A graph shows confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in Anderson County through Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (Image courtesy Tennessee COVID-19 Case Tracking
Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville)

The daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Anderson County this past week was about the same as it was two weeks ago, roughly nine new cases per day.

But the number of new daily cases fell to three and two on Monday and Tuesday. Those are the lowest numbers of new daily cases in Anderson County since early July.

There have been two more deaths in Anderson County reported due to COVID-19 in the past week. Eight people have now died from COVID-19 in the county, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

And there have been two more hospitalizations. A total of 34 patients have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Anderson County on March 20.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county rose to 841 on Tuesday.

The highest average number of new cases per day in Anderson County, as tracked by Oak Ridge Today, was in the week ending Tuesday, July 28, when there were about 24.7 new cases per day. July appears to have been the worst month of the pandemic in Anderson County so far.

After that peak week, the average number of new cases per day fell two consecutive weeks, dropping to 18.6 the first week and then 9.7 the next. That was a level that hadn’t been seen since the first half of July, after the growth in COVID-19 cases started to accelerate in the county.

After dropping two straight weeks, the seven-day average of new daily cases then rose two weeks ago to 11.4 before falling again last week to nine.

A graph showing daily testing for COVID-19, including positive and negative results, in Anderson County through Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Image courtesy Tennessee COVID-19 Case Tracking
Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville)

In the meantime, the seven-day averages of daily positivity rates have remained in a range around, roughly, 4 percent to 5 percent. That’s close to where those rates were in early July. World Health Organization guidelines say positivity rates should be at 5 percent or lower for at least 14 days before activities re-open.

The daily positivity rate compares how many patients test positive for COVID-19 each day to the total number of those tested per day. The seven-day averages of the rates had climbed to more than 9 percent in mid-July before falling back to about 4 percent to 5 percent this month.

It’s not clear what has led to the overall drop in new cases per day since late July and whether it might be related to the more widespread use of masks, including at businesses that started requiring them in the second half of July.

The transmission rate in Anderson County remains just below 1 percent. It was 0.98 on Tuesday, according to the Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Two weeks ago, the transmission rate was 0.97. When the transmission rate is below one, the disease is becoming less prevalent.

A graph showing active cases of COVID-19 in Anderson County through Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Image courtesy Tennessee COVID-19 Case Tracking
Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville)

The number of active cases in the county dropped to 208 on Tuesday. That’s down from a peak of 289 on Sunday, August 2. Active cases are total cases minus recoveries and deaths.

The case doubling time is now over 30 days. It was about 31 days on Tuesday.

That’s up from about 26 days in mid-August and up from about 12 days three weeks before that. A longer doubling time means the virus is not spreading in the community as quickly.

Anderson County has reported 625 recoveries from COVID-19, although it’s not always clear what recovery means for every patient.

There have been 19,494 COVID-19 tests in Anderson County.

A graph shows total cases of COVID-19 in Anderson County through Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Image courtesy Tennessee COVID-19 Case Tracking
Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville)

COVID-19 daily snapshot

Here are the COVID-19 statistics for Anderson County on Tuesday, August 25:

Total cases—841New cases—2Active cases—208Recovered cases—625Deaths—8Total hospitalizations (current hospitalizations could be different)—34Total tests—19,494Daily positivity rate—3 percentTotal positivity rate (comparing all positives to all tests since the pandemic began)—4.3 percentHospitalization rate—4 percentDeath rate—1 percentRecovery rate—74 percentCase doubling time—31 daysTransmission rate—0.98

Seven-day case and daily positivity rate averages

Here are the recent seven-day averages of new daily COVID-19 cases in Anderson County calculated by Oak Ridge Today:

Week ending June 30—3.43 new cases per dayWeek ending July 7—5.86Week ending July 14—10.86Week ending July 21—15.4Week ending July 28—24.7Week ending August 4—18.6Week ending August 11—9.7Week ending August 18—11.4Week ending August 25—9

Here are recent seven-day averages of daily positivity rates:

Week ending July 9—5.45 percentWeek ending July 16—9.37Week ending July 23—9.6Week ending July 30—8.7Week ending August 6—5.5Week ending August 13—4.8Week ending August 20—5.7 (In the five-day period since then, the average daily positivity rate has fallen to 3.8 percent.)A map by the Tennessee Department of Health shows COVID-19 case counts by county on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.

State, county statistics

Statewide, the seven-day case average has fallen for four straight weeks—it was down to 1,377 on Tuesday—after peaking at more than 2,400 cases per day in late July, according to calculations by Oak Ridge Today.

But the seven-day averages of deaths and hospitalizations have remained about the same, with some fluctuations, according to calculations by Oak Ridge Today.

Experts say changes in the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths can lag several weeks behind changes in the number of cases.

