Coronavirus News: Tennessee virus cases hit 16,699 with 287 dead

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee has had 16,699 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 287 people have died. Tests for COVID-19 in Tennessee have hit 302,317.

Cases rose from Wednesday by 329 — or 2%, according to the statistics released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Health. The number of deaths from the coronavirus was up by 14 — or 5.1%, the department said.

RELATED: Timeline of the pandemic

There have been 1,435 people hospitalized and 8,881 have recovered. The number of people tested for COVID-19 in the state is 302,317. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said the state will receive $155 million in federal money for testing.

TVA said it will reopen the majority of its developed recreation areas and six dam reservation campgrounds by the end of the day on Friday. The areas were closed in March as part of the overall federal and state response to slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center said Thursday it will take part in a Mayo Clinic trial to treat COVID-19 patients with plasma from individuals who have been infected and recovered from the virus.

And COVID-19 continues to affect the state’s economy. Over a half a million Tennesseans have filed for unemployment benefits over an eight-week period, according to new data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce.

Not to worry department: Motor vehicle registration renewals due in May have been extended to June 15.

Publix said it grocery stores are starting to return to normal hours. Starting Saturday Publix stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Publix pharmacies will also return to their regular operating hours.

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