Tennessee flagged as a ‘Red Zone’ for COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee is one of 18 states flagged as a “red zone” for a recent increase of COVID-19 cases.

“You’re seeing numbers around 140- 150 new cases per 100,000 people on a weekly bases in the state of Tennessee,” explained infectious disease doctor David Aronoff.

For perspective, this rate caused Monday’s highest single-day increase of 3,314 new cases in the state. The data, compiled in a document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Fore and originally published by the Center for Public Integrity, highlights the states that saw 100 new cases per 100,000 people just last week.

“It’s likely that the increase we’re seeing now were some of the cases that were first infected back over the 4th of July weekend,” said Dr. Aronoff.

The brief specifically mentions Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin for high transmission rates along with Sumner, Macon, Robertson, Bedford, and Smith Counties.

The report recommends public officials in these areas:

  • Close bars and gyms
  • Limit social gatherings to 10 people or fewer
  • Recruit more contact tracers
  • Provide isolation facilities, outside of households, for positive individuals who can’t quarantine successfully

Dr. Aronoff notes monitoring the virus is a perpetual catch-up game as both infections and social distancing efforts take time to show. But, he believes recent mandates will help.

“It’s certainly, our hope that we will start to see the curve flatten out pretty soon,” said Dr. Aronoff.

Until those efforts kick in he fears the death toll, which is now more than 800 people in Tennessee, will continue to rise.

“Those are 800 people,” said Dr. Aronoff, “With loved ones, families, and friends that they’ve left behind.”

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

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