Hospitals Strain Again on Rising Virus Case Counts



New virus case numbers rose by 613 over the last 24 hours. The new cases put the total of all positive cases in Shelby County since March at 71,728.

Total current active cases of the virus — the number of people known to have COVID-19 in the county — fell to 6,759. The figure had been as low as 1,299 in September and rose above 2,000 only in October. The new active case count represents 9.4 percent of all cases of the virus reported here since March.

The Shelby County Health Department reported 5,097 tests have been given in the last 24 hours. Now, 852,458 tests have been given here since March. This figure includes multiple tests given to some people.

As of Wednesday, acute care beds were 94 percent full in area hospitals with 152 beds available. Of the 2,206 patients in acute care beds now, 496 of them were COVID-19-positive. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds were 95 percent full with 23 beds available. Of the 397 patients in ICU beds now, 164 were COVID-19-positive.

The latest weekly positivity rate rose to a record high. The average positive of test results for the week of December 20th was 14.3 percent. The new average rate is higher than the previous average rate of 13.1 percent recorded for the week of November 22nd.

Thirty-one new deaths were reported over the last 24 hours. However, the health department said the deaths span from December 12th to January 5th. The total death toll now stands at 984. The average age of those who have died in Shelby County is 74, according to the health department. The age of the youngest COVID-19 death was 13. The oldest person to die from the virus was 101.

COVID-19 Testing Availability

The health department said "Shelby County has plenty of testing capacity available, and anyone who thinks they need a test should get one." Two of the community drive-through testing sites are now available to anyone, and no appointment is needed during their regular testing hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Those sites are:

• 2355 Appling City Cove

• 1720 RKS Commercial Cove (off Lamar Avenue)


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