The peak of the pandemic may feel like it passed months ago in Tennessee. But the state just had its highest one-day total for newly reported deaths from COVID-19 — 63 people lost, according to Thursday’s state update.
To date, the virus has killed 2,705 Tennesseans.
The daily reported death figures don’t line up perfectly with the number of people who died from COVID the day before. Some are likely from last week, held up by processing delays. Others are reclassified COVID deaths that have finally been reviewed by a medical examiner.
But the record one-day count is in line with Tennessee’s rising death toll. The state’s two-week average for COVID deaths is now at an all-time high.
Epidemiologists say part of the surge is that the virus is hitting rural communities with more elderly people who are at risk of complications.
The highest rates of death are in some of the least populous counties. Many of them have had very few cases until recent weeks.
Also, nursing homes are again contributing a large share of the state’s deaths. Even as facilities have reopened to visitors in recent weeks, their infection rates are rising. The number of nursing home deaths has jumped by more than half since early September, with a current total of 721 fatalities — roughly one-in-four deaths in the state.