NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – With COVID-19 testing ramping up in the state, the Tennessee Department of Health reported Friday that Tennessee has 6,589 cases of coronavirus and has seen 142 deaths.
Cases rose 5%, or 327, from Thursday and the death toll increased by one.
There have been 711 hospitalizations attributed to the coronavirus in Tennessee and 3,017 people have recovered. There have been 87,273 tests administered in the state.
Gov. Bill Lee has announced a statewide COVID-19 testing effort that begins this weekend. The Tennessee National Guard will offer 15 drive-thru testing sites across the state. Lee has said widespread testing is critical to reopening the state’s economy.
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Knox County has announced plans for its own no appointment, drive-thru type COVID-19 testing.
Charity Menefee, director of communicable and environmental disease and emergency preparedness for the Knox County Health Department, said Friday the county expects to see an increase in the total number of positive cases as testing availability is increased.
“With expanded testing, we absolutely expect to see an increase in cases that go along with that,” Menefee said.
Starting Monday, testing without symptoms or an appointment will be available at the Knox County Engineering & Public Works building at 205 W Baxter Avenue. It will be done on a drive-thru model, but residents can call 865-215-5555 to make alternate testing accommodations.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has given governors a road map for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out “a phased and deliberate approach” to restoring normal activity in places that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases.
“We’re starting our life again,” Trump said during his daily press briefing. “We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again.”