COVID-19: 9/11/2020 Update (Including State, Local, KCS and Today’s UT Briefing)

Tennessee Daily Cases 9.11.2020 (Source: Worldometers.com)

It’s the weekend. Let’s get out and grab some (safe) fun. We’ve taken to watching for the tiger from our balcony and watching to see if any planes land on top of our parking garage. So far, no success. Given the state of the world and the state of the city, anything seems possible. Here’s hoping that as the strangeness continues it is of the fun variety. Watch out for tigers, everybody.

State News:

The state of Tennessee reported 1,650 new cases of COVID-19, yesterday, as the testing program is ramping back up after the holiday slowdown (the chart I usually post was not updated). The pandemic total is now 163,515 confirmed cases and 4,722 probable cases.

Over 25,000 tests were reported yesterday, bringing the total tests given to almost 2.4 million. The seven day average for positive test results sits at 6.8%, while the state reports a 7.15% rate out of today’s reported testing. The state is reporting 151,202 people are recovered/inactive and 10,325 people remain ill.

Tennessee Daily Testing and Positive Test Result Rate 9.11.2020 (Source: Johns Hopkins University)

Either death reports were also delayed, or yesterday was a very bad day for reported deaths. The number of deaths reported across the state yesterday was 57, the second-highest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic. It brings the total to 1,988. Deaths have been rising for three consecutive days and the seven day average for deaths quickly returned to the mid-twenties (25).

The number of hospitalizations dropped overnight by forty to 808, despite the fact that there were 105 new hospitalizations. Presumably, the net drop came from the large number of deaths, combined with discharges. All hospital numbers continue to trend downward, with COVID-positive ICU patients now at 273 and ventilated patients now at 135.

Knox County Daily Cases 9.11.2020 (Source: Knox County Health Department)

Knox County News:

Today, the Knox County Health Department is reporting 120 new cases, to bring the pandemic total to 7,997. There are an additional 294 probable cases. Of these, 6,249 cases are now inactive and 1,978 people remain ill. There are currently 41 people in the hospital, bringing the pandemic total to 299 COVID-positive Knox County residents who have been hospitalized. There are no additional deaths to report, leaving that total at 64.

University of Tennessee Active Cases 9.11.2020 (Source: University of Tennessee)

University of Tennessee News:

UTK active case numbers continue to increase, though at a slower pace. The university is reporting 672 cases, up just 10 from yesterday. Of these, 661 are students and 11 are staff. 426 have recovered. The rate of increase for isolated and quarantined students and staff also continues to rise, but at a slower pace. As of today, 2,003 students (1,018 off campus, 985 on campus) and 76 staff members. The first new cluster in nearly a week has been identified.

Dr. Plowman started by detailing steps taken since Tuesday. Isolation rooms have been increased and Massey Hall continues to be shifted to a dedicated facility for the purpose. Most new infections have been through small indoor gatherings without masks. Visitors are being banned from on-campus residences and only room mates or suite mates may mingle. All meals will be served as carry-out.

Students are encouraged to gather outside. T-Recs is being closed for two weeks and all events and exercise classes are being moved outside. There will be no indoor events. Systematic testing in dorms will begin. She said the increase necessitated the moves. She said as they test all Massey Hall students before they are moved, they will have to quarantine until their test results come back, which may drive up the on-campus quarantine numbers.

She noted that the first cluster has been discovered in a residence hall, White Hall. She said a cluster is at least five positive cases or at least 20 close contacts linked together by event or location. They found six cases related to one wing of the residence hall. Those six are isolated and all those in the wing are now under quarantine.

Dr. Gregg said we have not yet seen the impact of Labor Day and that potential increase will likely only show a week to two weeks after the event. Dr. Plowman expressed hope that increase will be less because classes were held that day.

Dr. Gregg discussed the upcoming systemic testing. The testing will include waste water testing and will alert UT where to focus. Pooled saliva testing is also going to be used. The goal is to identify groups and individuals who are at risk and others who may be infected but not have symptoms. This will likely increase isolations and quarantines. At home specimen collection tests are also to be distributed. The campus clusters have prompted the move and they anticipate identified cases to increase with the expanded testing program.

Dr. Plowman ended by saying they understand the new restrictions are cumbersome and they hope they can lift them by September 27. She said the measures are necessitated by the rapid increase in cases and are necessary to continue on-campus education. She said the student code of conduct would be used if any students refuse to cooperated. She asked that students meet the moment by reducing close contacts.

Knox County Schools Active Cases 9.11.2020 (Source: Knox County Schools)

Knox County Schools:

The Knox County School System is reporting 58 active cases, including 41 students and 17 staff. The numbers reflect increases (even though the graph above suggests the numbers remained the same) of 4 total cases, 3 students and 1 staff member. It’s a slower rate of increase than reported on previous days. 129 students and staff are listed as recovered.

There are 871 in isolation or quarantine (792 students and 79 staff), which is up from 823 yesterday. The rate of increase has slowed, but is about 31.6% higher than the same day last week. All metrics remain unchanged and Cedar Bluff Middle School continues to be the only school on a completely virtual status.

