CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – We’ve been telling you now for a few weeks that Covid-19 cases are on the rebound again in our area.
But the situation has gotten dramatically worse in the last week in Hamilton County.
And we’re now seeing the worst numbers yet in the pandemic.
The Health Department reports 259 new cases on Wednesday.
That is the second highest climb yet and just one case below the all time high we set just last week.
We’re now dwarfing the peak days we saw back in the summer.
The 14 day rate of new cases is up 87%.
But the hospital numbers are just as concerning.
Hospitalizations in Hamilton County are up 27% over the last 14 days and we’re now topping the peaks from last summer.
But the real spike in hospitalizations are actually coming from people living outside of Hamilton County… their rate is 1 1/2 times the in-county rate.
In fact, the number of Hamilton County residents in the hospital is still below the summer peak numbers.
Of course, officials point out that Hamilton County has a mask requirement while none of the surrounding counties do. But that doesn’t explain away the new cases/positive tests, which are just Hamilton County residents.
Still, the hospital numbers show we are getting close to maxing out our medical capacity here. This graphic shows the number of hospital bed available now, which is the lowest it has been in the pandemic.
Hamilton County officials reported one new Covid-19 death on Wednesday, a young woman between the ages of 11 and 20.
The total number of deaths in Hamilton County is now 127.