State, local health officials give update on Delta variant
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – COVID cases are up across the country, and as the Delta variant continues to spread, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
“At the end of June we were looking at how to unwind at Erlanger, some of our COVID policies, and try to get back to normal. And clearly that’s come to a screeching halt,” says Dr. Jay Sizemore, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention with Erlanger.
Hamilton County is no exception to the surge, with 120 new cases reported today. That’s the most number of cases in the area since March.
Dr. Sizemore warns that if vaccination rates don’t increase, it could only get worse.
“Heading into another month or so into the fall, to more indoors, school starting – it could be a mess,” says Dr. Sizemore.
At the state level, things are looking equally as grim.
In a virtual press conference, health commissioner Lisa Piercey discussed Tennessee’s rising infection rates, citing a 200 percent increase since July 1st.
“The average per day over the last seven days is about 700 or over 700 cases a day and that continues to grow. Now to put that in perspective that is about where we were in early May,” said Dr. Piercey.
Some counties are getting hit harder than others, but all have seen spikes in infections.
“Now we are approaching 10 percent positivity rate statewide and we have 10 counties that are at least fifteen percent or more, and a few are even higher than twenty percent,” Dr. Piercey says.
To view the Health Department’s COVID vaccine event calendar, you can visit their website.