Active COVID-19 cases in Tipton County are increasing at a rapid rate, the number breaking records every day this week.
Cases have been increasing for the last two weeks as the Omicron variant has been spreading in southwestern Tennessee.
Two weeks ago Tipton County had 266 active cases and that number grew by 398 percent to 1,326 by Wednesday. The previous record was 823 active cases on Sept. 5, 2021 during the Delta surge.
Cases per week increased by 635 percent over two weeks ago and the risk of being infected with COVID is now in the severe category.
Across the state, that’s happening in unvaccinated patients more than those who are fully vaccinated. The state is reporting 200 cases per 100,000 residents amongst those who are unvaccinated compared to 54/100,000 in those who are fully vaccinated. In other words, 99 percent of those cases are in unvaccinated patients.
Cases per capita have also been at record-breaking levels for the last two weeks. On Wednesday, that measure was 226.1 cases per 100,000 residents.
The good news, experts say, is Omicron doesn’t seem to be putting many more people in the hospital than its predecessors. Baptist-Tipton is reporting record volumes of patients being seen in its emergency department and a full Med-Surg unit.
Its ICU is not full, however. Tipton County’s deaths sit at 179, a two-person increase in the last month but a 20-person increase in the last quarter.
Gov. Bill Lee ended the state of emergency months ago, which removes the power for local government to institute mask mandates or other preventative measures. Additionally, that power was also taken from the state’s school systems.