COVID-19 Deaths Top 600 In Shelby County



New virus case numbers rose by 257 over the last 24 hours, putting the total of all positive cases in Shelby County since March at 41,125.

The new total adjusts to real cases here. The new-case total has been off-kilter for more than a week with a low total of 17 one day last week to a near-record 691 cases reported Tuesday. The erratic figures came as Tennessee Department of Health officials updated some computer software. The figures were expected to return to normal today.

Shelby County's healthcare resources red-lined in two key areas as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.   Around 90 percent of the area's acute care beds are now occupied. Only 196 acute care beds are now available, according to the report. Around 91 percent of the area's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are occupied. That leaves only 40 ICU beds available for new patients.

Total current active cases of the virus — the number people known to have COVID-19 in the county — dropped slightly to 3,126 Thursday morning. Though, the figure peaked above 2,000 only three weeks ago. The figure had been as low as 1,299 in September. The new active case count represents 7.7 percent of all cases of the virus reported here since March.

The Shelby County Health Department reported that  3,518 tests were given the last 24 hours. Tests here now total 594,228. This figure includes multiple tests given to some people.

The latest weekly positivity rate rose slightly from the last time the figure was reported. The average rate of positive tests for the week of October 25th was 8.8 percent. That's up over the 8.6 percent rate recorded for the week of October 18th. The new weekly average rate is the highest since mid-August, just as cases began to fall from a mid-July spike that had a weekly average positive rate of 12.7 percent. The new weekly positive average marks the fifth straight week that the rate has climbed.

Total deaths rose by 10 in the last 24 hours and now stand at 604, in another grim milestone for this pandemic. The average age of those who have died here is 73, according to the health department. The age of the youngest COVID-19 death was 13. The oldest to die from the virus here was 100.

There are 7,887 contacts in quarantine.

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