The seven-day average of deaths per day in Tennessee due to COVID-19 in the week ending Tuesday was 28.9. In the prior week, it was 22.

The seven-day average of hospitalizations per day in Tennessee due to COVID-19 in the week ending Tuesday was 76.3. In the prior week, it was 73.9.

Here are the COVID-19 statistics for Tennessee on Tuesday, as reported by the Tennessee Department of Health:

Total cases—145,417New cases—813Active cases—35,754Deaths—1,628Death rate—1.1 percentRecoveries—108,035Recovery rate—74.3 percentHospitalizations—6,515Hospitalization rate—4.5 percentCurrent hospitalizations—895, with 175 pendingDaily positivity rate—5.4 percentTotal positivity rate—7 percentAverage patient age—39

The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Tennessee on Wednesday, March 4. Since then, there have been more than two million COVID-19 tests in the state.

The highest number of cases in the state is in Shelby County, which includes Memphis in West Tennessee. The case count there was 26,086 on Tuesday. There have been 370 deaths, up more than 40 in 10 days.

In Davidson County, 22,097 cases have been reported. In that county, 249 deaths have been reported. Davidson County includes Nashville in Middle Tennessee.

Case growth appears to have slowed in both counties and in other counties in the list below.

Other counties with case counts of more than 1,000 on Tuesday included:

Hamilton (Chattanooga area), with 7,586 cases, up about 700 cases since mid-August, and 69 deaths;Rutherford (Nashville area), with 7,523 cases and 67 deaths;Knox (Knoxville area), with 5,891 cases and 51 deaths, an increase of nine deaths since mid-August;Williamson (Nashville area), with 4,165 cases and 27 deaths;Sumner (Nashville area), with 3,903 cases and 83 deaths;Wilson (Nashville area), with 2,672 cases and 30 deaths;Bradley (Cleveland area, near Chattanooga), with 2,370 cases and 16 deaths;Montgomery (Clarksville area), with 2,345 cases and 28 deaths;Putnam (Cookeville area), with 2,171 cases and 24 deaths;Sevier (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville), with 2,157 cases and 11 deaths;Robertson (east of Clarksville), with 1,772 cases and 25 deaths;Blount (Maryville area), with 1,753 cases and 16 deaths;Washington (Johnson City area), with 1,601 cases and 8 deaths;Maury (Columbia area, south-southwest of Nashville), with 1,599 cases and 13 deaths;Trousdale (Turner Trousdale Correctional Center), with 1,592 cases and 6 deaths;Madison (Jackson area, between Nashville and Memphis), with 1,590 cases and 34 deaths;Hamblen (Morristown area), with 1,588 cases and 20 deaths;Sullivan (Kingsport-Bristol area), with 1,495 cases and 22 deaths;Tipton (Memphis area), with 1,349 cases and 13 deaths;Hardeman (south of Jackson), with 1,183 cases and 22 deaths;Bedford (Shelbyville area, southeast of Nashville), with 1,064 cases and 14 deaths; andGibson (Trenton area, north of Jackson), with 1,005 cases and 13 deaths.

Here is COVID-19 case information about other counties besides Knox County that surround Anderson County:

Loudon County has reported 888 cases and three deaths.Roane County has reported 587 cases and two deaths.Campbell County has reported 304 cases and two deaths.Union County has reported 210 cases and one death.Morgan County has reported 185 cases and one death.Scott County has reported 154 cases and two deaths.Charts by the Tennessee Department of Health show COVID-19 demographics, outcomes, and testing information through Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.

COVID-19 is a new, contagious illness that can have respiratory symptoms and affect other parts of the body, and it can be deadly. It can cause a range of health issues that can last weeks or months, including fevers, body aches, fatigue, coughing, and breathing problems, among other reported symptoms. The long-term effects remain unknown.

It can be spread by respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, talking, and singing. There is also debate about whether it might be spread by airborne transmission.

The disease appears to be especially deadly to older patients, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. As of Saturday, there had been at least 16 deaths among all age groups 21 years old and older, and 79 or more deaths starting with the 41-50 age group. The number of deaths continues to climb in older age groups. There have been between 168 and 533 deaths in the four oldest age groups: 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, and 81 and older.

The largest number of cases continues to be among patients who are 21 to 30 years old, followed by patients who are 31 to 40, and then patients who are 41 to 50.

While some people report no symptoms or mild symptoms, others become seriously ill from COVID-19, sometimes for weeks, and the effects can sometimes last for months. Others are admitted to the hospital, and some patients end up in intensive care and on ventilators.

To help prevent the virus from spreading, officials have repeatedly recommended that residents wear a face mask or covering when they are out of the house and around others, maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people when possible, and wash their hands frequently.

See the state’s data here and here.

See the CORE-19 website here.

See previous story here.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]

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