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Latest COVID-19 variants to reach Tennessee building slowly, steadily

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WMOT
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(Mike Osborne) — The current surge in COVID-19 cases currently underway in Tennesse is dramatically different from previous waves.

Earlier coronavirus surges roared in like tidal waves, quickly sickening tens-of-thousands of state residents and pushing medical personnel and resources to their limits.

The COVID-19 wave currently building across Tennessee is more like an ocean tide, slower to rise — but relentless.

Fifteen weeks into the current omicron sub-variant surge, state health officials are reporting roughly 20,000 new infections each week. Last year’s omicron surge peaked in just 12 weeks with well over 117,000 new infections reported in a single, seven-day period.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also rising in a slow but steady fashion. The omicron surge ended in late April when there were just 128 virus related patients under hospital care statewide. As of this past week, that number had risen to roughly 780 coronavirus patients in hospitals across Tennessee.

Virus related deaths have so far remained relatively low during the current omicron sub-variant surge. However, COVID-19 related fatalities did spike 64 percent during the week that ended on Saturday.

Mike Osborne is the News Director for WMOT and can be heard on-air daily.