1,000+ 'breakthrough' cases of COVID-19 reported in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — More than 1,000 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Tennessee residents who are fully vaccinated, the state said Friday.

During a news briefing, Dr. Lisa Piercey, the Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health, discussed the “breakthrough” cases and revealed 195 of those fully vaccinated residents who tested positive for the virus had been hospitalized.

She added 27 of the patients had died.

The Tennessee Department of Health’s website shows 2,642,285 people in the state are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Piercey said 25% of the “breakthrough” cases are asymptomatic with 50% in people 60 and older.

The state of Tennessee has experienced a more than 200% increase in overall COVID-19 cases since July 1, averaging more than 700 new cases per day over the last week, according to the health commissioner.

Dr. Piercey added the state, at one point recently, had less than 200 virus patients hospitalized, but the number is now well over 500.

“We haven’t seen an uptick yet in deaths. Unfortunately, that will probably come in the next few weeks,” she said. “It takes a few weeks after somebody gets sick and then in the hospital, if they are going to pass away, that would come a few weeks later.”

The Delta variant of the virus is the predominant variant in Tennessee, making up a majority of the state’s infections, according to Dr. Piercey.

“It is here in Tennessee and it is widespread,” she explained.

The state’s health commissioner added that almost all of the hospitalizations and deaths among Tennesseans are still among the unvaccinated.

Dr. Piercey said 97% of all hospitalizations and more than 98% of deaths are residents who have not received the vaccine.

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