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COVID-19 is taking Tennessee on a Fall 2021 roller coaster ride

211130 cdc c19 transmission rate heat map.jpg
A CDC heat map showing COVID-19 community virus transmission rate b county for the week end 11/28/21.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- Tennessee’s COVID-19 new case counts are on a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

New infections hit a six month low the first week of this month. But then rose sharply the next two weeks. During the week that ended this past Saturday, new cases reversed course again and headed lower. New infections were down 23 percent statewide last week.

The actual number of virus positive individuals remains relatively low. A total of 7360 Tennesseans reported new cases last week. Compare that to the peak of the summer surge when nearly 66,000 new infections were recorded in a single, seven-day period.

The number of confirmed, new COVID-19 case counts among Tennessee’s school age children also headed lower last week for the first time since late October.

New infections among children 5 to 18 years of age rose the first three weeks of this month. But case counts turned lower during the seven day period that ended this past Saturday.

School age case counts dropped 39 percent statewide. In the Greater Nashville Area, case counts fell in six out of seven counties. Wilson County led the trend lower, falling 66 percent this past week. Davidson County school age infections fell 31 percent.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths are down as well. State health data shows virus fatalities dropped 39 percent this past week. A total of 1077 Tennessee died during the seven day period that ended on Saturday.

However, coronavirus hospitalizations continue to drift higher statewide. The number of Tennesseans being treated in hospital for the virus hit a six-month low on November 14 when 659 cases were reported.

Hospitalizations have risen slowly, but steadily over the 16 days since. As of Tuesday morning there were 828 virus patients under hospital care, with 241 in ICUs and 105 on respirators.