Northeast Tennessee reported 22 new novel coronavirus-related (COVID-19) deaths on Thursday, a single-day record for new deaths as the region’s toll continues rising — with a third of all reported deaths in the region having been reported since Nov. 1.

Northeast Tennessee by the numbers

  • 314 new cases in the upper eight counties for a total of 19,931.
  • 22 new deaths in Northeast Tennessee for a total of 374.
  • 241 new projected inactive cases for a total of 16,923.
  • 2,634 estimated active cases in Northeast Tennessee.
  • New cases by county: Carter 64, Greene 30, Hancock 3, Hawkins 11, Johnson 4, Sullivan 116, Unicoi 6, Washington 80.
  • Active cases by county: Carter 377, Greene 377, Hancock 10, Hawkins 235, Johnson 67, Sullivan 777, Unicoi 114, Washington 677.

Local data analysis

The region reported a record number of new deaths on Thursday with 22, six higher than the previous high set on Nov. 10. The three highest single-day death totals have been reported since Nov. 1, with 126 new deaths reported in that time — 33.68% of the region’s total.

New deaths were reported in Carter (+3), Hawkins (+2), Sullivan (+10), Unicoi (+4) and Washington (+3) counties. Sullivan County nearly drew even with Washington County, which reported three more deaths on Thursday to make its total 92. Sullivan County has reported 89 deaths.

More than 300 new cases were reported regionwide despite the region reporting fewer than 1,000 new tests. The 314 new cases reported on 892 tests is the most new cases reported on a day with fewer than 1,000 new tests, barely topping the record of 306 on 807 tests on Nov. 12.

Active cases, meanwhile, increased by 41 across the region to 2,634 — 55.2% of which are in Sullivan (777) and Washington (677) counties. Greene (-9), Hawkins (-10), Johnson (-1) and Unicoi (-10) reported drops in active cases.

Hospitalizations

Ballad Health reported a record decrease in the number of COVID-19 inpatients on Thursday, falling by 21 to 225. Of those hospitalized, 45 (+4) were in intensive care and 34 (+5) on ventilators — a record number of ventilated patients. There were nine others awaiting test results.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Ballad officials said they’re still expecting a rise in hospitalizations in the coming weeks — particularly after Thanksgiving, with the hospital system on track to surpass 300 hospitalized patients by mid-December.

“Through the end of December to mid-December, we expect that we’ll get to 350 (hospitalizations),” said Ballad Chief Operating Officer Eric Deaton, “so that will be about a hundred more inpatients than we have today just in the next three weeks or so.”

There were 22 new hospitalizations reported across the region, the third-highest single-day total reported. All three of the highest days have been reported in the last week. New hospitalizations were reported in Carter (+2), Greene (+2), Hawkins (+1), Sullivan (+11), Unicoi (+2) and Washington (+4) counties.

School-age children

There were 36 new cases reported among school-age children on Thursday in Carter (+5), Greene (+4), Sullivan (+17), Unicoi (+1) and Washington (+9) counties.

ETSU

ETSU’s active case count continued to rise on Thursday, increasing by three to 36, with 30 students and six staff currently infected. There were eight new cases reported for a total of 27 so far this week, the fifth-highest week reported but the fourth week of decline — seven below last week’s total with one day remaining. There were 21 (no change) quarantined in ETSU housing.

In total, 429 have been infected and 393 are considered inactive.

Mountain Home VA

The Mountain Home VA’s active case count tied its previous record number of active cases at 120 on Thursday, rising by 37 since Tuesday. As of Thursday, there were 915 (+18) total cases attributed to the facility, of which 120 (+11) were active cases and 750 (+7) inactive. Forty-five (no change) have died.

Novel coronavirus in Tennessee by the numbers

  • 2,887 new cases for a total of 328,088 since tracking began in March.
  • 80 new deaths reported for a total of 4,128.
  • 3,854 new inactive cases for a total of 283,785 inactive cases.
  • 2,003 hospitalizations as of Wednesday. Hospitalization data lags by one day.
  • 16,937 new tests for a total of 4.19 million.
  • 40,175 active cases.