CHATTANOOGA, Tenn – On Tuesday,  the Hamilton County Health Department announced that  a young girl with no underlying health issues has died due to the coronavirus. That brings the death total in Hamilton County to 29.

On Monday, The New York Times report that ranks Chattanooga 2nd in the nation for the highest average growth rate of Covid-19 deaths and claims deaths in Chattanooga have doubled every 10 days.

Hamilton County Health Officials say this is not correct.  Deaths have do not double every 10 days but the ranking isn’t the best one to have.

“This is not a ranking that we as a wonderful community want to have. I think it just calls for more mindfulness. It certainly calls for people in our community to be a lot more cautious,” says Rae Bond, Covid-19 Task Force.

The Health Department says they aren’t sure where they are getting this data as deaths can be unpredictable.

“Just as the virus is unpredictable, deaths are unpredictable. Sometimes we go on for maybe a month without deaths then we will have a cluster of deaths. Some of these deaths have been ill for quite a long time,” says Becky Barnes, Hamilton County Health Department.

But the  increase in the  number of deaths is a concern for health officials who say that the community needs to work together  to control the outcome of this deadly virus.

“It remains a fact that if people will wear masks, social distance and take some very basic precautions, we can dramatically reduce the impact that covid is having on our community,” says Rae Bond.

Overall health officials encourage anyone who has been out in public without a mask or has come into contact with the virus to get tested immediately.