Select Tennessee prisoners will now receive COVID-19 vaccinations, following a report on officials’ apparent hesitancy to prioritize them initially. The state progressed to Phase 1C of its vaccination plan earlier this week, which extends vaccines to those prisoners who are 65 and older or have eligible health conditions. Others now eligible to receive the vaccine are individuals 16 years old and older that have diabetes, Down syndrome, or any progressive neuromuscular diseases, or live in households with pregnant women.
The announcement to vaccinate these prisoners came shortly after it was discovered that officials determining the order of vaccine priority groups were hesitant to prioritize prisoners due to the optics of placing them ahead of other citizens. The Pandemic Vaccine Planning Stakeholder group, an advisory panel that assists in vaccine rollout decisions and communication with citizens across the state, reportedly stated during one of its meetings that prioritizing prisoners could prove a public relations “nightmare” and, possibly, a state liability. The Associated Press discovered these remarks in an open records request for the group’s meeting notes late last week.
Tennessee remained at a Level Three State of Emergency Friday night as people in certain counties had no power during extreme winter temperatures, and officials reported more weather-related fatalities. In an emailed press release Friday, officials with the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed two weather-related deaths in Shelby County. TDH officials had previously reported two other fatalities in the county as well one fatality each in Maury, Williamson, Dickson, and Overton counties, bringing the total number of fatalities this week to eight.
Tennessee Department of Health officials reported Wednesday that four people in the state died due to this week’s inclement weather. As of Wednesday, Tennessee officials had recorded two fatalities this week in Shelby County, one in Maury County, and another in Williamson County, according to TDH officials, in an email.
In order to register for the COVID-19 vaccine, personal information such as full name, date of birth, address, email, phone number, gender, race, and ethnicity will be required. These details are requested via the questionnaire on an updated COVID-19 vaccine registration website recently launched by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH).
Users are also asked to confirm if they work or volunteer in certain environments, live with certain high-risk conditions, suffered past allergic reactions to any substance, received passive antibody therapy for COVID-19 in the last 90 days or any vaccinations in the previous two weeks, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or were currently or previously sick with COVID-19.
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) warned individuals about scammers attempting to sell COVID-19 vaccines or spots on the vaccine wait list. The messaging was addressed to all Tennesseans, but heavily emphasized relaying the warning to the elderly.
TDH listed several common tactics they’d learned were being solicited by door-to-door scammers. These scams encouraged individuals to issue a payment in order to obtain the vaccine, placement on a vaccine priority list, and early access to the vaccine.
Despite COVID-19 cases spiking around the same time, Tennessee experienced a marked decrease in flu cases last month. Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) data sets from the last week of 2019 and 2020 revealed a 90 percent decrease in overall flu cases. The end of December registered a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, near the all-time high in the state’s positivity rates.
TDH recorded over 6,700 flu cases in the final week of 2019, as compared to just over 600 during the last week of 2020. Last month, the percentage of individuals with flu-like illnesses visiting the reporting healthcare sites was exactly 2 percent; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) baseline for Tennessee sits at around 3 percent. According to the CDC, two or more consecutive weeks that fall under 2 percent reporting constitutes a “non-influenza week.”
The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced Wednesday that it would be moving teachers and educational staff up on the vaccine priority list. TDH estimated that teachers and educational staff may receive vaccines starting around February or March of 2021.
This updated plan for vaccine distribution occurs in months-long waves: Phases 1a1, 1a2, 1b, 1c, 2a/b, and 3. Teachers and educational staff fall into Phase 1b. The last several phases don’t have projected dates as of yet. Those who qualify solely through age-based criteria will be eligible to receive their vaccine beginning in Phase 1a2, starting with those over 75 years old.
The Tennessee Department of Health is setting aside a portion of its COVID-19 vaccines for communities that are poorer and have more people of color, but one minority leader says that is not good enough.
After this current first phase, the state will reserve 5 percent of the vaccine for areas that are poorer and have higher numbers of minorities, CBS News reported.
Governor Bill Lee has officially extended the state of emergency for the remainder of 2020. The executive order followed Lee’s own quarantine due to exposure from the coronavirus. The extension of the order means that Tennessee will receive further federal funding, mayors can continue to implement their own guidelines, and government officials can continue to meet virtually.
As of Sunday night Tennessee has had a total of 51,431 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 646 deaths. Officials at The Covid Tracking Project reported the latest numbers on their website Sunday night. The website also reported that the virus has hospitalized 2,871 Tennesseans. Exactly 949 of those Tennesseans remain…
As of Sunday night Tennessee had 30,432 COVID-19 cases and 475 deaths.
