Active COVID case count rising in Bedford County

Thursday, January 14, 2021
The number of new cases of COVID-19 jumped in the week of Dec. 13 though Dec. 19, but so did the number of tests. This may indicate a post-Thanksgiving surge but the number of tests went up from 1,390 the week before to 2,123 that week — a 52.7 precent increase. Since the week of Christmas, fewer people are getting tested but the portion who are testing positive is way up. During the week of Dec. 27 through Jan. 2, of the 766 people tested in Bedford County,41.25 percent tested positive. In the following week, Jan. 3 though Jan. 9, of the 788 who were tested 37.69 percent tested positive. Health officials say positivity rates above 5 percent are not a reliable indication of how widespread the viral infection is and that they are likely much higher.
T-G Graphs by Terence Corrigan

The number of active cases of the coronavirus in Bedford County shot up starting on Dec. 11 when it crossed the 400 per day threshold and it has not backed down. It hit its highest day of the pandemic — 657 — on Dec. 21. The daily case count showed some signs of retreat on Jan. 6 when it was 471 but in the following days it has started back up and was at 599 on Jan. 11.

From Jan. 2 to Jan. 11, statewide, 910 deaths were attributed to COVID-19.

According to the Tennessee Health Department, there have been 5,138 cases of the coronavirus in Bedford County and 83 people have died. Four residents of Bedford County reportedly died on Monday this week.

Tennessee is not faring well by most 14-day metrics.

• New cases up 23 percent

• Deaths up 68 percent

• Hospitalizations up 8 percent

Tennessee ranks 5th in the nation for its number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population. The states in the top five (and their rate per 100,000) are as follows: Arizona (132), California (110), Oklahoma (105), Rhode Island (102) and Tennessee (98). Tennessee is tied for the 5th position with Arkansas with a case count of 98 per 100,000.

In the last 15 days, from Dec. 28 to Jan. 11, the Tennessee has conducted 383,746 tests of which 93,316 came back positive — an unacceptably high positivity rate of 24 percent.

In the first 11 days of January, 828 Tennesseans have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

In the seven days from Jan. 3 through Jan. 9, in Bedford County 297 people tested positive for the coronavirus.

Tennessee ranks 14th from the bottom in its testing rate (tests per 100,000), according to Becker’s Hospital Review. On Jan. 13, Tennessee was testing 458.2 people per 100,000 population. The bottom position (lowest testing rate) was held by Idaho which was conducting 115.2 per 100,000 population. The state with the most comprehensive testing rate was Vermont where they are testing 1,089 per 100,000.

Tennessee has pretty much given up on testing and contact tracing, shifting its focus to vaccines which will take many months to distribute at a high enough level to stem the onslaught of the pandemic.