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Hospitalizations, deaths, and positivity rate continues to rise

With numbers from Christmas celebrations along with the upcoming New Year’s Eve countdowns expected to surge the current numbers of COVID cases in the region, Ballad Health systems in the 21-county area they serve continues to see an increase in hospitalizations, deaths, and the positivity rate continues to climb.
According to numbers released on Tuesday, there are currently 328 patients who are being treated at Ballad Health facilities. With those numbers, there are only 47 COVID-designated beds available for incoming patients.
Included in the 328 patients are 42 new admissions. There were also 35 discharges.
Ballad also reported that in the last seven days, 93 people have succumbed to COVID bringing the total number of deaths since March 1, 2020, to 1,077 total in the 21-county area.
Along with hospitalizations and deaths, the positivity rate that indicates the percentage of people who are testing positive had risen from 24 percent to 30.1 percent.
With a 30 percent rate, that means roughly that one in every three who are getting tested comes back with a positive result. Breaking that into easier numbers for the general public, if a county had 24,000 people and everyone received a test, 8,000 of those tests would be positive.
Since Ballad Health started tracking in the 21-county area, there have been a total of 62,510 positive COVID cases.
Currently, of the 328 patients that are in the hospital, there are 77 patients in the Intensive Care Unit with 45 of those on ventilators. The hospital is currently awaiting results on eight patients who have been tested for COVID.
There is a statewide concern that with the anticipated surge of cases from Christmas and New Year’s that hospitals will be taxed beyond what they will be able to withstand in providing care to those who need treatment for COVID.
Many county mayors have extended mask mandates to February 27 with citizens asked to continue to wear masks, the social distancing of up to six feet, and washing hands regularly.