Hamilton County health department administrator Becky Barnes on Tuesday reported a record-high 175 new COVID-19 cases in the county for a cumulative of 3,684. She said 1,408 of those cases are active.
“We are seeing an increase in a demand for testing, but this is also an increase in positive cases. There has been a gradual increase in a demand for testing since early July, and that trend is continuing,” said Ms. Barnes. “Yesterday we tested for a one-day record of 968 people at Brainerd High School, and today we have tested for over 1,000.”
The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in Chattanooga also reached a new high of 78. Only 27 of those are from Hamilton County.
The number of those in Intensive Care remains at 15.
Ms. Barnes said the African American Church Testing Initiative tested over 1,000 people on Saturday and Sunday. Ms. Barnes said that as more tests are being performed, the number of days required to get test results back has also increased.
“We were having a two-day turnaround time, and now it’s three or four days,” said Ms. Barnes. “The lab we’re using is adding additional capacity, and we expect to be back to our shorter turnaround time by the 20th of the month.”
She asked for anyone with symptoms to isolate themselves until they get their results back. Ms. Barnes also mentioned the zip code chart for just today’s results, and she said this chart showed results popping up in all corners of the county, not just one place.
“We don’t want anyone to think their address protects them,” said Ms. Barnes.
As the county has said countless times, Ms. Barnes asked the public to wear a mask. In addition to this, she said washing hands periodically and social distancing help curb the spread of the virus.
“I will say that early response to our mask directive has been very good,” said Ms. Barnes. “When I went to the grocery store today, 100 percent of the people in the grocery store were wearing masks, so that is a great positive reaction to the directive.”
Ms. Barnes said free masks are still available, and the county has requested 100,000 more masks from the state.
Ms. Barnes said around 70 restaurants have had positive cases. She said every kind of business has had positive cases, saying “Wherever people are, we have cases.”