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White House: Spread of coronavirus in Tennessee will “remain unyielding” without public health orders

A new report from the White House is encouraging public health orders to compel “Tennesseans to act differently” to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
COVID-19 in Tennessee(White House Coronavirus Task Force)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 5:34 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A new report from the White House is encouraging public health orders to compel “Tennesseans to act differently” to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Nashville’s NewsChannel5 Investigates and Phil Williams reported that the White House Coronavirus Task Force lists Tennessee in the “red zone” along with 81 of its counties for infection and positivity rates.

“The depth of viral spread across Tennessee remains significant and without public health orders in place compelling Tennesseans to act differently, the spread will remain unyielding with significant impact on the healthcare system,” the report said. “Mitigation and messaging need to be further strengthened as other states have done. Effective practices to decrease transmission in public spaces include requiring masks, limiting restaurant indoor capacity to <25%, and closing bars until cases and test positivity decrease to the yellow zone. Strong mitigation efforts by neighboring states are showing early impact.”

The report adds that all states and counties must flatten the curve to keep the healthcare system afloat for coronavirus-related and non-coronavirus-related emergencies.

On Wednesday, the Knox County Health Department reported its second-highest one-day increase in cases. The highest increase was reported on Tuesday with 437 cases. Due to the record increase, the benchmark for community-wide sustained reduction or stability in new cases is red.

Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee has consistently resisted appeals for a statewide mask mandate.

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