State's rural testing initiative yields few results

The Tennessee Department of Health has now reported a total of 1,042,123 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 6,519 cases on Monday from 30,862 new test results — an 18.7 percent positivity rate.

Of the total number of cases, 13,429 people have died — with 20 deaths reported in the past 24 hours.

The number of active cases in Tennessee has increased 61 percent in the past two weeks, with state health officials reporting that 79,462 individuals are currently infected with the coronavirus — an all-time high.

The number of patients hospitalized within the state has increased 39 percent in two weeks, with 3,272 people now being treated for illness caused by the virus — also an all-time high. In terms of capacity, the state reports that 11 percent of inpatient beds and 7 percent of ICU beds remain available. Nearly 61 percent of the state's ventilator supply is still available. But a major issue hospitals continue to face is low staffing, officials said. 

So far, 2,845,434 Tennessee residents have been fully immunized against COVID, which amounts to 41.7 percent of the state's total population of about 6,910,000. More than 142,000 vaccine doses were administered during the past week, picking up the pace nearly four-fold after demand had waned throughout the summer. A total of 6,189,005 doses have been administered across the state.

The Metro Public Health Department reported a 519 percent increase in Nashville’s seven-day moving average case rate in the past month, bringing the county total to 113,537 cases. Of them, 5,735 infections are currently active and 984 people have died.

Nashville has fully immunized 51 percent of its total population and administered more than 745,000 doses thus far. The Davidson County population is an estimated 715,000.

Nashville opens second COVID testing, vaccination site

Nashville city officials are opening a new COVID-19 assessment center in partnership with Meharry Medical College in a vacant HCA Healthcare parking lot on 28th Avenue North.

The center will offer testing and vaccinations against COVID-19, and was opened to help meet rising demand as the state experiences record-breaking outbreaks.

The address for the site is 350 28th Ave. N., currently an unused parking lot owned by TriStar Centennial Hospital near the Parthenon.

Operated by Meharry, the site should be operational by the end of the week.

Several pop-up vaccination and testing events have also been planned, including at Tennessee State University, Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Southeast Community Center and Saturn Drive Baptist, among others. A full list of vaccination and testing events each week can be found here.

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