Tennessee reports 1,437 new COVID-19 cases, 22 new deaths on Sept. 26

Coronavirus

COVID-19 in Tennessee – Continuing Coverage (WKRN Graphics)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state on Saturday, September 26.

COVID-19 in Nashville

During his weekly coronavirus news conference, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced, beginning October 1, bars and restaurants will be allowed to have 100 patrons per floor with an additional 100 patrons at an outside location, including a patio or rooftop, at up to 50% capacity. All bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m.

Cooper said Phase Three will also allow events of up to 30% capacity or 500 people with a plan approved by the Metro Public Health Department. That will authorize the Grand Ole Opry to have an in-person audience of 500 for its 95th-anniversary show on Saturday, October 3.

Nashville Phase 3

Schools Moving Forward

Following the release of what has been considered “unprecedented” data, Governor Bill Lee said he will address reading and writing deficiencies for Tennessee 3rd graders.

Both he and State Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn say it’s an urgent situation that preliminary data from her department projects an estimated 50% decrease in proficiency rates in 3rd-grade reading and a projected 65% decrease in math proficiency.

“Now we have some data to substantiate what we expected,” said Governor Lee Wednesday. “We will not wait until January to begin…to develop a plan to address it. Absolutely not.”

Lee added he’ll address the dramatically dropping proficiencies for 3rd graders within weeks, but Education Commissioner Schwinn says there is no quick fix and “there must be realistic expectations” for dealing with the issue.

TDH’s Reporting Format

On September 3, the Tennessee Department of Health announced changes to the format for sharing data on COVID-19, updating how some metrics are calculated, reflecting evolving knowledge of the pandemic.

The new format reflects a change in how active cases are calculated.

Under the new format, TDH case count reports will include figures for “Inactive/Recovered” cases and will no longer include data for “Recovered” cases. “Inactive/Recovered” cases will include people who are 14 days or more beyond their illness onset date (or, for asymptomatic cases, their specimen collection date). This will more closely align with what is now understood about the infectious period of COVID-19, as recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show most patients with COVID-19 are no longer infectious after 10 days. Previously, TDH considered a case recovered after a 21-day period.

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

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