Washington County added 70 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, the highest one-day total reported in the county since Jan. 17.
The surge brought its seven-day new case total to 272 — 50 more than neighboring Sullivan County which has a slightly larger population.
Overall, the region reported 223 new COVID-19 infections, the highest one-day total since Jan. 29 — and just the second time Northeast Tennessee has added 200-plus cases since Jan. 31. Thursday’s new case count brought the region’s seven-day average to 126.1, the highest rate since Feb. 16.
Since hitting a low point of 65.2 on March 8, the region’s seven-day new case rate has nearly doubled.
Behind Washington County, Sullivan County reported 50 new cases, while Carter (28), Greene (11), Hawkins (32) and Johnson (19) counties each reported double-digit new case counts.
Active cases, which were at 1,405 as of Thursday, have also seen a sharp increase since early March — increasing by 90.8% since hitting a low of 736 on March 10. Sullivan County (470) currently has the most active cases in the region, though Washington County has seen its active case count (432) grow at three times the rate of Sullivan County’s over the past two weeks.
Since March 26, Sullivan County’s active case count has increased by 10.3%, while Washington County has seen a 32.9% increase — the third-largest in the region over that time behind Greene County (57.3%) and Johnson County (67.8%). Greene County has 140 active cases, about 32% of Washington County’s total, while Johnson County’s total of 47 equals about 11%.
Northeast Tennessee’s seven-day positivity rate, which has been on the rise since early March, climbed to its highest rate since Jan. 21 on Thursday, crossing the 15% mark for the first time in 77 days. That rate has more than doubled since hitting a low point of 7.02% on March 8. Washington County had a daily positivity rate of 22.4% on Thursday, just behind Sullivan County’s rate of 24.12%.
Nations around the world set new records Thursday for COVID-19 deaths and new coronavirus infections as the disease surged even in some countries that have kept the virus in check. The full story can be found on A9.