Published February 1, 2021
Hamilton County, TN – In a briefing on Thursday, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Hamilton County Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes issued updates regarding COVID-19, vaccinations and testing.
“We’ve had really good news in Hamilton County this week, our numbers have gone down as it relates to active cases. We’re now down close to 2,000 active cases, down almost a 1,000 from last week,” Coppinger said.
Coppinger also reported that hospitalizations are down considerably as are the ICU numbers.
Testing is continuing in Hamilton County and Coppinger reports that, “The positivity rate has gone from what was once around 20%, a couple of weeks ago, to now around 13%.”
The Health Department is continuing to test 6-days a week.
Barnes stated they are only averaging around 500 tests per day as opposed to over a thousand per day a few weeks ago.
“We’ve stopped testing on Sundays to redirect our staff to vaccination efforts,” Barnes said.
However, beginning February 7th, SEMPA and Alio Health will be offering testing on Sundays from 1 – 4 PM at their 4411 Oakwood Drive facility, off Highway 58.
Regarding the vaccine, Coppinger reported that a new shipment arrived Thursday morning and is available for first doses only. The Call Center’s number is 209-5398. Online reservations can be made here.
The Health Department is administering inoculations 7-days a week at either the Riverfront Park site or the CARTA Bus Barn site and some days at both sites.
Another site, at the Enterprise South Nature Park, is being set up in case Hamilton County receives enough vaccines to support it.
Becky Barnes reported that, as of Thursday morning, the Health Department had administered 10,189 first dose vaccinations and 3,021 second dose vaccinations for a total of 13,210. The latest vaccine inoculation numbers can be found here.
“Those are just vaccinations that the Health Department has done. Other community partners, hospitals specifically, are giving vaccine…and then there’s vaccinations going on in the Nursing Homes,” Barnes said.
Barnes stated that the Health Department is administering inoculations 7-days a week at either the Riverfront Park site or the CARTA Bus Barn site and some days at both sites.
“Our goal is to appoint a vaccine as soon as we get it,” Barnes said, “and when we get second doses, our goal is to give those second doses as soon as they are due.”
Barnes reported that when the first dose appointments begin to not be filled, that will prompt the Health Department to open up new Phases to be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Coppinger thanked those residents of Hamilton County that are “listening to them” and following the protocols put forth by the Health Department including wearing of masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings whenever possible.
“Again, we know this is making a significant difference in our community and keeping people more healthy,” Coppinger said.
Due to the decline in active COVID-19 cases and feedback from medical professional, last week on Tuesday, Hamilton County Schools updated their reopening plan to include the addition of grades 4 and 5 to the K-3 Phase 2 schedule beginning today, February 1st.
According to HCS, if the district remains in Phase 2 for the week of February 8th, grades 6-8 will be added to the four days per week in-person Phase 2 schedule going forward.