Welcome to another week. I hope you found some time to re-juice this weekend. I am sorry the Vols are not exactly giving people some good cheer. It still strikes me as miraculous that we have college football at all. Still, the days have been beautiful, and we seem to be moving closer to a vaccine and, perhaps, the end to this long nightmare. We need to get through this week in a safe manner so that we do not put ourselves further in a hole before it turns around.
Just over 59 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, an increase of about 4.2 million in the last week. About 40.8 million people are considered recovered and over 16.8 million people have active cases of the virus. About 1.4 million people have died of the illness, including about 68,000 over the last week.
The previous single-day record of just over 660,000, set the previous week, was broken on Friday when 662,957 new cases were reported for the day. The pandemic record for deaths in a day of just under 10,200 set just the week before, was exceeded four times this week, with the current record of 11,239 being set last Wednesday. Global daily averages are currently 581,839 new cases and 9,705 deaths. Last week on the same day the numbers were 575,774 cases and 8,766 deaths. The steep climb in international cases has eased over the last week, while deaths continue to increase rapidly.
Yesterday, 489,389 new cases were reported globally, and 7,415 people died of the illness. This compares to 490,610 and 6,613 new cases on the same day a week earlier, showing, again, that global cases are leveling off, while deaths continue to rise. The same five countries that led the world in deaths a week ago, led the world in deaths yesterday, though after the U.S., the names were slightly shuffled: the U.S. (871), Italy (562), Mexico (550), India (510), and Iran (475).
This week, as last week, eleven countries reported over 10,000 new cases for the day and the same eleven countries did so this week: the U.S. (137,010), India (44,404), Italy (28,337), Russia (24,581), the U.K. (18,662), Brazil (18,615), Poland (18,467), Germany (13,840), France (13,157), Iran (13,053), Ukraine (12,079). The U.S. continues to dominate the list with as many cases as the next five countries combined, while Europe dominates the list with the most countries.
Last week there were 51 countries reporting over 1,000 cases for the day and this week the number has risen to 56. The largest group is in Europe, with 23 countries, but there are now 19 in Asia, 7 in South America and 5 in Africa.
Approximately 12.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, up about 1.2 million from last week. About 7.5 million of those cases are now inactive and about 4.8 million people in the country have active cases, up about 600,000 from last week on the same day. about 263,000 Americans have died of the illness, up about 10,900 from the previous week.
As noted above, the U.S. continues, as it has for months, to far outpace all other countries for new cases and for deaths. The seven-day average has reached 172,789, up from 152,136 a week earlier. Daily records for new cases continue to be set each subsequent week. Going into last week, the record was 187,907 set on November 13th. That number was exceeded twice in the week just ended, with a new record of 204,179 new cases reported on Friday, November 20th.
As has been the case for months, the U.S. leads the world by wide margins in total reported cases (12.6 million to second-place India’s 9.2 million) and in total reported deaths (262.7K to second-place Brazil’s 169.2K). Over the last week, the U.S. moved up one spot to 6th per capita for cases in the world among countries with at least 1 million in population. It also moved up one spot to 8th per capita in deaths. The U.S. leads the world in total tests with over 180 million, and ranks 7th in per capita testing among populous countries, down a spot from last week.
Deaths, which were slower to increase than cases, are now increasing rapidly in the United States. There are currently 1,547 average daily deaths in the U.S., up from 1,156 a week ago. It is the highest the daily death toll has been since May 15. The two states leading the list of deaths yesterday were the same as last week, though in reverse order, while the other three are new this week: Illinois (99), Texas (77), Florida (59), Indiana (59), and Tennessee (55).
Yesterday, 26 states reported multiple thousands of new cases and 33 reported at least 1,000. Last week on the same day, the numbers were 22 and 33. The top five states were the same, with the exception of Texas replacing Florida (which dropped to number six): Illinois (10,012), California (8,695), Ohio (8,133), Minnesota (7,205), and Texas (6,611).
The top states in per capita cases remain the same as last week. In order, they are North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. The states leading in per capita deaths also remained the same: New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Louisiana. Tennessee moved up a spot to 8th in per capita cases and remained 26th in per capita deaths. Tennessee dropped to 10th in per capita cases (from 8th) and moved up a spot to 25th in per capita deaths.
