Tennessee nearing 19,000 coronavirus cases, 313 deaths reported so far

Memphis/Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force meeting -- May 21

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee encouraged people to get tested Thursday at his daily COVID-19 briefing.

The Tennessee Department of Health reports more than 360,000 tests have been administered statewide. The number of cases is nearing the 19,000 mark with Thursday’s increase of 429 new cases.

There are now 18,961 cases in the state and 313 deaths -- four more since Wednesday. So far, 12,191 Tennesseans have recovered from the virus.

Lee announced a new executive order Thursday with guidance that allows for larger gatherings of up to 50 people in social or recreational settings. Previously, state and public health officials discouraged groups of 10 or more.

Lee says the virus still exists and it’s still a public health threat. He says social distancing, face masks and other precautions are a must as we move forward with reopening the state.

The governor also said the Tennessee Department of Education is working on guidelines for schools, which he expects to be posted online in the coming weeks. Lee said he has “every expectation that schools will be open in the fall.”

TDH reports the average age of Tennessee’s coronavirus cases is 42. White residents make up 40 percent of the state’s cases while African Americans account for 21 percent.

Of Tennessee’s deaths, 35 percent are people 81 and older. TDH reports one death was a person 10 or younger.

Health officials have confirmed 4,034 coronavirus cases and 91 deaths across Shelby County, an increase of 29 cases and three deaths in one day.

Officials said 67.3 percent of the county’s coronavirus cases have recovered.

Recovered COVID-19 cases in Shelby County
Recovered COVID-19 cases in Shelby County (Source: SCHD)

The latest testing showed a 7.1-percent positivity rate in Shelby County. The testing positivity rate is the percentage of all tests conducted that are found to be positive. SCHD wants to keep the positivity rate below 10.

Wednesday’s update showed a significant increase. SCHD director Alisa Haushalter said the uptick in cases can be traced back to Mother’s Day weekend.

Shelby Co. COVID-19 testing positivity rate
Shelby Co. COVID-19 testing positivity rate (Source: SCHD)

Dozens of long-term care facilities across Shelby County have experienced coronavirus outbreaks/clusters.

More than 320 residents and staff have tested positive for the virus, 36 people have died. This does not include facilities with resolved investigations.

Long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks/clusters
Long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks/clusters (Source: SCHD)

Other counties in the Mid-South with confirmed cases of coronavirus include:

Arkansas -- 5,458 total cases and 110 deaths

  • Crittenden -- 267 cases; 8 deaths; 204 recoveries
  • Cross -- 41 cases; 28 recoveries
  • Lee -- 13 cases; 1 death; 6 recoveries
  • Mississippi -- 69 cases; 1 death; 52 recoveries
  • Phillips -- 6 cases; 1 death; 4 recoveries
  • Poinsett -- 30 cases; 2 deaths; 22 recoveries
  • St. Francis -- 600 cases; 268 recoveries

Mississippi -- 12,222 total cases and 580 deaths (state not releasing recovery data at this time)

  • Alcorn -- 12 cases; 1 death
  • Benton -- 13 cases
  • Coahoma -- 86 cases; 3 deaths
  • DeSoto -- 419 cases; 6 deaths
  • Lafayette -- 110 cases; 3 deaths
  • Marshall -- 68 cases; 3 deaths
  • Panola -- 58 cases; 2 deaths
  • Quitman -- 21 cases
  • Tate -- 58 cases; 1 death
  • Tippah -- 69 cases; 11 deaths
  • Tunica -- 45 cases; 2 deaths

Tennessee -- 18,961 total cases and 313 deaths

  • Crockett -- 14 cases; 1 death; 10 recoveries
  • Dyer -- 45 cases; 38 recoveries
  • Fayette -- 98 cases; 2 deaths; 78 recoveries
  • Hardeman -- 184 cases; 90 recoveries
  • Haywood -- 29 cases; 1 death; 24 recoveries
  • Lauderdale -- 51 cases; 1 death; 32 recoveries
  • McNairy -- 12 cases; 11 recoveries
  • Tipton -- 409 cases; 2 deaths; 148 recoveries

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.