Good morning! Welcome to your Daily Briefing. This is Tennessean planning director Madalyn Hoerr, wishing a merry Christmas Eve Eve to those who celebrate.
The Tennessee Department of Health on Wednesday announced that a review of coronavirus data found almost 2,700 additional COVID-related deaths have occurred in Tennessee since the beginning of the pandemic. That brings the state’s death toll to more than 20,600.
Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said about 70% of the newly recorded deaths occurred since August amid a fall spike related to the delta variant.
“The primary reason these deaths are just now catching is the typical lag — eight weeks is pretty typical, and it’s not unusual at all to have 10 or 12 weeks of delay after death before reporting,” Piercey said, pointing to the deadly delta spike in the fall.
Piercey stressed the newly recorded deaths are not related to an ongoing spike of the new, highly-transmissible omicron variant.
More on omicron: As the variant continues to spread throughout the world, new modeling data shows the latest strain may cause millions more new infections per day in the U.S. but fewer hospitalizations and deaths compared to the delta variant.
Is it safe to travel right now? Here's what health experts are doing for the holidays this year.
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This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: State COVID-19 deaths near 21,000