Epi Curve Nov 16

(The Center Square) – Tennessee broke its record for the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day again – this time by nearly 2,000 cases.

A total of 7,951 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the Tennessee Department of Health on Monday – shattering the state’s previous record of 5,919 set earlier this month. Before November, the record number of cases reported in a single day was 3,606.

The test positivity rate is 13.06 percent. The state reported 30 new COVID-19 deaths since Sunday. There are currently 1,810 Tennesseans hospitalized with COVID-19. The Department of Health reported 18 percent of hospital beds remain available.

Monday’s case count is more than 63 times the number of cases reported on March 22, when Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people, temporarily closing gyms, limiting nursing home visits, and calling on businesses to utilize alternative business models.

Last week, Vanderbilt University's Department of Health Policy released analysis showing that Tennessee counties that instituted mask mandates over the summer saw about half as many COVID-19 related deaths per capita.

“Mask mandates are associated with greater mask wearing and other behaviors like limiting close contacts with others, and the combined impact is clear and substantial,” said Dr. John Graves, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health and Economic Modeling.

Counties that never adopted mask mandates saw about four deaths per 100,000 people, while counties with mandates saw only one or two deaths per 100,000 people, the analysis shows.

Tennessee does not have a statewide mask mandate, but many counties have reinstated requirements to wear masks. As of Nov. 10, about 63 percent of Tennessee residents live in areas with a mask mandate, according to Vanderbilt.

Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones reports on Tennessee and South Carolina for The Center Square. Her writing has appeared in the Detroit News, The Hill, and publications of The Heartland Institute.