As Tennessee begins its reopening process — and Metro Nashville is close behind it — the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to climb.
Over the last two months, the Tennessee Department of Health has counted more than 14,000 cases, including 237 deaths as of May 7.
Davidson clearly leads the rest of Middle Tennessee in cases — with 3,128 as of May 7. Behind Nashville, the counties with the highest numbers of cases in the region, on average, have 1/5 the amount. Trousdale is the only exception, after it shot up from 123 cases on April 30 to 1,355 a week into May. The surge follows the outbreak at the state’s largest prison, Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, where more than half the inmates and many staff members tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
WPLN’s chart shows county counts for Middle Tennessee. Hover to see specific details.
In just over three weeks from the state’s first case, 80 of Tennessee’s 95 counties had at least one case after the first appeared in Williamson County on March 5. As of May 7, only two counties — Hancock and Pickett — have yet to report a single case to the state.
For a closer, interactive look at the spread of the virus by week, WPLN News has created a series of maps from the first reported case to now.
Click the right arrow to advance to the next week’s slide, and hover over individual counties for the local case count at the time.
The darkest maroon spots on the Week 9 map show the hotspots where cases have risen to more than 3,000 in Nashville and Memphis. Shelby and Davidson counties also have a large share of the fatalities, but that’s not always the case. Take Trousdale County for instance, where the 1,300-person outbreak at the prison has resulted in one death so far.
Other concentrations have been found in:
- Williamson County, where the state confirmed its first case back on March 5;
- Sumner County, which scrambled to respond to a fatal outbreak at a nursing home;
- Bledsoe County, where another state prison is in the middle of a case spike, and;
- McMinn County, where an outbreak at a nursing home helped push the county from 7 cases to 108 in a couple weeks’ time.
Despite these hotspots, the state has continued its reopening process, as it says its heartened by the fact that only about 7% of people tested are positive for the coronavirus. Of those, 1 in 10 cases require hospitalization and 2% are fatal.
WPLN News has been analyzing and presenting TDOH’s numbers in the form of interactive charts and animations. The department releases new confirmed cases by county, age and ethnicity each day at 2 p.m. WPLN News utilizes this count for its consistency, though individual counties may report a slightly different total for themselves as duplicates are removed or pending cases are added on a local level. The state, in an abundance of caution, can sometimes lag in reporting larger numbers, as is often the case in Nashville and Memphis, until they have been confirmed by TDOH itself.