NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state on Monday, October 19.
The health department reported 3,317 new cases, bringing the state to 232,061 total cases, a 1.5% day-to-day increase since Sunday. Of the total cases, 220,566 are confirmed and 11,495 are probable.
The 3,317 new-case number is Tennessee’s highest single-day increase, surpassing the previous record set back on July 13 with 3,314 cases.
Tennessee’s seven-day new cases average increased to 2,054 additional cases per day.
Of the 232,061 cases, 119,467 are female (51%), 110,680 are male (48%), and 1,914 are pending (1%).
TDH also confirmed 13 additional deaths, bringing Tennessee up to 2,922 total deaths.
Out of the confirmed positive cases, 205,832 are listed as inactive/recovered, an increase of 1,106 in the last 24 hours.
The number of total hospitalizations now sits at 9,618. There are 1,188 people currently hospitalized.
Tennessee has processed 3,371,897 tests with 3,139,836 negative results. The percentage of positive cases remains around 6.9%. Monday’s update added 42,410 tests to the state’s total.
Doctors say they’ve seen a trend of COVID-19 cases growing in rural Tennessee.
“In these small communities, with a lot of covid activity, we’re seeing disease activity in the 100 to 200 new cases per 100 thousand people per day,” said Dr. David Aronoff, direct of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt Medical University Center. “Even though those counties don’t have as many people, those people are very effectively spreading COVID-19 from one person to another.”
Dr. Aronoff believes the increase in cases comes from the loosening of protocols like mask mandates.
“This pandemic is still very active and it’s very active because of silent transmission events,” Dr. Aronoff explained. “It’s active because people without symptoms, who do not know they are infected, are in fact infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and are capable of transmitting to other people.”
The White House quietly told Tennessee last week that “a statewide mask mandate must be implemented” to curb its growing spread of COVID-19, strong instructions that the White House and governor did not discuss publicly before the report emerged in a records request.
Earlier this month, an unpublished report prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force emphasizes the importance of wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 in multiple “red zone” states, including Tennessee.
The information was revealed in a document, dated Oct. 4, obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom based in Washington D.C. The report, which is provided to governors across the United States, suggests 24 states are in the “red zone” for coronavirus cases.
Tennessee is currently ranked number 14 on the list, which is topped by states including North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
COVID-19 in Nashville
Earlier Monday, Metro Public Health Department officials reported an increase of 276 COVID-19 cases in Davidson County, bringing the county’s total to 31,759.
The Metro Public Health Department released an updated list last week, detailing many of the 150 coronavirus case clusters identified since the pandemic began in March.