Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies are seen in second-grade teacher Jennifer Smith's classroom as she prepares for the upcoming school year at Rivermont Elementary on Thursday, July 30, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

State and local leaders are noting the continued rise of COVID-19 in rural areas. While the total number of cases are lower than more urban areas, like Hamilton County, calculating new cases per capita in each county allows for helpful comparisons.

On Wednesday, the Hamilton County Health Department announced 80 new infections, bringing the county total to 5,749 with 1,131 active cases. There were 96 people hospitalized and 29 people in the intensive care unit because of the virus.

The department reported a new death Wednesday, a Black woman between 51 and 60 years old. The death is the 49th in the county. The number of people in the intensive care unit on Wednesday was a record high of 40.

However, cases are trending down in Hamilton County as well as some surrounding counties.

Here is what the coronavirus data is showing in the past week.


Where cases are rising

The daily average of new cases per 10,000 residents jumped significantly in Jackson County, Alabama, climbing from 2.55 last week to 5.48 this week.

Polk County, Tennessee, increased from 3.73 new cases per 10,000 people last week to 4.92 this week. Similarly, Rhea County, Tennessee, jumped from 1.94 new cases per 10,000 people to 2.58 this week.

Bledsoe County, Tennessee, and Dade and Walker counties in Georgia also experienced increases in the past week.


Where cases are falling

There were significant drops in cases in many counties surrounding Chattanooga in the past week, including in Hamilton County, which dropped from 2.92 new cases a day per 10,000 people to 1.78.

Bradley, Marion, Meigs and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee saw drops in cases in the past week.

Gordon County, Georgia, dropped from 5.03 new cases per 10,000 people last week to 4.02 this week. Murray County, Georgia, also dropped from 3 last week to 2.2 this week.

Contact Wyatt Massey at or 423-757-6249. Follow him on Twitter @news4mass.