NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee state officials are preparing for a future with COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has not taken a vacation. In fact, it’s still here. Our caseload is climbing,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
The State Department of Health released new daily numbers Wednesday afternoon. The results showed 1,806 new cases in 24 hours. That’s the highest 24-hour increase the state has seen.
“We’re all experiencing what we call “quarantine fatigue”, said Dr. Lisa Piercey, Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner, “But, I can guarantee you, this virus is not getting tired. We cannot let our guards down. Instead, we must double down on our efforts to re-flatten the curve.”
Governor Lee and state health officials are now encouraging all Tennesseans to social distance and wear masks.
“We all want to return to normal. But, until there’s a vaccine we have to keep our social behaviors in perspective. We are seeing an awful lot of Tennesseans take unnecessary risks —packing into a bar with friends or engaging in activities with large volumes of people,” said Gov. Lee, “Don’t put our state two steps backwards by refusing to wear a mask.”
Now, the state is looking to hire more contact tracers to collect research and nail down hot spots.
“At least half of all cases are from an unknown source,” said Dr. Piercey. “What we call community transmission. This indicates much more likely than they were in the past to acquire the infection when they are out and about trying to quote “get back to normal.”
Governor Lee also signed an executive order which grants COVID-19 liability protections to all Tennessee healthcare workers. There are exceptions for gross negligence and willful misconduct.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.