The number of individuals in the United States who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began has surpassed 4 million, as reported by Johns Hopkins University on Thursday.
The total COVID-19 case count for Tennessee was 86,987, including 925 deaths, 4,016 hospitalizations and 51,661 recoveries.
In Bradley County, 1,330 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, up 46 cases since Wednesday. There have been 886 recoveries and nine deaths, up one from Wednesday. Currently, there are 435 active cases in the state.
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee again stated he had no plans to issue a statewide face-mask mandate.
“A mandate is simply a mandate. It doesn’t equate to mask wearing,” Lee said, although he encouraged Tennesseans to wear them. “It’s been shown that there’s improvement with wearing masks. It also engages people and gives them confidence to go out."
However, Lee also announced the state will launch a public service announcement campaign that urges all Tennesseans to wear face masks.
Tennessee and local
COVID-49 related deaths
Thursday’s grim news, as reported by Johns Hopkins, included Tennessee where 37 deaths were reported by the state health department during its daily report. It was the highest number of COVID-19 deaths reported for one day in the state, according to media reports.
Of those 37 deaths, one occurred in Bradley County on Wednesday, bringing the number of fatalities to nine individuals since the first case was reported by the Bradley County Health Department in late March.
Bradley County ranks
10th in COVID-19
cases in children
The TDH also reported that out of the state’s 95 counties, Bradley County is ranked tenth in coronavirus cases diagnosed in children. Bradley County is also No. 10 in the number of total COVID-19 cases across the state.
According to data, more than 7,500 children ages 5 to 18 have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic reached the state in early March. Of that number, 151 were in Bradley County, 586 in Hamilton County, 23 in McMinn County, 12 in Meigs County and five in Polk County.
The top 10 counties are: Shelby, 1,478; Davidson, 1,451; Hamilton, 586; Rutherford, 488; Williamson, 301; Sumner, 296; Knox, 234; Putnam, 200; Wilson, 169; and Bradley, 151.
The data was released just as Tennessee schools are preparing to open next month.
During his Thursday press conference, Lee said he will be providing an outline of what parents and teachers should expect for the 2020 school year.
Lee said he will reveal his plan on Tuesday.
Life Care Center
of Copper Basin
Thursday’s local COVID-19 related news grew bleaker when Life Care Center of Copper Basin, located in Polk County, confirmed on Thursday that 21 of its residents, as well as six employees, had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to media reports.
Two of the facility’s residents are undergoing treatment at a hospital, with the majority of those infected showing minimal symptoms.
Five employees continue to recover at home, while another has been cleared to return to work.
Additional details will be published in the Cleveland Daily Banner as they become available.
Tennessee face mask
public service campaign
announced by governor
Lee also announced the state will launch a public service announcement campaign that urges all Tennesseans to fight against the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask.
The ad campaign, titled “Face It. Masks Fight COVID-19”, will run on broadcast and cable television, digital, social media, print, and billboards statewide.
The governor said wearing a face covering while in public is a “simple but effective way for us to each do our part and help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
“I wear a mask every day at the office, when Maria and I are out in public and especially when I visit my 87-year-old mother,” he said. “It’s a personal choice for Tennesseans, but it’s one that could very well save lives and allow our economy to get fully back on track.”
The campaign will officially launch today.
Returning to work
a negative test: TDH
In other COVID-19 related developments, the TDH announced that it does not recommend a negative COVID-19 test in order to return to work or regular activities.
“When an individual has a positive laboratory result indicating current infection with COVID19, TDH requires them to isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days (and they must be afebrile and well for at least 24 hours),” according to the TDH.
“There is substantial evidence that an individual may continue to have positive laboratory results beyond their infectious period,” the TDH stated. “As long as the individual recovers and remains asymptomatic after recovery, we do not recommend retesting for COVD-19 within the 3 months from the initial onset of COVID-19 symptoms.”
State health officials also strongly recommended that "businesses implement measures to reduce the risk of transmission within the workplace: encourage all to wear cloth face masks, screen employees for symptoms upon entry, require individuals to stay home when they are ill, and socially distance within the workplace."
Confirmed case totals for Bradley County neighbors include:
• Grundy: 77 cases, 59 recoveries and 2 deaths;
• Hamilton: 4,604 cases, 2,867 recoveries and 41 deaths;
• Marion: 143 cases, 81 recoveries and 4 deaths;
• McMinn: 393 cases, 240recoveries and 20 deaths;
• Meigs: 62 cases, 32 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Monroe: 225 cases, 139 recoveries and 9 deaths;
• Polk: 85 cases, 49 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Rhea: 410 cases, 305 recoveries and 1 deaths; and
• Sequatchie: 69 cases, 44 recoveries and 0 deaths.
Counties with Tennessee's highest numbers of cases include:
• Bedford: 711 cases, 553 recoveries and 10 deaths;
• Bledsoe: 646 cases, 626 recoveries and 1 death;
• Davidson: 16,956 cases, 11,419 recoveries and 179 deaths;
• Knox: 2,703 cases, 1,246 recoveries and 21 deaths;
• Lake: 703 cases, 691 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Montgomery: 1,288 cases, 461 recoveries and 9 deaths;
• Putnam: 1,313 cases, 923 recoveries and 9 deaths;
• Robertson: 1,197 cases, 681 recoveries and 16 deaths;
• Rutherford: 5,016 cases, 2,371 recoveries and 45 deaths;
• Shelby: 17,278 cases, 12,473 recoveries and 260 deaths;
• Sumner: 2,721 cases, 1,172 recoveries and 65 deaths;
• Trousdale: 1,556 cases, 1,462 recoveries and 6 deaths;
• Williamson: 2,717 cases, 1,232 recoveries and 21 deaths; and
• Wilson: 1,746 cases, 897 recoveries and 20 deaths.
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of Thursday night, more than 4 million individuals in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19, with 144,242 deaths and more than 1.2 million recoveries.
Globally, more than 15.5 million individuals have tested positive, resulting in 632,173 deaths and more than 8.7 million recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins.