COVID-19 in Tennessee: Record-high 11,352 new cases, 62 deaths reported on Dec. 13


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state on Sunday, December 13.

The health department reported a record high 11,352 new cases, bringing the state to 454,305 total cases. Of those cases, 412,568 are confirmed and 41,737 are probable.

There are currently 57,952 active cases, the highest number of active cases Tennessee has seen since the pandemic began.

TDH also confirmed 62 additional deaths, bringing Tennessee up to 5,462 total deaths. The state is averaging 66 new deaths per day during the month.

Out of the confirmed positive cases, 390,891 are listed as inactive/recovered, an increase of 3,496 in the last 24 hours. 

Tennessee has processed 4,952,865 tests. The latest update added 83,031 tests to the state’s total. 

The state reported 2,680 people are currently hospitalized in Tennessee due to COVID-19.

Sunday’s update marks a record-high single-day increase for the state, surpassing the previous record of 8,213 set this past Wednesday (December 9). The state’s top three single-day increases have occurred in the last seven days.

  1. Dec. 13: 11,352 new cases
  2. Dec. 9: 8,213 new cases
  3. Dec. 7: 8,136 new cases
  4. Nov. 30: 7,975 new cases
  5. Nov. 16: 7,951 new cases

Last week Tennessee reported a record number of new cases with 45,431 reported from Dec. 6 through Dec. 12.

In one week, Tennessee reported more new cases than total cases reported during the first four months of the pandemic (43,509).

The state also reported a record for new deaths in a week with 495 added. Tennessee has reported 860 additional deaths through the course of the first 13 days of December. The deaths added in December already rank higher than the total deaths reported in March (23), April (176), May (165), June (240), July (456), August (694), and September (700). The total is also nearing October’s once record-high 899 deaths.

County music legend and Hall of Famer Charley Pride has died in Dallas at the age of 86 due to complications from COVID-19, according to a release sent out Saturday.

Since the early days of the pandemic, Unacast’s Social Distancing Scoreboard has given insight into how well communities are social distancing through the use of cellphone GPS data.

The Scoreboard assigns grades for states, counties, and cities across the country, indicating how well that particular region maintains the recommended six feet of distance. Currently, the grade for Tennessee is an ‘F.’

Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown issued an urgent plea to residents on Wednesday, asking them to continue efforts to mitigate COVID-19 as hospitals continue to experience high demand and staff shortages.

On Thursday, a U.S. government advisory panel has endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, in a major step toward an epic vaccination campaign that could finally conquer the outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it would work rapidly toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization for Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine. The agency also said in a statement Friday that it has notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed so that they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution.

Governor Bill Lee says Tennessee could see 56,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by next week. This comes after the Pfizer vaccine got approval from experts Thursday. The governor said at his press briefing Friday that if another vaccine manufactured by Moderna is approved, Tennessee would receive 100,000 rounds of that vaccine as well.

Tennessee Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. John Dunn says he anticipates the shots will be here in the Volunteer State by mid-week.

“This initial set of vaccinations will go from Pfizer to the facilities that are lined up to receive them,” Dr. Dunn said.

A number of educators have reached out to News 2, concerned about the drastic spike in cases and quarantines. Districts confirm that staffing has been their biggest challenge. More than 2,000 students and nearly 1,000 staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week, according to the state’s dashboard.

Tennessee Representative David Byrd, who is currently hospitalized with COVID-19, is asking for continued prayers as he may have to be placed on a ventilator due to his low oxygen levels as he battles the virus.

“I really need a miracle today!! My doctor said if my oxygen level doesn’t improve then he has no choice but to put me on a ventilator. So please pray that God will breathe His healing spirit into my lungs!!” the 63-year-old lawmaker posted on social media.

COVID-19 in Nashville

Earlier Sunday, Metro Public Health Department officials reported an increase of 689 COVID-19 cases in Davidson County, bringing the county’s total to 54,412.

Over the last two weeks, the three COVID-19 community assessment centers in Nashville have tested more than 14,000 people. On Dec. 7 alone, the three sites tested 2,480 people for COVID-19. The Nashville Fire Department tells News 2 that is the largest volume the centers have seen since November 23, before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Metro Public Health Department Director Dr. Michael Caldwell has resigned from his position. On Thursday night, the Metro Board of Health unanimously voted 6-0 to accept his resignation during a meeting called to address Dr. Caldwell’s behavior.

On Friday, Gill Wright, M.D. was chosen by the Metropolitan Board of Health to serve as the Interim Chief Medical Director. Additionally, Tina Lester, R.N., was selected as the Interim Administrative Director. Both have accepted the Board’s request and will begin immediately.

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