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The COVID-19 omicron variant surge appears to be peaking in Tennessee's metro areas

220120 tndepthealth covid data slide.jpg
A data chart presented to state lawmakers on Wednesday by Tenn. Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey shows new COIVD-19 infection case counts beginning to fall in metro areas across the state.
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capitol.tn.gov

(Mike Osborne) — There was some indication Wednesday that Tennessee's latest COVID-19 surge may be nearing its peak.

Pandemic data released by the state Department of Health Wednesday showed significant drops in the seven-day running average for new infections in four of the 13 regions being tracked.

Running average new virus case counts were down sharply in the Memphis and Nashville metropolitan areas this past week. New infections showed slight declines in the Chattanooga area and the Mid-Cumberland region. Knoxville also appears to be "flattening the curve."

During a presentation to state lawmakers on Wednesday, Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey noted that during past surges metro areas usually peaked first, followed a week or two later by the state's more rural communities.

There is also some indication that COVID-19 hospitalizations may be on the verge of peaking. This past week, the number of virus positive Tennesseans under hospital care fell briefly, before reversing course and heading higher once again.

However, the statewide average of new infections continues to trend higher. The number of Tennesseans reporting active cases of COVID-19 is also at an all-time high. The number of virus-related deaths recorded statewide nearly tripled last week compared to the week before.