Health officials in Nashville reported Tennessee’s first coronavirus death Friday evening.
The individual was a 73-year-old man with underlying health conditions who died due to complications from the coronavirus, the Metro Public Health Department announced in a press release.
“This is a tragic loss of life, and we extend our heartfelt condolences with the family,” said Mayor John Cooper. “Even though the majority of people diagnosed with COVID-19 have experienced mild symptoms, we know that the virus can be life-threatening, and we need everyone to take steps to protect themselves and each other.”
Davidson County has been hit the hardest by the virus and had 140 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Saturday afternoon. Officials said two patients remain hospitalized while 19 have recovered from the virus. The remaining cases are self-isolating at home and have “mild and manageable symptoms.”
As of Saturday afternoon, Tennessee had a total of 371 confirmed cases and had tested 694 individuals for the virus, according to the Department of Health. The 21-30 age range has the most confirmed cases.
Between Friday and Saturday, Tennessee’s confirmed caseload increased by 143 from 228 positive cases to 371.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee joined Fox News Friday to discuss the dramatic increase in cases the state has experienced.
“It’s moving up fast in part because we have worked really hard to test,” Lee said. “We’ve raised up remote test sites all across the state and we have worked really hard to make sure we have as much testing capacity as possible. The more you test, the more positives you’re going to get.”
Lee declined to state whether he would issue a shelter in place order for Tennessee, but stressed the importance of remaining at home during the pandemic.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) March 20, 2020
“My message and some of the most important work that I do is to remind Tennesseans of their individual obligation,” he said. “Government can do a lot of things but it’s the people of Tennessee, it’s the individuals, that are going to choose responsible behavior.”
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