Tennessee set a new record for daily coronavirus cases Monday, with nearly 8,000 positive tests reported in the past 24 hours. The previous one-day high was just under 6,000 new infections.
The news comes as cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all surging in the state. Some hospitals are even putting elective procedures back on pause to make more space for COVID patients.
And the rising numbers are not only the result of increased testing. A higher percentage of people who get swabbed are now receiving positive results.
The Tennessee Department of Health that more than 13% of people whose tests results were post Monday have the virus. The national seven-day average is 9.8%, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Gov. Bill Lee has urged Tennesseans to wear masks, but he hasn’t budged on his opposition to a statewide mask mandate, arguing that local officials have more power to encourage or even enforce mask-wearing. The governor has also dismissed calls to institute a second shutdown to prevent the spread of the virus.
Tennesseans have a choice to make in our fight against COVID-19.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) October 20, 2020