COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise in Chattanooga area

Officials expect the situation to worsen

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Retail Manager Nicole Jennings walks past a sign requiring masks to be worn inside the store while bringing a curbside order to a customer at Bread & Butter Bakery on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Tennessee and across the region continues to climb, with Hamilton County posting a single-day record of 71 coronavirus patients on Thursday.

Although Hamilton County's COVID-19 hospitalizations fell to 66 on Friday, that's still more patients than the previous single-day record of 65 patients on June 10. At that time, 21 of those patients were Hamilton County residents and the rest were from outlying counties. On Friday, 40 patients in local hospitals were from Hamilton County, and 19 patients were in intensive care.

Most people with COVID-19 recover without hospital care, but the increasing number of hospitalized patients is the direct result of accelerated COVID-19 transmission across the state, experts say. On July 8, Tennessee posted its single highest case count to date, with more than 2,400 new cases reported.