Comments

  1. Nery Lliteras says

    What about nursing home visitations? Why are still not allowed to visit our loved ones? We can definitely visit them safely!!! But yet the just sit there wondering what happened to there families and why they are confided with strangers.

    • I would assume it’s because we are in the middle of a pandemic which has a high chance of killing them.

      • Nery Lliteras says

        Oh that’s right it’s much better to die from isolation, depression, anxiety, starvation or dehydration!

        • I’m pretty sure none of things are occuring in nursing homes in the area. If you know of any instances of that you should definitely report them or your kind of complect in the actions.

          What about all the people in there that you are not related to that your endangering? It wouldn’t take much to get one person sick and kill almost everyone in the home. Maybe you should look into some of the cases in New York.

          • Nery Lliteras says

            Right negligence doesn’t exist in nursing home. How is a family member any different than an employee? A family member would be a 100x more careful and we should go through the same screening process. And in reference to NY or for that case anywhere YOU don’t put sick patients from hospitals into nursing home setting they should have been isolated from the “most vulnerable & frail ” population!

          • Several of the nursing home instances in New York occured because of nurses coming in not knowing they were infected. Even with testing they seem to throw out incorrect results at a high enough rate they can’t be trusted.

            It seems you know that nursing home abuse is real which makes it more disturbing that your throwing the allegation around unfounded to try and get what you want. Again though you are putting a lot of other people at risk by visiting a place like that in these times.

            I am sorry. This whole thing has been pretty hard on all of us and it sounds like your really close to whomever you have in there. That being said there is a big picture here that your emotions are not letting you see. We have a really horrible winter ahead of us. I do hope you get to see whomever your love is again as soon as it safe.

      • Dean Schultz says

        Thats not there fsmily member or loved one. They have no authority to dictate when or if Family can visit. It can be done in such a way as to not harm anyone.

        Everybody is so careful and blinded believing everything there told. Take charge and make your own decisions. Do notnlet others dictate how you are to be.

        Especially when it comes to a loved one.

        • Families are free to discharge their loved ones and take care of them on their own if they do not like the safety precautions of the business.

          • Mindy, I assure you, if that were an option, I would do it. But sadly, my mother requires a skilled level of care that I cannot provide and both my father and mother require 24 hour care-I would have to quit my job to care for him alone. To hire private nursing is in excess of $100k per year. So while this sounds very noble, it’s also naive to think this is an option for the majority of families. Sadly, it’s an impossible situation. Fortunately my parents are at facilities that I have confidence in, but they are suffering terribly from loneliness.

        • Sealion Harpooner says

          It’s fun seeing which days and situations private businesses can and cannot dictate what happens on their premises and/or follow city and county mandates even if not enforced under penalty of law.

          As mentioned above: move your loved one out and provide the home healthcare they need or hire a professional to do so.

          “How you are to be” opens you up to legal liabilities.

  2. I don’t think you can visit nursing home or hospital patients safely. Since 40% of the cases are asymptomatic, all it takes is one unkowingly sick visitor to infect an entire nursing home or hospital wing. I doubt that will change until or if there is a vaccine.

    • Nery Lliteras says

      We can visit our loved ones “safely” just like everyone else is going out & having “fun” safely!

    • But you CAN visit in the hospitals. They permit it with screening and face coverings and confining visitors to the patient room.

      Right now the prevention is a cruel solution that shouldn’t be an indefinite on. The epicurve requirements for opening visitation of fewer than 10 new infections per 100k of the population sustained for 14 days required by the TN Dept of Health is not going to happen for a very, very long time. If ever. It’s time we start to talk about options that are reasonable and workable for families and the nursing homes. That’s all we’re asking, not throwing the doors wide open.

  3. Melita Duffy says

    I have a parent in a local nursing home, who I haven’t been able to visit since March. Anytime anyone is in a community living situation, rules of the administration apply for the safety and protection of all (particularly during a pandemic), but this situation is particularly hard. Fortunately, this nursing home arranged for their Recreation Therapy Department to schedule weekly FaceTime visits with residents and family members (phones purchased by RT, whose staff bring a phone and remain with the resident during the call). It’s been a lifesaver and very reassuring. I know everyone’s situation is different and that there are always barriers, but it might be worth a try to contact your nursing home administrator to see if this or another creative way to visit might be arranged.

  4. My niece is an LPN the works in a nursing home. Despite their best efforts, she became infected, at a nursing home. Now she’s home sick, and spent Friday in the ER, because this young healthy woman, was getting worse.

    Now she has Pneumonia due to Covid-19. Sicker and will be out of work, for quite some time, speaking optimistically. I do not want to think about how many healthcare workers and patients were made sick by the same person who spread it to my niece.

    My son and his wife have not been able to visit his mother or his grandparents since February. While not in a nursing home, they are isolating as best they can.

    There is no easy path through this. You do what you can, protect those that you can, and don’t make it worst.

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