Hospitals Feel Strain As COVID-19 Cases Continue to Surge



New virus case numbers rose by 549 over the last 24 hours. The new total puts the total of all positive cases in Shelby County since March at 49,263.

Total current active cases of the virus — the number of people known to have COVID-19 in the county — fell slightly to 3,672. The figure peaked just above 2,000 in October. The figure had been as low as 1,299 in September. The new active case count represents 7.6 percent of all cases of the virus reported here since March.

The Shelby County Health Department reported 4,911 tests have been given in the last 24 hours. Since March 677,364 tests have been given. This figure includes multiple tests given to some people.

The latest weekly positivity rate fell from the last time the figure was reported, the first time the number has dropped in seven weeks. The average rate of positive tests for the week of November 15th was 10.3 percent, lower than the 11.2 percent rate recorded for the week of November 8th. The new weekly average rate is roughly the same as late July.

Shelby-County-area hospitals are now red-lined on two key capacity measures. The number of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in use and the number of acute-care beds in use are now at 93 percent. The health department reported that only 34 ICU beds were available as of Wednesday morning. Only 178 acute-care beds were available. Area hospitals suspended elective surgeries Monday in a move to make more health care facilities available for COVID-19 patients.  

No new deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours and the number now stands at 672. The average age of those who have died in Shelby County is 73, according to the health department. The age of the youngest COVID-19 death was 13. The oldest to die from the virus is now 101 after a recent death.

There are 8,252 contacts in quarantine.


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