Story by Ashley Norman / Contributing Writer
Rutherford County recorded its highest seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases in six weeks on Tuesday, according to analyzed data from the Tennessee Department of Health.
COVID-19 case counts in Rutherford County have continued to rise this past week, with its current seven-day moving average of 150 new cases the highest recorded since Sept. 16. The county’s current positivity rate of nearly 14 percent is also the highest recorded in the past six weeks. A daily total of 126 new cases was reported in the county on Oct. 27.
A seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases measures the average number of new cases for the seven-day period ending on the specified date. This calculation helps to distinguish trends in data.
Rutherford County saw its highest daily COVID-19 case count in six weeks on Oct. 25, with a reported 282 new cases. Nearly 2,000 tests for COVID-19 were reported on Oct. 25, another six-week high for the county.
The data, which was analyzed by data journalism professor Ken Blake, shows that Davidson and Williamson counties also recorded six-week highs of new COVID-19 cases.
Davidson County’s seven-day moving average of 332 new cases on Oct. 25 was the highest recorded since Sept. 16, at a positivity rate of 7 percent. In Williamson County, the seven-day moving average of 88 new cases on Oct. 25 set a new six-week high, with the percentage of positive tests surpassing 10 percent the following day.
Davidson County’s current seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases is 323 at a positivity rate of nearly 8 percent. A daily total of 200 new cases was reported in the county on Oct. 27, the data shows.
An increased spread of COVID-19 is also impacting Williamson County, with a current seven-day moving average of 83 new cases. The seven-day moving average of 798 new tests conducted holds a positivity rate of around 10 percent – the second highest in the past six weeks.
Williamson County recorded the week’s lowest daily total of 48 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 27, the data shows.
In May, the World Health Organization recommended that positivity rates should not exceed 5 percent for at least two weeks before a state’s reopening. Neither Rutherford nor Williamson counties have been successful in maintaining a positivity rate below this threshold for the past six weeks.
Earlier this month, Davidson County recorded positivity rates between 2 to 4 percent, but recent case spikes have also brought its positivity rate above the 5 percent threshold.
Rutherford County continues to report the highest positivity rate increases of the three counties, with its growing positivity rate of nearly 14 percent consistently far above the threshold. Williamson County closely follows as its positivity rate climbs to over 10 percent. As the spread of COVID-19 continues to accelerate, positivity rates in the three counties will likely follow suit.
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