Hamilton County’s positive COVID-19 case count ended last week with a meteoric rise, something that persisted through the extended Memorial Day weekend. Health Department administrator Becky Barnes says there have been 163 new cases since noon Friday.
Also, Hamilton County has added a 15th death from coronavirus, the Hamilton County Health Department reported on Tuesday. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said that was an earlier death at a Chattanooga hospital who initially was counted as a Georgia resident. He said the most recent death was an 83-year-old white male.
“These increased numbers reflect both an increase in testing but also an continued increase in spread. This spread continues to be linked to essential workers who have remained on the job during the stay at home phase,” Ms. Barnes said.
She said that of the 163 new cases, the zip codes of the highest frequency is 37407 with 37 new cases, 37412 with 20 cases, and 37404 with 18 cases. Of the new cases, 78 percent of new cases are Hispanic. She said the mean age is 32 and half of the cases are epi-linked.
Ms. Barnes said 23 new cases have popped up today, bringing the total number of cases to 717. She said 374 have recovered, so there are 328 active cases in Hamilton County. She said over 14,000 tests have been conducted.
The administrator said she was unaware of a recent New York Times study, which shows that Chattanooga is now fifth in growth rate for cases, and that this may predict another flareup.
She stated, “We are taking this very seriously, as we have since the beginning. What we have said since then is that without a vaccine, we can expect surges, and hopefully with contact tracing, we can suppress it.”
When asked if the rise in cases may be reason for the county mayor to rethink opening the county, Ms. Barnes said the low number of hospitalized cases means the hospitals are not being overwhelmed. She said the county will continue to look at a variety of metrics when making decisions.
Tennessee now has 343 coronavirus deaths - up by five since the Monday report.
There were 358 new cases, bringing the total to 20,965.
There were 15 more hospitalizations for a total of 1,609.
Nashville has had one more coronavirus death - a 90-year-old woman. It is not known at this time if she had underlying health conditions. Cases are at 4,974 - an increase of 153 in the past 24 hours.
The confirmed cases in Nashville range in age from 1 month to 100 years.
Memphis is still at 94 deaths.
Bledsoe County is at 608 cases with one coronavirus death. Almost all the cases are from Bledsoe County Correctional Complex at Pikeville.
Bradley County is up to 99 cases - one more - with one death.
Rhea County jumped from 13 cases to 188 related to an outbreak among migrant workers at a farm. It is now at 197.
Marion County is up to 37 cases. It has recorded one death. Sequatchie County is at 12 cases. Grundy County is at 32 cases with one death. Meigs County is at 25 cases. Franklin County has 48 cases with one death.
McMinn County is at 135 cases and now 14 deaths. All of those deaths are at the Life Care Center of Athens.
Monroe County is now at 58 cases and it has had two coronavirus deaths. Polk County is at 14 cases.
Sumner County (Gallatin) is up to 838 cases and remains at 45 deaths.
There are 527 cases in Williamson County and it has 10 coronavirus deaths.
Knox County remains at five deaths and it has 345 cases - up nine.