were 125 traffic fatalities in Tennessee. In August, 694 Tennesseans died from complications of COVID-19.

During the most recent six days days (Sept. 8 through Sept. 13) 179 Tennesseans died from the coronavirus the second highest six days of the pandemic. The highest number of deaths in a six day period occurred in mid-August (Aug. 16 through Aug. 21) when 204 people died.

In early August, three employees of Glen Oaks Health and Rehabilitation tested positive for the virus. Glen Oaks administrator Terri Bodkins said at the time that two of those who tested positive were regular employees of the nursing home and one, a nurse who works at Glen Oaks only as needed, is an employee of the hospital. Recently the number of cases, all listed as employees, grew to seven.

Bodkins said everyone who works at the nursing home, including delivery contractors who come in, is tested every week. According to the state, in early August there were 68 residents of the nursing home. The state now reports that Glen Oaks has 76 residents. No resident of Glen Oaks has contracted the virus.

A review and comparison of Bedford County cases (June 12 and Sept. 8) shows that the prevalence of the viral infection by age group has shifted. The proportion of people up to age 20 who have tested positive for the disease has increased by 6.39 percent. In the age group from age 21 to 60 the percentage of the cases has declined.

As of Sept. 12 the number of cases by various age groups were as follows:

• Birth to age 20, — 53 cases.

• Age 21 to age 40 —  183 cases.

• Age 41 to age 60 — 108 cases

• Ages 61 and up — 32 cases

(On June 12 there had been 376 cases in Bedford County. By Sept. 8 there had been 1,168 cases.)

The number of tests conducted statewide is declining. In the seven days from Sept. 2 to Sept. 8, the state reports that 132,632 tests were performed — almost 10,000 fewer than the preceding seven days.

In the last five weeks, statewide there were 43,888 new COVID-19 cases found in testing. The highest number of positives occurred in the seven days from Aug. 5 through Aug. 11 when 12,474 were reported. The average weekly positive tests count was 10,662.

The state’s testing program over the last five weeks is as follows:

• Sept. 2 through Sept. 8 — 132,632

• Sept. 1 through Aug, 26 — 142,503

• Aug. 25 through Aug. 19 — 179,571

• Aug. 18 through Aug. 12 — 153,000

• Aug. 11 through Aug. 5 — 147,565

In August, 253 residents of Bedford County tested positive for COVID-19. During August, there were 12,076 tests conducted in Bedford County. The resulting positivity rate of 2.09 percent is very low, when compared with the statewide rate of 7.1 percent.

From the first full day of school to Sept. 8, 49 student-age young people in Bedford County, (ages 5-18) have tested positive for COVID-19. The highest seven day period in student age positive test results was from Aug. 21 to Aug. 27 when 24 tested positive.

The number of school age young people in Bedford County that have tested positive recently seems to be in decline. From Aug. 19 to Aug. 31 (13 days), the state reported 40 positive tests in this group. More recently, Sept. 1 through Sept. 13, the number reported was 18. But, because the state does not report how many young people have been tested it is impossible to know if the spread of the virus is slowing in this group.

Nationally, on Sept. 8, it was reported that 189,961 people had died from the coronavirus since the first case was found here on Jan. 20, an average of 819 each day.