NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Hundreds of Tennesseans are being placed on ventilators while hundreds more are in the ICU or checking into hospitals.
As of Sunday, August 8, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) 1,702 hospitalizations with 501 cases in the ICU and 247 on ventilators. It is a concerning trend given based on the data, there were 101 vent cases and 227 ICU cases just two weeks ago on July 25.
The continued surge takes place as health officials warn of the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant sweeping the country. TDH Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey stated last week Delta is 2-3 times more contagious than the previous variants.
With previous variants, for every person infected, they would infect 1-2 others. With Delta, Dr. Piercey says for every person sick, they are spreading it to 5 others.
The variant has also caused a surge in cases among children with 5,573 cases among school-aged children testing positive the last 14 days. That total is over 6 times the 864 reported cases just under a month ago on July 12.
As with adults, the number of children in hospitals has also spiked. According to TDH data, there are currently 38 pediatric cases, 14 in the ICU and 7 on ventilators. The rise in child cases prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer guidance calling for children 2 and up to wear a mask in public indoor settings, including schools. Tennessee leaders have opted to leave the decision on masking up to individual districts rather than impose any mandates.