Moore adds 171 new COVID cases last week

Over the seven day period from January 16-22, Moore County confirmed 171 new, active COVID-19 cases, according to the latest weekly report released by the state on Wednesday. (Graphic Provided)

LOCAL NEWS — The latest state numbers were released on Wednesday and new cases of COVID-19 in Moore County continue to rise as the more contagious but less severe omicron variant spreads through the state. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, Moore County’s case count jumped 171 from new cases reported from January 16 to 22. This brings the total of active cases in Lynchburg to 280. We also experienced two additional COVID-19 related deaths last week for a total of 34.

Moore County has reported a total of 314 new cases since the state started reporting numbers weekly the first week of January. State numbers do not include cases confirmed at home by rapid tests.

Grundy County and Moore County report the two highest regional new case counts based on total population. Grundy County reported 191 new cases to Moore County’s 171 with similar population numbers. Other regional numbers of new cases are as follows: Bedford (1,163), Coffee (1,222), Franklin (1,008), and Lincoln (785).

Director of School Chad Moorehead reports that as of Thursday morning’s count, there were 78 students, faculty, and staff absent from Moore County Schools due to reasons relating to COVID-19. Director Moorehead told us there is no magic number for going remote and school officials were doing everything possible to avoid that decision.

“We plan to stay open unless we have a staff shortage that prevents us from being open,” he said.

Director Moorehead also explained that the Moore County School System would need a special waiver from the State Commissioner of Education to go remote. So far, around 70 schools across the state – mainly in rural districts – have temporarily switched to virtual learning since January 1 including Fayetteville City Schools, Franklin County Schools, and Lincoln County Schools.

Despite the surge in numbers, omicron, which hit larger cities first, does seem to be waning based on reduced numbers of new cases in places like Nashville and Memphis. Cases in those two counties have dropped for two consecutive weeks in a row. Federal officials predict that the latest variant will peak around mid-February. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}