NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As of this week, Tennessee has surpassed 1 million total COVID-19 cases.
The state recorded its first case of the coronavirus on March 12, 2020. Since then, the virus has claimed the lives of 13,235 Tennesseans.
Tennessee has seen a recent surge of new cases, driven by the delta variant. Active cases have risen above 67,000 this week and are just slightly below the state's record high. The state is seeing the worst outbreak of new cases since the winter, before COVID-19 vaccines were widely available. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 90% of new cases in the state are the delta variant.
The new school year is now underway and new cases among children aged 5 to 18 are at their highest levels.
Hospitals statewide are feeling the pressure of the current wave of new cases. More than 2,800 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, which is similar to the number of patients seen in late January.
Tennessee has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Compared to all other states and U.S. territories, Tennessee is ranked 44th in population fully vaccinated.
As of August 23, 48.3% of Tennesseans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 41.2% of residents are fully vaccinated. Nationally, 60.8% of Americans have received at least one dose and 51.5% are fully vaccinated.