Note: This story was last updated at 5:45 p.m.
The number of COVID-19 cases increased by more than 2,000 in Tennessee last week as testing increased by more than 40,000.
The total number of cases passed 7,000, then 8,000, then 9,000 last week. The case count increased by 30 percent in one week. The Tennessee Department of Health reported 9,189 cases on Saturday, up from 7,070 on April 19.
But testing was up even more, a roughly 45 percent increase. The number of tests rose from 97,098 on Sunday, April 19, to 141,406 on Saturday, April 25.
The daily growth rate in the number of new cases had dropped to a low of 2.2 percent on Tuesday, April 21, but it has since increased to more than 5 percent. The number of new cases reported each day had been down to 156, but it’s now over 400.
The increase in the number of tests included more than 11,000 tests reported by the state of Tennessee at free drive-through sites last weekend. It was the largest number of tests in the state over a two-day period, Tennessee Governor Bill said Monday. The testing has been expanded to include patients without traditional COVID-19 symptoms.
Expanding testing capacity is an important step to re-open the state’s economy, Lee said. The governor has announced that he will not extend a stay-at-home order past April 30, and restaurants are able to reopen Monday at 50 percent occupancy and retailers are able to reopen Wednesday at 50 percent occupancy.
The increase in the number of cases in Tennessee has included inmates at a state prison, the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville. The Tennessee Department of Correction reported that 576 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 after a large testing event last weekend, although most didn’t show symptoms, and more than 2,000 people have been tested, according to the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in Tennessee increased from 148 to 178 last week. Hospitalizations rose from 724 to 821, and recoveries jumped from 3,344 to 4,467. The number of recoveries in Tennessee passed 50 percent of cases last week, although it dropped to 49 percent on Saturday.
COVID-19 is contagious respiratory illness that can be deadly. Patients who are 60 years old and older appear to be especially vulnerable, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. More than 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the state have been among patients who are 60 years old and older.
The number of cases in Anderson County rose from 16 to 24 last week, and the number of recoveries rose from 12 cases to 16. There has been one death in Anderson County due to COVID-19. The county confirmed its first case on March 20. There have been 1,218 negative tests among Anderson County residents.
The largest percentage of COVID-19 continues to be among patients who are 21 to 30 years old. They accounted for 1,742 cases, or 19 percent of patients on Saturday. That age group combined with four others (31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70) accounted for 7,321 cases, or 80 percent of them, on Saturday.
The average age of COVID-19 patients in Tennessee has been 44. The age range of patients has been between 0 and 100.
In Tennessee, about 9 percent of patients who have tested positive or are presumed to have tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized (821 of 9,189 cases). The state does not report which counties the hospitalizations occurred in, and it’s not clear how many of the patients remain in the hospital.
About 2 percent of patients have died (178 of 9,189 cases).
About 49 percent of patients have recovered (4,467 of 9,189 cases). The Tennessee Department of Health said recovered patients are those who have been confirmed to not have symptoms and have completed their required isolation period—or it’s been at least 21 days since they had their first test confirming their illness.
There have been 141,406 COVID-19 tests in Tennessee at the state public health laboratory and at other labs. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state includes both confirmed cases and cases that are presumed to be positive. About 6.5 percent of tests in Tennessee have been positive.
The Tennessee Department of Health includes demographic information about COVID-19 cases.
Here is state gender data reported Saturday:
- Males—4,633 cases (50.4 percent), 107 deaths (60.1 percent)
- Females—4,272 cases (46.5 percent), 71 deaths (49.9 percent)
- Pending—284 cases (3.1 percent), 0 deaths (0 percent)
Here is state age data reported Saturday:
- 0-10—145 cases (1.6 percent), 1 death (0.6 percent)
- 11-20—517 cases (5.6 percent), 0 deaths (0.0 percent)
- 21-30—1,742 cases (19.0 percent), 1 death (0.6 percent)
- 31-40—1,536 cases (16.7 percent), 1 death (0.6 percent)
- 41-50—1,531 cases (16.7 percent), 10 deaths (5.6 percent)
- 51-60—1,542 cases (16.8 percent), 15 deaths (8.4 percent)
- 61-70—970 cases (10.6 percent), 42 deaths (23.6 percent)
- 71-80—481 cases (5.2 percent), 50 deaths (28.1 percent)
- 81+—291 cases (3.2 percent), 58 deaths (32.6 percent)
- Pending—434 cases (4.7 percent), 0 deaths (0.0 percent)
On Saturday, the state reported that 43 of the deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in Shelby County, which includes Memphis in West Tennessee. There have been 34 deaths in Sumner County northeast of Nashville, and 22 in Davidson County, which includes Nashville in Middle Tennessee.
Davidson County has reported 2,136 COVID-19 cases, and Shelby County has reported 2,086.
Seven Nashville-area counties had 3,850 total cases on Saturday: Cheatham (36), Davidson (2,136), Robertson (127), Rutherford (387), Sumner (584), Williamson (381), and Wilson (199). That was about 41.9 percent of the state’s total.
There have been 13 deaths in Hamilton County, which has 140 cases and includes Chattanooga in southeast Tennessee, and four deaths in Knox County, which includes Knoxville in East Tennessee. Knox County has had 210 cases, with 182 of those recovered on Saturday.
Besides Knox County, here were the case totals in other counties surrounding Anderson County on Saturday: Campbell (13, with one death and 12 recoveries), Loudon (25, with no deaths and 19 recoveries), Morgan (6, with no deaths and six recoveries), Roane (7, with no deaths and seven recoveries), Scott (11, with no deaths and 11 recoveries), and Union (3, with no deaths and two recoveries).
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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