The U.S. government continues to be hit by the virus, with three Republican Senators currently sidelined with the illness, as well as six Republican and one Democratic representatives. In the critical Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs, Republican Senator Loeffler has tested positive and is in isolation. Her positive test came the day after campaigning in person with Vice-President Pence and the Republican in the other race, Senator Perdue. Senator Loeffler has continued to hold in-person crowded rallies in recent weeks, including many people without masks. The report also came this week that Donald Trump, Jr. has tested positive for the virus. He has stated that he is asymptomatic.
For the third consecutive Monday, there has been a major announcement about a vaccine, with a different company each week announcing positive results. Today, it was Astrazenica’s turn, with the company reporting a 70% average success rate, but 90% under certain circumstances. This one is cheaper and easier to distribute. Many U.S. hospitals are now facing critical staff shortages and more expected to run short as U.S. hospitalizations from the virus continues to set new records. Despite pleas to limit travel to reduce the spread of the virus, over 1 million passengers were screened yesterday in U.S. airports, the first time over 1 million have been screened in a single day since March. The same day last year, however, saw 2.6 million screened.
Over the three days since the last report, Tennessee reported new daily cases numbering 3,444 on Friday, 4,355 on Saturday and 4,589 on Sunday. The seven-day average for cases in the state is 4,220, up from 4,155 a week ago, but down from Friday’s average of 4,481.
There have now been 314,854 confirmed cases in the state and 25,622 probable cases. 294,231 cases are now considered inactive, while 16,357 Tennesseans have active cases of the illness, up about 1,000 from the same day the previous week, and up about 200 from Friday.
Deaths reported for the state over the weekend were 74 on Friday, 9 on Saturday and 55 on Sunday. Friday’s total is the fifth highest reported during the pandemic, with each of the five coming on and after October 30. The state is averaging 53 deaths per day, up from 43 a week ago. and total deaths from COVID-19 have reached 4,266 in the state.
31 additional people were hospitalized in the state yesterday, bringing the total COVID-positive Tennesseans hospitalized in state to 11,570 since the beginning of the pandemic. Numbers currently hospitalized in the state continue at or near records with 2,062 in the COVID-positive Tennesseans in the hospital, 540 in the ICU and 257 on ventilators. ICU availability is the closest to capacity in the state, but is slightly better than Friday, at 12% availability.
Six deaths were reported since the last update, 0 on Saturday, two on Sunday and four today. This is double the number reported last week. Of the six, one person was between 18 and 44 years old, one person was between 64 and 75 and four were over 75.
The state reported just over 36,000 tests yesterday to bring the pandemic total to almost 4.3 million tests, which ranks 13th in the U.S., per capita. For the day, the state reported a positive test result rate of 12.57%. Johns Hopkins is reporting a seven-day average 14.4% positive test rate, up from 12.8% a week ago.
For the three days since the last report, the Knox County Health Department has reported 202, 240 and 169 cases for Saturday, Sunday and today. Yesterday’s number is the fifth highest single-day total for the county since the beginning of the pandemic, with each of the five coming in the last eight days.
Cases for the county now total 17,081 confirmed and 936 probables. Of these, 15,533 are now inactive and 2,332 are active, the highest that number has reached since calculations were adjusted at the beginning of October. The number is roughly 380 higher than the same day a week ago.
There are a record-setting 99 COVID-positive Knox County residents currently in the hospital, breaking the record set just five days ago. This brings the pandemic total to 562 Knoxville residents hospitalized with the illness since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the state website, Knoxville currently has a seven-day average of 12.2% positive test results, down from 13% a week ago.
The University of Tennessee is reporting 61 active cases, down from 86 reported on Friday. 2,017 students and staff are reported as recovered. For the three days since the last report, the University has reported 23 new cases.
The number in quarantine or isolation continues to rise and, at 578, is the highest it has been since September 23. The number includes 94 employees, 158 residential students and 326 non-residential students. There are no additional clusters and last week’s testing numbers have not been released. In the previous week, the University Student Health Clinic had an 18.6% positive test rate.
As of Friday afternoon, the Knox County Schools reported 139 active cases, a new record, up from the previous record of 135 set the day before. The number includes 93 students and 46 staff members.
749 students and staff are considered recovered, while a record 2,251 are in quarantine or isolation. This number includes 1,951 students and 300 staff members. The metrics remain unchanged, with Teacher attendance rated yellow, while custodial support and substitute availability remain red. Other metrics remain green.
Whittle Springs Middle and Sam Hill Primary (Pre-K only) could return to in-person instruction today, while Moreland Heights Elementary was added to the list of virtual-only instruction. The current list includes the following: