CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – According to the Tennessee Department of Health and the Hamilton County Health Department, the number of new daily cases and local hospitalizations associated with COVID-19 are in a steady decline.
Just a few weeks ago, Hamilton County was seeing an upward spike of 600 new covid cases daily; now the numbers have dropped to around 200 cases a day.
Across the state, covid cases appear to be in a decline which results in hospitalizations following the same trend.
Local infectious disease doctor tells News 12, the decreasing numbers are good news but this doesn’t mean we won’t see another spike.
“I don’t think our area is alone. I think we are seeing these trends all across the country. Hopefully we can maintain them, but there is still a lot of winter weather that is going to force us all indoors . I still see lots of crowded restaurants in the city. I think there is still the potential there for spread,” Says Dr. Jay Sizemore, Infectious disease at Erlanger.
Dr. Jay Sizemore says that although hospitalizations have dropped nearly 30% since our area hit its peak in December; the concern is now to uncover what role the new covid-19 variant will play in the case count.
“Unless you are a research lab who has the ability to do sequencing, your routine tests are not going to pick up on those variants. It will detect it but it wont detect the difference between the regular covid and the variant. I just don’t want the trend to be interrupted by the community that everything is ok. We are still in a red zone. We still have very high rates of transmissibility in the community. We are still in danger,” says Dr. Sizemore.
Health officials say that the decreasing numbers may also be a result of the declining number of tests being performed- and that is a big concern for them.
If you are feeling ill, you should get tested.
If you are in need of a test, the Alstom Testing site is open 6 days a week from 10am to 2:30.