Washington Co. has the third fastest spread of COVID-19 in the Tennessee community | WJHL – Community News

Washington Co. has the third fastest spread of COVID-19 in the Tennessee community | WJHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) reported 258 new COVID-19 cases in northeast Tennessee on Wednesday, giving the seven-county region its highest community spread rate since early October.

The region’s rolling seven-day new cases per 100,000, the community spread rate, fell slightly from 356 to 349 after hitting its highest level since Sept. 27 on Monday. The rate remains higher than any point since October 3, except for Monday and Tuesday’s numbers.

Washington County, despite having the highest vaccination coverage in the region, has the highest community spread rate of 418, the third highest of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

The region’s new number of cases also remains well above the statewide rate in Tennessee, which fell from 195 to 194. While the region’s rate is 1.8 times that of the state, that gap is the decreased in size last week. On November 30, the rate of 264 in northeast Tennessee was 2.2 times the rate of 120 in Tennessee.

Led by Washington County with the state’s third-highest rate, Northeast Tennessee’s seven counties all have new COVID cases in the top 20 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

The US rate is 248, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The number of reported deaths has fallen sharply across the region, as it has across the state. Daily death reporting, which typically accounts for deaths from days to weeks of age, fluctuates widely.

On Wednesday, TDH reported two new deaths regionally, in Carter and Sullivan counties, after 14 were reported Tuesday.

Statewide, the death toll was 26, up from 163 Tuesday.

Washington and Sullivan counties reported the highest number of new cases regionally, with 88 and 79, respectively.

The region also still has a significantly higher test positivity rate than the state. Northeast Tennessee’s positivity rate fell slightly to 15.6% on Tuesday, while Tennessee’s rose to 10.8%.

Northeast Tennessee’s test positivity rate remains well above the state average, but that gap has narrowed recently.

Washington County has the region’s highest percentage at 18.0%, the seventh highest in the state. Johnson, Carter and Sullivan counties all have positivity rates in the top 20 and above 16%. Greene County has the lowest percentage in the region at 11.1%.

The positivity rate gap has narrowed as that figure has increased statewide. A week ago, Northeast Tennessee’s test positivity rate was 16.0%, while Tennessee’s was 9.3%.

Ballad Health’s totals of COVID patients on ventilators and in intensive care units are also at the highest level since mid-October. On Wednesday, the hospital system reported 58 patients in the ICU and 43 on ventilators.

Just three weeks ago there were 36 patients in the ICU and 24 on a ventilator.


The region’s COVID vaccination rates have fallen further behind the state rate over time and are well behind the national rate.

Three regions, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington County, are the only ones in Northeast Tennessee where at least 50% of their populations have been fully vaccinated. Overall, 48.1% of the seven-county region’s residents, or 243,374 people, are fully vaccinated, compared to 50.9% statewide.

Northeast Tennessee’s COVID vaccination rates are lower than Tennessee’s and well below the national average.

The percentage of Northeast Tennessee with at least one dose of the vaccine is 52.7% and that of the state is 57.0%. The national rate is 71.4% according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

New cases and deaths

The total number of new cases Tuesday by county was: Carter +23, Greene +29, Hawkins +26, Johnson +6, Sullivan +79, Unicoi +7, Washington +88.

The region has added 1,767 cases in the past seven days. That total was 1,385 over the previous seven days.

All seven regions have new cases in the top 20 of the state’s 95 counties.

The rate of 418 in Washington County is the third highest in the state. Sullivan and Johnson are in eighth and ninth place, with Greene, Hawkins, Unicoi and Carter in 11th, 13th, 17th and 20th place.

Carter’s rate of 246 new weekly cases per 100,000 population, the lowest in the region, is still 27 percent above the state average. Washington County’s rate is more than double the state average.

The region has now registered 96,771 cases across the whole of the pandemic.

The region has had 33 new reported COVID deaths in the past seven days, compared to just 16 in the previous seven days. The total number of COVID deaths in northeast Tennessee now stands at 1,607.

COVID 19 in Tennessee

TDH reported 2,051 new cases this weekend, taking the statewide total to 1,329,496 cases.

The health department also reported 163 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing the pandemic’s total to 17,650.

The state has 18,093 active cases, 231 more than Monday. Health officials have reported a total of 1,293,753 recoveries.

Northeast Tennessee
Total number of cases: 96,771 (+258)
Inactive/Restored: 92,372 (+223)
Deaths: 1,607 (+2)
Active cases: 2,792 (+41)

Carter County
Total number of cases: 11,107 (+23)
Inactive/Restored: 10,647 (+20)
Deaths: 235 (+1)
Active cases: 225 (+2)

Greene County
Total number of cases: 14,566 (+29)
Inactive/Restored: 13,976 (+30)
Deaths: 248 (0)
Active cases: 342 (-1)

Hawkins County
Total number of cases: 10,994 (+26)
Inactive/Restored: 10,535 (+25)
Deaths: 186 (0)
Active cases: 273 (+1)

Johnson County
Total number of cases: 4,019 (+6)
Inactive/Recovered: 3,869 (+7)
Deaths: 54 (0)
Active cases: 96 (-1)

Sullivan County
Total cases: 29,125 (+79)
Inactive/Recovered: 27,673 (+69)
Deaths: 468 (+1)
Active cases: 984 (+9)

Unicoi County
Total number of cases: 3,291 (+7)
Inactive/Restored: 3,162 (+1)
Deaths: 69 (0)
Active cases: 60 (+6)

Washington County
Total number of cases: 23,669 (+88)
Inactive/Restored: 22,510 (+71)
Deaths: 347 (0)
Active cases: 812 (+17)