NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An unpublished report prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force urges Tennessee residents to “stop gatherings beyond [their] immediate household” until COVID-19 cases and test positivity numbers “decrease significantly.”
The information was included in a document, dated Nov. 1, obtained by ABC News. The report, which is provided to governors across the United States, suggests 38 states are in the “red zone” for coronavirus cases, including Tennessee.
The “red zone” indicates states with more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents for the previous week. 18 states were on this list in July, while the number jumped to 24 last month.
Tennessee is currently ranked number 16 on the list with 263 new cases per 100,000 residents, compared to the national average of 165 per 100,000. The list is topped by states including North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The report indicates 64 of Tennessee’s 95 counties are in the “red zone.” The five counties topping the list, in order, are Rutherford, Hamilton, Williamson, Sullivan and Washington.
During the time period of Oct. 24 through Oct. 30, the report states, on average, 178 patients with confirmed COVID-19, and 105 patients with a suspected case of the virus, were reported as newly admitted each day to hospitals in Tennessee.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force wrote in the report “with the daily new hospital admissions at high levels, there must be clear messaging to Tennesseans to act now.” That includes not gathering without a mask with people living outside of your household, always wearing a mask in public places and “stop gatherings beyond immediate household until cases and test positivity decrease significantly.”
The task force added an effective practice to decrease transmission of the virus in public spaces is limiting restaurant indoor capacity to less than 50% and restricting hours until cases and test positivity decrease.
The 38 states in the “red zone” are:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
- New Jersey
The report also lists Tennessee in the “red zone” for COVID-19 test positivity, indicating a rate at or above 10.1%. Tennessee ranks number 14 for the highest test positivity — a list topped by Montana, South Dakota and Idaho.