NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state on Wednesday, September 2.
The health department reported 1,502 new cases, bringing the state to 157,831 total cases, a 1% day-to-day increase since Tuesday. Of the total cases, 153,898 are confirmed and 3,933 are probable.
Tennessee’s seven-day new cases average increased to 1,497 additional cases per day.
TDH also confirmed 16 additional deaths, bringing Tennessee up to 1,797 total deaths.
Out of the confirmed positive cases, 120,675 have recovered, an increase of 1,790 recoveries.
The latest number of hospitalizations went up by 83 to 7,061. A note on the department’s website states this total is an indication of the number of patients that were ever hospitalized during their illness and not an indication of the number of patients currently hospitalized.
Of the 157,831 cases, 79,689 are female (50%), 76,044 are male (48%), and 2,098 are pending (1%).
Tennessee has processed 2,234,298 tests with 2,076,467 negative results. The percentage for positive cases remains 7.1%. Tuesday’s update added 20,349 tests to the state’s total.
COVID-19 in Nashville
Earlier Wednesday, Metro Public Health Department officials reported 26,019 cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County.
City leaders have eased COVID-19 restrictions in Nashville and Davidson County, allowing more people to gather in bars, restaurants, and other venues, beginning Tuesday.
Bars can now operate at half-capacity and reopen seated-only service at bar counters. Weddings, funerals and other similar ceremonies at event venues may resume at 1/3 capacity or up to 125 people, assuming proper social distancing is followed and masks are worn.
Mayor John Cooper said transpotainment will also be able to resume at half capacity, with a maximum of ten people, who must all belong to the same party.
Vanderbilt University is investigating reports that undergraduate students violated COVID-19 protocols during a gathering Saturday evening at The Ingram Commons, according to a university spokesperson.
“It’s frustrating because there are the people who understand it and want to do it, but aren’t doing it and it’s just unfair that you’re putting other people at risk because you just want to go out and party and have a social life,” Freshman Sydney Braunstein said, “Where the rest of us are trying to keep as safe as possible…. it just seems so selfish to me.”
Schools Moving Forward
The Metro Schools Board of Education announced last week that Metro Nashville Public Schools will continue virtual learning through the district’s fall break.
Metro Nashville Public School staff want to remind parents they’re offering tech support at five different locations until September 18. Translators are also available for anyone who needs them.
Last month, the Department of Education released a new online dashboard to help track a school’s status on offering in-person learning, virtual learning, or a hybrid. Though one of the initiatives is already being removed. On August 14, TDOE Commissioner Penny Schwinn sent a letter to lawmakers stating Gov. Bill Lee asked the department to remove the guidance on the plans for the child well-being checks.
Parents are questioning what they need to know to keep their kids safe during the pandemic and if the state is releasing enough information. Student privacy has become an ongoing national conversation in the wake of coronavirus with many questioning what information may be released and what should be kept private.
On August 18, Dr. Schwinn pointed to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as a top reason why the state won’t release specific COVID-19 data on students. She said local districts must make their own decisions on what to report.
The state addressed guidelines that could keep someone in isolation up to 24 days if they are exposed to COVID-19. Several school districts highlighted the 24-day quarantine period in communication with families this week, but the state said the guideline is nothing new.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
A hearing in the case against the parents of Joe Clyde Daniels has been delayed after several witnesses were exposed to COVID-19.
The Dickson County Circuit Court Clerk said four witnesses were exposed to the virus, causing a three-day hearing for Joseph and Krystal Daniels to be postponed.
This week, Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) officials reported 1,144 positive cases at the South Central Correctional Facility in Wayne County.
Governor Lee has left mask mandates up to individual Tennessee counties and two just outside Nashville have different views on whether mandates are still necessary.
The face mask requirement in Williamson County expired on over the weekend. Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron extended his order until Sept. 30.
Last week, a Tennessee state lawmaker testing positive for COVID is getting a lot of attention because of how he might have contracted the virus. Nashville Democrat Bill Beck released a statement Thursday saying in part, “I will be shocked if I am the only member who caught COVID-19 while attending a special session.”
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )