Tennessee sees rise in COVID-19 cases, vaccinations
JACKSON, Tenn. — Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey says COVID-19 vaccinations in the state are on the rise.
“Our vaccine uptake in Tennessee is up 22% week over week from 62,000 a week to 76,000 a week. That means some Tennesseans, a lot of Tennesseans, who have been hesitant are now saying, ‘You know what? I’m ready!'” Piercey said.
Piercey says 94 out of 95 counties in Tennessee have seen a week over week increase in vaccinations.
“Our breakthrough rate in Tennessee is 0.18%. That is less than .2% of all fully vaccinated Tennesseans are getting infected,” Piercey said.
She says about 2.6 million Tennesseans have been vaccinated, and only 1,600 of them have tested positive for the virus.
“I don’t want you to get in the habit of thinking that vaccines don’t matter or that you’re likely to get a breakthrough infection because you’re very, very likely to not do that. Breakthrough infections are rare, and when they do happen, they’re generally not serious and rather mild,” Piercey said.
This means the vaccine is still the most effective way to fight against COVID-19.
In fact, Piercey says the surge in COVID-19 cases are from those not vaccinated.
“Over 93% of all cases right now are amongst the unvaccinated, as well as 95% of deaths and 90% of hospitalizations,” she said.
Piercey says over 80% of all cases in Tennessee are the delta variant.
“We now have well over 1,000 Tennesseans hospitalized statewide, and if you think back to the winter and when we had that big surge, our level of hospitalizations is now at about the level of where we were when we were in February. That is clearly the wrong direction,” Piercey said.
She says regarding masks requirements in schools, she feels it should be left up to local leaders.
“There really is not a one size fits all policy. This is something that school boards need to decide what is best for them and their communities,” Piercey said.
Piercey says it’s important to talk to your doctor regarding getting vaccinated to know the facts.
She says vaccinated people are not required to wear a mask unless around high risk individuals.
You can find where to get a COVID-19 vaccine here.