COVID-19: Effects on the Upper Cumberland one year on

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

UPPER CUMBERLAND – One year ago today the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The world would rapidly change with travel restrictions, lockdowns, quarantines and mask mandates. Over 2.5 million deaths have been attributed to the virus, and for the Upper Cumberland, a region with two counties recovering from the March 3, 2020 tornados, the impact of COVID-19 was tremendous.  

Despite preventative measures, one of every eight people in the region tested positive for the virus. That’s an astounding number of 45,211 cases, or 12.8% of the population.   

Deaths across the region were slightly above the statewide percentages, with the smaller counties of Clay, Van Buren and Pickett at over double the statewide rate. Putnam (171) and Cumberland (123) have both lost over 100 residents to this virus. 

Although infection rates have fallen drastically from their peak, there are currently 571 active cases in the region with Putnam having the most at 154.

Numbers for each county in the Upper Cumberland one year on are as follows:

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