51% of Tennessee’s COVID-19 deaths occurred in Nov. and Dec.


COVID-19 in TN (WKRN Graphics)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee ended 2020 with new record-high COVID numbers for the month of December. It’s an unfortunate trend the state found itself in the last quarter of the year, reporting new record-high cases and deaths in October, November, and December.

November and December alone account for 56% of Tennessee’s total COVID-19 cases (11/1 – 12/31: 326,130) and 51% of the state’s total virus deaths (11/1 – 12/31: 3,554) during the pandemic in 2020.

New Cases

The Tennessee Department of Health reported 212,309 new cases in December, with the state’s top 12 single-day increases of 2020 occurring within the month. (If you don’t see a chart below for any of the rankings, click here.)

RankDateNew Cases
1Dec. 1611,410
2Dec. 1311,352
3Dec. 1810,421
4Dec. 1410,319
5Dec. 219,891
6Dec. 209,689
7Dec. 259,230
8Dec. 178,945
9Dec. 158,251
10Dec. 308,220
11Dec. 98,213
12Dec. 78,136

The final month of 2020 accounts for 17 of the state’s top 20 single-day increases overall. The other three occurred in November.

  • #13 Nov. 30: 7,975
  • #14 Nov. 16: 7,951
  • #17 Nov. 28: 6,750

Tennessee saw an average of 6,849 new cases a day in the month of December. The previous record was 3,794 new cases a day in November.

November was 76% higher than October’s once record-high 64,533 new cases. December’s new cases increase, though surpassed that, coming in at 87% higher than November’s 113,821. In fact, Tennessee added more COVID-19 cases in 31 days (212,309) than during the first 219 days of the pandemic combined (10/9 total cases: 211,003).


TDH also reported 2,305 additional COVID-19 deaths in December, making it the deadliest month of the pandemic. The state added an average of 74 deaths per day, nearly doubling the 42 deaths November averaged per day.

All ten of Tennessee’s highest single-day death increases occurred in December.

1Dec. 17177
2Dec. 22133
3Dec. 29122
4Dec. 18115
5Dec. 23111
6Dec. 8100
6Dec. 30100
8Dec. 3197
9Dec. 495
10Dec. 393

All but one day (#16 Oct. 30: 78 deaths) in the top 20 took place over the last two months of 2020.

On September 24, the state reached 2,310 total COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. In 31 days, Tennessee nearly added the same amount of deaths (2,305) as it did in the first 204 days of the pandemic.


Tennessee reported 133,984 recoveries in December, surpassing November’s record of 96,823. The state saw an average of 4,322 inactive/recovered cases reported per day during the month.

Tennessee’s highest single-day increase in inactive/recovered cases came on September 3 when the state health department announced changes in data reporting. Outside of the Sept. 3 increase, the state reported its highest increases for inactive/recovered cases in December. Removing September 3 from the list, all ten single-day increases occurred in December.

1Dec. 1510,450
2Dec. 2910,218
3Dec. 229,960
4Dec. 88,345
5Dec. 307,948
6Dec. 237,590
7Dec. 17,421
8Dec. 167,246
9Dec. 317,223
10Dec. 247,108


TDH reported 1,056,060 tests processed in December, surpassing November’s record of 858,650. The state reported an average of 34,066 new tests per day. Though testing was higher, the state also ended the month with a 10.5% positive cases for total tests. It ended the previous month at 8.3%.

Current Hospitalizations

The state reported 2,290 current hospitalizations at the end of November. By December 31, Tennessee was at 3,195 current hospitalizations. It reached a record-high of 3,225 on December 29.

The Tennessee Department of Health did not release new data on New Year’s Day. The state will post the numbers for both the 1st and 2nd on Saturday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss