COVID-19 infections in Blount County have risen over the spring and summer, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health, but show signs of decline as the season starts to turn.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 9,the seven-day national average of COVID-19 cases sat at 107,077, according to Centers For Disease Control and Prevention information. That average has decreased significantly since COVID-19 peaked in the U.S. in January; on Jan. 13, 809,455 people were included in that figure. Yet, data also indicate that there was a rise in the average number of cases per week beginning in late March. A sustained increase in weekly averages began near April 1 and continued before reaching something of a plateau around May 20.
At the local level, Blount County’s own COVID-19 numbers reflect those same national trends on a slight delay. Sustained increases in caseloads began around the end of April before starting to moderate and lessen within the first week of August.
Blount Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jane Souther recommended that Blount Countians continue following basic health precautions as COVID persists, advising, “If you’re immunocompromised, the CDC recommends you continue wearing masks in public. Of course, continuing to be diligent about handwashing will help protect against both COVID and the flu, as we’re about to head into flu season. If you do have a positive COVID test, the best advice remains to stay home, and if you need to consult a physician, consider a Telehealth visit.”
She added that the hospital “hope(s) to continue to see lower numbers of hospitalized patients with COVID in the coming months. We’re expecting a new vaccine booster in the next few weeks, and we encourage people to take it, especially since it will help protect against the more prominent variants we’ve seen lately.”