COVID-19 in Tennessee: 5,257 new cases, 51 deaths reported on Christmas Eve

Coronavirus

(WKRN Graphics)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state for Thursday, December 24.

The department reported 5,257 new cases, putting the state at 546,497 total cases. Of the total cases, 485,728 are confirmed and 60,769 are probable.

There are currently 77,372 active COVID-19 cases in the state.

Tennessee’s seven-day new cases average is currently 7,610 additional cases per day, while the 14-day new cases average is 8,395.

Of the 546,497 cases, 288,815 are female (53%), 253,229 are male (46%), and 4,453 are pending (1%).

TDH confirmed 51 additional deaths, bringing the state up to 6,431 total deaths. The state is averaging 76 new deaths per day in December.

Out of the total positive cases, 462,694 are listed as inactive/recovered, an increase of 7,108 in the last 24 hours.

Earlier on Thursday, the state reported 2,944 people are currently hospitalized in Tennessee due to COVID-19. The number of total COVID hospitalizations now sits at 14,044.

Tennessee has processed 5,413,082 tests with 4,866,585 negative results. The percentage of positive cases increased to 10.1%. Thursday’s update added 26,257 tests to the state’s total with 17.20% percent positive cases.

Tennessee reported an increase of 1,829 deaths in December so far. The state has seen more deaths in 24 days this month, than during the first six months of the pandemic combined (1,754 deaths – Aug. 31).

Tennessee’s top five single-day death increases have all been this month.

  1. Dec. 17: 177 deaths
  2. Dec. 22: 133 deaths
  3. Dec. 18: 115 deaths
  4. Dec. 23: 111 deaths
  5. Dec. 8: 100 deaths

The state has also reported an increase of 172,004 cases this month. The new cases through 24 days is more than the total cases for the first six months of the pandemic (154,933 cases – Aug. 31). The top five single-day increases have all fallen within the last two weeks.

  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. 21: 9,891 new cases

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, in her final news conference before Christmas, said the next few days will determine how Tennessee hospitals will function in the first month of 2021.

“If there continues to be the behavior over Christmas and New Years like there was over Thanksgiving, we’re not going to see it immediately,” said Dr. Piercey, “If people continue to gather this week, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, we’re not going to see a whole lot next week. It’s going to be the first or second week of January.”

Lee delivered a statewide address to Tennesseans Sunday night regarding a surge in COVID-19 cases. Lee announced he is limiting holiday gatherings to no one outside of families’ immediate households and all public indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people.

“Very strong encouragement for people to limit Christmas parties or New Years’ parties or New Years’ dinners or holiday time together by staying with their immediate family members inside their home,” said Lee during a call with media on Monday.

Some Tennessee leaders were hoping that the governor would announce a statewide mask mandate during his remarks on Sunday.

A group of Tennessee doctors was also hoping for a statewide mask mandate. “I don’t know what it will take at this point, I think he made a great step yesterday, limiting gatherings is a huge first step, but… that goes hand in hand with a statewide mask mandate,” said Dr. Aaron Milstone at Williamson Medical Group with Protect My Care TN Doctors.

The Moderna vaccine has arrived in Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Health said in a media briefing Monday afternoon. TDH reported the Moderna vaccine arrived in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties. The 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine designated for emergency backup will be released immediately. Tennessee anticipates delivering 115,000 Moderna vaccines throughout the state in the next two weeks.

On Saturday, Governor Lee announced his wife Maria Lee tested positive for COVID-19. The First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing mild symptoms of the virus. The governor said he doesn’t have any symptoms and tested negative Saturday night. However, as a precaution, he will be quarantining at the Governor’s Mansion.

On Sunday, the Tennessee Department of Health also held a media briefing on hospital capacity in Tennessee, saying hospitals won’t be able to keep up with another COVID-19 surge like we saw after the Thanksgiving holiday.

COVID-19 in Nashville

Earlier Thursday, Metro Public Health Department officials reported an increase of 891 COVID-19 cases in Davidson County, bringing the county’s total to 64,835.

Davidson County COVID-19 Assessment Centers will be closed on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management and the Metro Public Health Department is asking for volunteers to help with Nashville’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Metro Nashville Public Schools announced the district will start the second semester virtually due to increased COVID-19 cases. The second semester is set to begin on January  7. MNPS will use a risk score based on metrics from the Metro Public Health Department to make decisions on when to return to in-person learning. School officials say that score must be below seven before returning to face-to-face learning.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH reports each day. )

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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