NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state for December 19 and 20.

TDH announced on Saturday that, due to “the volume of tests being processed”, a daily update was not released. Both days’ totals were released Sunday instead.

The department reported 16,036 total new cases for the two days, putting the state at 519,687 total cases. Of the total cases, 465,908 are confirmed and 53,779 are probable.

There are currently 78,639 active COVID-19 cases in Tennessee, the highest number of active cases since the start of the pandemic.

Tennessee’s seven-day new cases average is currently 9,340 additional cases per day, while the 14-day new cases average is 8,507.

Of the 519,687 cases, 274,374 are female (53%), 241,077 are male (46%), and 4,236 are pending (1%).

TDH confirmed 111 additional deaths for the two-day span, bringing the state up to 6,071 total deaths.

Out of the total positive cases, 434,977 are listed as inactive/recovered.

There are 2,789 people currently hospitalized in Tennessee due to COVID-19.

Tennessee has processed 5,282,202 tests with 4,762,515 negative results. The percentage of positive cases increased to 9.8%.

December 19 Information

For Saturday, TDH reported 6,347 new cases, a 1.3% day-to-day increase since Friday. TDH also confirmed 57 additional deaths. There were 6,139 new inactive/recovered reported. Saturday’s update added 19,410 tests to the state’s total with 30.46% percent positive cases.

December 20 Information

For Sunday, TDH reported 9,689 new cases, a 1.3% day-to-day increase since Saturday. TDH also confirmed 54 additional deaths. There were 3,574 new inactive/recovered reported. Sunday’s update added 50,346 tests to the state’s total with 17.08% percent positive cases.

Sunday is now the state’s fifth-highest single-day increase of cases. The top five single-day increases have all fallen within the last week.

  1. Dec. 16: 11,410 new cases
  2. Dec. 13: 11,352 new cases
  3. Dec. 18: 10,421 new cases
  4. Dec. 14: 10,319 new cases
  5. Dec. 20: 9,689 new cases

Last week, the state reported an increase of 67,045 new cases and 617 deaths, both were new weekly records.

The state has also reported record numbers for the month of December with 145,194 cases added this month so far. Tennessee has also added an additional 1,469 deaths through the first 20 days of the month. The state is averaging 73 new deaths per day in December.

Governor Bill Lee will deliver a statewide address to Tennesseans Sunday night regarding a surge in COVID-19 cases. According to a release from the governor’s office, Governor Lee is expected to speak at 7 p.m. His remarks will be broadcast on his Facebook and YouTube pages.

Gov. Lee also announced that First Lady Maria Lee has tested positive for COVID-19.

TDH has launched a new dashboard to provide data on the COVID-19 vaccines administered in the stateThe department’s vaccine dashboard includes data on total vaccinations reported, vaccinations reported in the last day and within the last week, and will also display the percentage of each county’s population that has been vaccinated, and will be updated every Tuesday and Friday.

The department also announced a change in time for the state’s case reports. The daily COVID-19 data reports will now be released at 5 pm CST each day. TDH had been releasing the updates at 2 pm CST since the start of the pandemic.

Tennessee had more new cases of COVID-19 by population over the past week than any other state in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC data, which was released Thursday, showed Tennessee averaging 129.4 new cases of the virus per 100,000 residents over the last seven days. The next closest was Oklahoma with 98, followed by Rhode Island with 93.7 and Arizona with 92.9.

The COVID-19 surge is overwhelming Middle Tennessee hospitals and it’s exhausting resources and doctors. “We just want to have a fighting chance to do it,” said Dr. James Parnell. “Over the last couple of weeks, we are having a hard time taking care of our patients.”

Parnell, an ER physician at Sumner Regional Medical Center, says he and his colleagues are drained. He says right now, one out of every 100 Tennesseans has COVID-19.

This week, TDH COVID-19 testing sites will begin offering self-testing kits to adults as staff members transition to administering vaccines to health care workers and first responders.

The new self-testing kits will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays beginning December 21. Individuals will stay in their cars, complete paperwork, and collect their samples. Health departments will submit their samples for testing. Results will be available online.

Self-tests will be available for adults over the age of 18. Children and adults unable to register online can still receive standard nasal swab COVID-19 tests on Tuesdays and Thursdays.