Moore County doubles its number of new COVID cases this week

COVID 19 continues to spike across the United States and the state of Tennessee. But what do those number mean in a small, rural town like Lynchburg? Each Monday, The Lynchburg Times drills down and examines the global pandemic from a hyper local perspective to help Moore County make informed decisions. Here are five pieces of information, we think you should know from the last seven days:

In the last seven day (November 8-14), Moore County has gained 30 new, active COVID-19 cases and now has a 26.3% positivity rate, per the TN Department of Health. (Graphic Provided)

Moore County doubled its new case count this week. Moore County gained 30 new, active COVID-19 cases in the past seven days. Last Sunday, the state department of health reported 303 total cases and on Saturday that number is 329. That’s double the number of new cases from the previous week. From November 1-7, Moore County only gained just 13 new cases. According to the state, Moore County’s positivity as of Saturday was 26.3 percent. According to the World Health Organization, an positivity rate above five percent suggests that virus is spreading freely within a given community.

Every other southern middle Tennessee county also doubled their case count. Bedford County increased 229 cases last week (up from 104 the previous week). Coffee County went from 114 new cases to 181 new cases. Franklin County jumped 179 new cases (up from 76 the previous week) and Lincoln got 178 new case last week as compared to 86 the week before.

ICU bed capacity is just 11 percent in the state. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 36 percent (or 530 beds) of the state’s isolated COVID beds are available and 11 percent (or 219 beds) of the state’s ICU beds are available for incoming COVID-19 patients. This week’s hospital capacity reports also states that 72 percent of the state’s supply of ventilators (or 2,576 ventilators) are available. To read the complete report, click here.

Moore County Junior Pro basketball seasons is a go. Despite the fact that both Director of Schools Chad Moorehead and several school board members expressed concerns the Metro School Board voted unanimously to move forward with Junior Pro Basketball at the LES Gym this winter. The measure closely follows the rules established for both Moore County High School an Middle School games and follows all TSSAA guidelines. The board gave Director Moorehead broad authority to pull the plug on those season “at his discretion” should it become necessary.

Mayor Lewis says she will not issue a mask mandate. Governor Bill Lee continues to refuse to issue a state wide mask mandate, instead pushing off the the issue onto county-level officials and local mayors. At the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce meeting on Thursday, Mayor Lewis told the group that while she supports mask wearing, she did not feel as if the majority of Moore County citizens would support such a measure. Sheriff Hatfield has also previously stated that a local mask mandate would be next to impossible to enforce. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, 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.}

Moore gains 21 new COVID cases this week

As shown on this TN Department of Health graphic, Moore County has experienced a total of 286 COVID-19 cases including 21 new cases this week.

As of this afternoon’s Tennessee Department of Health’s 2 p.m. numbers, Moore County confirmed 21 new, active COVID-19 cases this week. That’s down from 29 new cases last week. Our last reported positivity rate was 26.4 percent.

Coffee County continues to be a regional hotspot with 161 new cases this week. They has 163 new cases last week. Bedford County added 124 – an increase of 25 over the previous week. Franklin County and Lincoln County both reported fewer cases this week than last week.

Here’s are the other top three things you should know this week:

1 | Tennessee #9 state with most COVID cases. This week, a White House Coronavirus Taskforce report showed that Tennessee is among the top 10 states with the most new COVID cases. This week the state gained 15,401 new cases and there are currently 26,478 active cases, according to this afternoon’s TN Department of Health numbers. Governor Lee continues to resist issuing a state-wide mask mandate and instead leaves that decision up to local elected officials.

2 | More cases coming from counties without mask mandates. A Vanderbilt study released this week, states that Tennessee hospitals are seeing an increased number of patients from areas without a mask mandate. “We’ve seen a statewide increase in hospitalizations since early October, indicating that masking alone is not sufficient to curb further spread of the virus,” John Graves, associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said in a news release. “But it’s very clear that areas where masking requirements have remained in place have seen much lower growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

3| State hosts free COVID testing in rural counties. The numbers clearly show that COVID cases are surging in rural areas. As such, the state will hold six free COVID 19 testing events in rural counties this weekend. The two in middle Tennessee are planned for Smith County and Wilson County.

To view the new COVID-19 Dashboard created by the TN Department of Health, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, 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.}