Northeast Tennessee reported 279 new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections on Monday, with the positive test rate remaining above 10% for the eighth straight day.

Northeast Tennessee by the numbers

  • 279 new cases in the upper eight counties, for a total of 13,720.
  • 221 total deaths. One new death in Carter County.
  • 97 new projected inactive cases for a total of 10,932.
  • 2,567 estimated active cases in Northeast Tennessee.
  • New cases by county: Carter 27, Greene 62, Hancock 2, Hawkins 17, Johnson 7, Sullivan 56, Unicoi 15, Washington 93.
  • Active cases by county: Carter 204, Greene 353, Hancock 8, Hawkins 186, Johnson 98, Sullivan 932, Unicoi 110, Washington 676.

Local data analysis

Northeast Tennessee’s surge in COVID-19 cases continued on Monday, with more than 270 new cases reported. It is the sixth time the region has reported more than 270 new cases — all of which have been reported since Oct. 7. Last week, the region set a record for new cases in a day (347) and a week (1,841).

With the rate of new cases increasing, active cases have risen as well — up 181 on Monday to 2,567. It is the most active cases reported in the region since Sept. 3, when the state reduced the length of the expected infectious period from 21 to 14 days. After 14 days, cases are automatically rolled in the inactive category.

Active cases increased in all eight regional counties. Washington County reported the largest increase at 62 after reporting the most new cases on Monday. Greene County, which reported the second-most new cases, added 51, while Sullivan County added 20. Carter (+19), Hancock (+2), Hawkins (+8), Johnson (+7) and Unicoi (+12) counties all reported fewer than 20 new active cases.

Overall, Sullivan County’s 932 led the region, and Washington County’s 676 was a distant second. Greene County was third with 353 active cases.

The region reported 1,815 new tests on Monday, falling below the 2,000-mark for the first time in three days. Of those tests, 16.31% (296) came back positive, the second consecutive day above 15% and eighth straight above 10%. Washington County led the way in testing with 523 conducted, and had the third highest positivity rate at 17.97%. Sullivan County had the highest rate, 20.63%, despite having the second most tests in the region (418). Every county except Johnson (5.42% of 129 tests), had a positivity rate above 10%.

Hancock County, which reported only 10 new tests, had a 10% positivity rate — pushing it into the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s red zone, which considers new cases per 100,000 population and the positivity rate over seven days. Hancock County was the region’s last county not yet in the red zone. All Northeast Tennessee counties, based on measures used by the task force, are now in the red zone.

Hospitalizations

Ballad Health reported 166 novel coronavirus-related (COVID-19) hospitalizations on Monday, increasing by 23 from Friday’s record count.

Since Oct. 1, Ballad’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen by 86.5%, and 43.1% in the last seven days. As of Monday morning, there were 166 inpatients with 28 in intensive care and 13 on ventilators.

“To our communities, we plead with you to stay home, social distance, wash your hands and wear masks in public,” Ballad said in a tweet following Monday’s announcement. “It is up to all of us to ensure that our hospitals don’t become overwhelmed so we can continue to provide the best possible care to all patients.”

According to estimates provided by Ballad last week, there are about 110 new hospitalizations and 35 deaths for every 1,800 new cases diagnosed.

Last week, the region reported 58 new hospitalizations — one shy of the record set in early August. With case counts rising, however, it’s possible that record will fall in the coming weeks. On Monday, the region reported five new hospitalizations in Hawkins (+1), Unicoi (+1) and Washington (+3) counties.

School-age children

Northeast Tennessee reported a record number of new cases among school-age children for the second consecutive day on Monday, with 50 new cases reported. On Sunday, there were 43 new cases.

New cases were reported in Carter (+4), Greene (+13), Hawkins (+2), Johnson (+1), Sullivan (+13), Unicoi (+1) and Washington (+16) counties.

ETSU

East Tennessee State University had 20 active cases of COVID-19 affecting 13 students and seven employees as of Monday afternoon — nine below the peak of 29 reported in late-September. There were 31 people quarantined in ETSU housing, which can include positive cases or those awaiting test results.

Last week the university reported 24 new cases, the most since the end of August. The record for new cases in a week is 56 in late July. Of the 288 cases, 268 are considered inactive.Mountain Home VA

The Mountain Home VA reported 95 active cases of COVID-19 on Monday, up by 13 from Friday’s count and back near a record level. In total, there have been 654 (+25) cases reported — 527 (+12) of which are considered inactive. There have been 32 deaths.

Novel coronavirus in Tennessee by the numbers

  • 2,279 new cases for a total of 249,866 since tracking began in March. 236,518 confirmed and 13,348 probable.
  • 32 new deaths reported for a total of 3,163.
  • 219,230 projected inactive cases.
  • 1,098 hospitalizations as of Sunday. Hospitalization data lags by one day.
  • 22,618 new tests for a total of 3.55 million.

State data analysis

After setting a record for new cases in a week last week, Tennessee added 2,279 new cases on Monday leading active cases to increase by more than 1,000 statewide. As of Monday, there were 27,473 active cases — a fourth straight day with a record number of active cases since the state’s reporting adjustment on Sept. 3.

Hospitalizations dropped significantly in the last two days, though that’s mostly due to a drop in the number of facilities reporting data than a true decrease in hospitalizations. On Sunday, only 94 of the typical 111 facilities reported, with even fewer (90) reporting on Monday. As a result, there were fewer hospitalizations reported, though hospitalizations are certainly higher than currently reported.

Data showed that of the 90 facilities reporting on Monday, there were an average of 12.2 patients in each. If that average held with all 111 hospital reporting, that would equal about 1,354 patients — which would be a record.

Following a record number of new deaths reported last week, the state reported 32 on Monday.