NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state on Tuesday, September 29.
The health department reported 879 new cases, bringing the state to 194,611 total cases, a .5% day-to-day increase since Monday. Of the total cases, 187,197 are confirmed and 7,414 are probable.
Tennessee’s seven-day new cases average increased to 1,352 additional cases per day.
Of the 194,611 cases, 99,450 are female (51%), 93,361 are male (48%), and 1,800 are pending (1%).
TDH also confirmed 31 additional deaths, bringing Tennessee up to 2,420 total deaths.
Out of the confirmed positive cases, 177,945 are listed as inactive/recovered, an increase of 1,915 in the last 24 hours.
The number of total hospitalizations now sits at 8,672. There are 795 people currently hospitalized.
Tennessee has processed 2,853,067 tests with 2,658,456 negative results. The percentage for positive cases remains around 6.8%. Tuesday’s update added 12,958 tests to the state’s total.
COVID-19 in Nashville
Earlier Tuesday, Metro Public Health Department officials reported an increase of 65 COVID-19 cases in Davidson County, bringing the county’s total to 28,911.
Several Titans players and staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 leading the team to suspend in-person activities beginning Tuesday.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, the NFL said “Titans COVID testing results returned three new player positives and five new personnel positives.”
As a result, the Titans will suspend in-person team activities until further notice.
During his weekly coronavirus news conference last week, 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.
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.
A school within Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) is returning to virtual learning through October 13, according to Sean Braisted, Public Information Officer, with MNPS.
Cora Howe, a special day school, is reverting back to virtual learning at the recommendation of the Metro Public Health Department after three staff members reported positive COVID-19 results to the administration.
As more and more middle Tennessee schools return to in-person schooling, WalletHub is out with a new survey that parents likely won’t find comforting.
The company released its report on the safest states for schools to reopen Monday, ranking Tennessee as the 6th least safe state.
Lee also signed Executive Order No. 63 to extend certain, targeted provisions of previous executive orders through October 30, including the authority of local governments to institute mask requirements. Remaining restrictions on businesses and gathering sizes in the 89 counties with a state-run health department have been removed.
Masks will no longer be required in public while in Wilson County beginning late Wednesday night, the county’s mayor announced Monday.
Mayor Randall Hutto said he has reviewed the number of COVID-19 cases and trends and “made the decision to rescind the mask mandate.” It will expire at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, according to Hutto.
The mayor explained this will not impact schools, businesses or long-term care facilities, which develop their own policies and procedures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Last week, the face covering order in Rutherford County expired earlier than originally planned.
A letter from Rutherford County mayor Bill Ketron explained why they were able to lift the order sooner.
“Your compliance with the order which went into effect on July 22, had a significant impact on our numbers going down. This was hard to ignore. We are encouraged by the data trends and want to continue down that path! This does not discount the fact that the virus is here and not going anywhere anytime soon. Therefore, I am asking that as a community, we revert once more to being #RutherfordResponsible.”
Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett announced Monday he will not extend the emergency order requiring employees of businesses open to the public to wear masks. He has, however, determined that anyone from the general public entering a county-owned facility will be required to wear a mask. The City of Clarksville offices and Clarksville-Montgomery County School System facilities will also continue to require visitors to wear masks.
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.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )