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Tennessee's COVID-19 infection case counts have now risen 16 weeks in a row

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(Mike Osborne) — The latest COVID-19 surge continued its slow, steady rise across Tennessee this past week.

Statewide, reported new infections increased two percent to more than 20,000 cases during the seven-day period that ended Saturday. New infection counts have been rising in Tennessee now for the past 16 weeks.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also up. There were some 850 Tennesseans under hospital care as of Tuesday morning, with just over 130 being treated in ICUs.

Virus related deaths rose 16 percent last week to 95 fatalities over seven days.

By contrast, new infection counts reported by Metro Nashville have remained high but largely unchanged for months. Since early May, the number of new virus positive cases reported each week by city health officials has fluctuated between 1400 and 1700 cases.

Keep in mind that the official state figures cited above are almost certainly a significant undercount. Many Tennesseans now check for COVID-19 infection using home tests that are rarely reported to the state.

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