NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state on Wednesday, December 16.
The department reported 11,410 new cases, putting the state at 484,285 total cases, a 2.4% day-to-day increase since Tuesday. Of the total cases, 437,798 are confirmed and 46,487 are probable.
There are currently 66,774 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 increased to 8,760 additional cases per day, while the 14-day new cases average rose to above 7,000 for the first time with 7,143.
Of the 484,285 cases, 255,667 are female (53%), 224,723 are male (46%), and 3,895 are pending (1%).
TDH confirmed 53 additional deaths, bringing the state up to 5,668 total deaths. The state is averaging 67 new deaths per day during the month of December.
Out of the total positive cases, 411,843 are listed as inactive/recovered, an increase of 7,246 in the last 24 hours.
The state once again reported a new record for current COVID hospitalizations. There are 2,874 people currently hospitalized in Tennessee. The number of total COVID hospitalizations now sits at 13,437.
Tennessee has processed 5,114,800 tests with 4,630,515 negative results. The percentage of positive cases increased for a sixth straight day, it currently sits at 9.5%. Wednesday’s update added 57,810 tests to the state’s total with 17.75% percent positive cases.
Wednesday’s update marks a record-high single-day increase for the state, surpassing the previous record of 11,352 set a few days back on December 13.
All of the state’s top five single-day increases have taken place over the last week.
- Dec. 16: 11,410 new cases
- Dec. 13: 11,352 new cases
- Dec. 14: 10,319 new cases
- Dec. 15: 8,215 new cases
- Dec. 9: 8,213 new cases
Tennessee has reported an increase of 109,792 new cases in December so far, which already ranks as the state’s second-highest month for new cases of the virus. Tennessee has added more COVID-19 cases in the first 16 days of December than during the first five months of the pandemic combined (105,959).
Tennessee has also reported 1,066 additional deaths this month. Similar to new cases, December already ranks as the state’s second-deadliest month during the pandemic with just over two weeks to go.
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.
TDH announced on Monday, Tennessee received its first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the statewide shipment expected Thursday. The state received an early shipment of 975 doses which it will hold as an emergency backup supply in case any receiving hospital’s vaccine supply is damaged.
Healthcare facilities in the state are ready to roll out the first COVID-19 vaccines as they now wait for them to arrive.
Next 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.
COVID-19 in Nashville
Earlier Wednesday, Metro Public Health Department officials reported an increase of 857 COVID-19 cases in Davidson County, bringing the county’s total to 57,840.
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.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH reports each day. )
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.