The COVID Tracking Project reported the latest numbers on their website Sunday night. The website also reported that COVID-19 had hospitalized 2,087 Tennesseans and taken the lives of 475 state residents.
The City of Knoxville said Tuesday it will opt-out of sharing the names and addresses of COVID-19 patients with law enforcement following a statewide controversy over the practice.
Mayor Indya Kincannon and Police Chief Eve Thomas said that the Knoxville Police Department will leave a state program that allows law-enforcement officers across Tennessee to access a database of persons who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators wants the state to quit giving names and addresses of COVID-19 patients to police.
The caucus made the request to Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Health, WATE reported, citing a press release from Democratic Caucus Chairman Ken Jobe. Lee sent letters to Tennessee police offering to provide personal information to their departments once they’ve entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the state.
The Tennessee government is providing the names and addresses of COVID-19 patients to law enforcement agencies and other first responders, documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal.
According to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) obtained by the outlet, the Tennessee Department of Health is “disclosing” the information to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, which in turn passes the information along to first responders.
Nearly 10,000 Tennesseans have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday night, according to The COVID Tracking Project’s website.
Updated numbers showed 9,667 Tennesseans tested positive for COVID-19 since it broke out, while the virus had hospitalized 828 state residents. COVID-19 had claimed the lives of 181 Tennesseans as of Sunday, according to The COVID Tracking Project’s website.
Tennessee had 7,070 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Sunday night, according to The COVID Tracking Project website. As of press time, the novel coronavirus pandemic took the lives of 148 Tennesseans. Meanwhile, hospital across the state have admitted 724 people who tested positive for the virus. Shelby County continued…
The Tennessee Department of Health said 633 residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19, but that figure is a cumulative – not current – number.
“This number indicates the number of patients that were ever hospitalized during their illness, it does not indicate the number of patients currently hospitalized,” the Department of Health notes in its daily COVID-19 briefing.
As of Sunday night, more than 43,000 Tennessee residents tested negative for COVID-19, according to the Tennessee Department of Health’s website.
These numbers run in stark contrast to media accounts that focus only on how many people tested positive for the coronavirus.
Lab work for more than 7,500 people in Davidson County who got tested came back negative. More than 1,200 people tested negative in Hamilton County, while nearly 2,200 Knox County residents tested negative. Meanwhile, nearly 6,000 people tested negative for the coronavirus in Shelby County, according to the TDH’s website.
Davidson County retook its status as having the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to new numbers that officials with the Tennessee Department of Health released on their website Friday.
Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday that he will sign an executive order requiring Tennesseans to stay home unless they are engaging in essential activities.
Lee issued an executive order Monday that urged, but didn’t require, residents to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Under his new order, staying at home isn’t “an option – it’s a requirement for the swift defeat of COVID-19,” said Lee.
The governor said data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation indicated that travel started trending upwards again on March 30 after traffic patterns showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement between March 13 and 29.
Tennessee had more than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday night, according to the Tennessee Department of Health’s website.
Davidson County continued to have the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases by far at 179. But, as of Sunday night, Shelby County overtook Williamson County and ranked as having the second highest number of confirmed cases, according to TDH.
Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 14 Thursday afternoon declaring a state of emergency in the state in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 for the purpose of facilitating the treatment and containment of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The Tennessee Department of Health has backed down from its secret government stance — by a little — and released the county-by-county location of the state’s seven confirmed coronavirus cases.
The TDH and Gov. Bill Lee for two days had refused to say which counties had coronavirus COVID-19 cases. Late Tuesday evening, TDH acknowledged intense public criticism when it issued this statement:
The Tennessee Department of Health has announced updated case management protocol regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a continued effort to keep communities informed while also maintaining patient privacy.
The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed the first 2019 case of measles in East Tennessee. The department said is investigating after the State Public Health Laboratory confirmed a positive test for the illness in a resident of East Tennessee. While the investigation is currently centered in East Tennessee, all…
Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Monday they had arrested a registered nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and charged her with patient abuse and reckless homicide in December 2017. As The Tennessee Star reported last year, a Vanderbilt nurse administered a paralyzing anesthetic to a patient by mistake…
There’s a reported nationwide outbreak of measles. Even though Tennessee is one of the affected areas, in fact, only one person in the Volunteer State got it, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. “These cases are not part of one outbreak,” said Bill Christian, department spokesman, in an emailed…
Metro Nashville school nurses have not received formal training on how to spot potential cases of female genital mutilation despite state lawmakers drawing attention to FGM with legislation in 2012. The 2012 law requires health care providers to report injuries related to FGM, a brutal practice in parts of Africa, the…