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COVID still strong in our community
COVID vaccine

Emerging from 10 straight days away from school in an effort to tamp down COVID cases, the Warren County School System reported 67 positive students and another 206 students in quarantine Tuesday during the first day back.

Those numbers are much better than on Friday, Aug. 27 when classes were cancelled for five school days and 10 total days away from school in a row because of 228 positive students and more than 1,000 in quarantine.

COVID numbers in the overall community haven’t diminished as noticeably. Ascension Saint Thomas River Park CEO Dale Humphrey reports it was a hectic holiday weekend that left many staff members exhausted.

“We have seen pediatric patients that are positive,” said Humphrey. “The ER has been full much of the time. We’ve had as many as nine patients awaiting/ needing transfers that are really hard to get accepted anywhere. We’ve had as long as 12-hour waiting times due to volume.”

According to data from the Tennessee Department of Health, over the past two-week period ending on Labor Day, Warren County has averaged 72.6 new reported COVID cases per day. 

During the prior two-week reporting period from Aug. 10 to Aug. 23, Warren County averaged 28.4 new cases a day.

If there’s upbeat news to report, it’s that Americans continue to get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday, 176.6 million Americans, or 53.2%, are now fully vaccinated and 207.6 million, or 62.5%, have received at least one dose.

The bad news from a public health standpoint is Warren County is more than 20% behind both of those numbers and Tennessee in general hasn’t embraced the vaccine as much as other parts of the country.