Note: This story was last updated at 11:40 a.m.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee passed 1,500 on Sunday.
There are now 1,537 cases in 72 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.
That’s triple the number of cases from a week earlier. There were 505 cases on Sunday, March 22. The number of cases appears to be doubling in Tennessee in a range generally between two and five days.
“This is a very serious threat that we face as a community,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said during a press conference in Memphis on Friday. “We certainly have the capacity to rise up like Tennesseans do, to address it in a way that only we can. But it will take the efforts of every single one of us to do it.”
Lee said Tennessee is testing more people per capita than many other states.
The governor responded to a question about a potential “stay at home” order, an action he’s been urged to consider, and when they’re appropriate. He said a majority of states have not issued such an order statewide, and the decisions require “real discernment.” Closing businesses leads to job losses and affects livelihoods, Lee said. States are trying to use the right approaches and right decisions at the right time in the right places, Lee said.
“Here’s the reality in Tennessee: We are to a great degree, shut down as a state,” Lee said. “Every major population center has a stay at home order. The most populous counties in our state are all covered by stay at home orders—every restaurant, dining room in the state, every bar in Tennessee, every school in Tennessee…Tennesseans have shut down. This state is largely closed down, except for the number of folks that are moving around for the appropriate reasons.”
But that’s not true for all Tennessee residents, Lee acknowledged, as he urged residents to stay home, stay apart, avoid gatherings, and avoid unnecessary activities.
The number of confirmed cases in Anderson County ticked up to six on Sunday.
In surrounding counties, Knox County had 38 cases; Loudon County had eight; Campbell County had four; Roane County and Scott County each had two; and Morgan County and Union County each had one.
More than 133 patients have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Tennessee, a hospitalization rate of about 8.7 percent of confirmed cases. Seven people have died, according to the Tennessee Department of Health, which publishes the state case totals at 2 p.m. Central time each day. It’s not clear how many of the 133 patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 remain in a hospital, or where the majority have been hospitalized.
Shelby County, which includes Memphis in West Tennessee, recently passed Davidson County, which includes Nashville in Middle Tennessee, in the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state. Shelby County had 313 cases on Sunday, while Davidson County had 260. Shelby County had about 20 percent of the state’s total, while Davidson County had roughly 17 percent.
Oak Ridge Today has reported on three cases in Anderson County, one at the Anderson County Courthouse and two at the Y-12 National Security Complex. But it’s not clear where those two patients live or were tested, so it’s not clear if those cases are included in the case totals for Anderson County or in the case totals for another county.
There have been 20,574 COVID-19 tests total in the state, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Of those, 19,037 (92.5 percent) have been negative, and 1,537 (7.5 percent) have been positive.
Demographically, the largest number of cases is still in patients who are 21 to 30 years old. There are 380 cases, or about 25 percent of the total, in that age group.
There are more than 200 cases each in the next three age groups: 31-40 years old (239 cases), 41-50 (262), and 51-60 (239). The four age groups, from 21 to 60 years old, account for 1,120 cases, or about 73 percent of the state’s total.
Seven Nashville-area counties (including Davidson County) have a total of 562 cases, or about 37 percent of the state’s total. Besides Davidson County, those counties include Williamson County south of Nashville (101), Sumner County northeast of Nashville (93), Rutherford County southeast of Nashville (48), Robertson County north of Nashville (25), Wilson County east of Nashville (27), and Cheatham County west of Nashville (8).
The number of cases in Hamilton County, which includes Chattanooga in southeast Tennessee, has risen to 35.
COVID-19, a contagious respiratory illness that can be deadly, is caused by a new coronavirus first reported in Wuhan, China, in December. Since then, it has spread around the world, infecting more than 740,000 people and killing more than 35,000. There are more than 140,000 cases in the United States, where more than 2,400 people have died as of Monday morning, March 30.
Across the world, the virus has led to quarantines and other disruptions to daily lives, including school and business closures; lockdowns and shutdowns; some hoarding and panic buying at grocery stores; travel bans and closed borders; and economic slowdowns and large number of job losses.
More than 150,000 patients are reported to have recovered from COVID-19.
Here are the county totals of COVID-19 in Tennessee as of Sunday, March 29, 2020:
- Out of Tennessee—150
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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