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COVID-19 related deaths in Tennessee rise 114 percent in a single seven day period


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne )  --  COVID-19 related deaths are on the rise in Tennessee after falling steadily for months.

A one week spike in deaths does not indicate a new trend, but the increase is cause for concern given a corresponding jump in new infection rates and hospitalizations.

During the seven day period ending July 13, state health officials reported that 45 Tennesseans died. That represents a 114 percent increase over the previous seven days.

Virus related fatalities had been falling steadily for months. Deaths peaked in Tennessee on February 5 of this year when 205 Tennesseans died in  a single day.

Health officials say the more contagious and deadly Delta variant is likely responsible for this latest surge. The variant has caused spiokes in new infections and hospitalizations in neighboring Arkansas and Missouri.

Vanderbilt Preventive Medicine expert Dr. William Schaffner notes that patients being hospitalized across the state are now almost exclusively unvaccinated. He says Tennessee is vulnerable because of the state’s low vaccination rate.

As of Wednesday, 12,625 Tennesseans have died as a result of virus related complications.

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