A published report by the Center for Public Integrity shows Rutherford County in the "red zone" for COVID-19 cases. According to the group, a document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force but not publicized suggests more than a dozen states "should revert to more stringent protective measures, limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, closing bars and gyms and asking residents to wear masks at all times."
The document, dated July 14th and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, says Tennessee is a red zone state. It reportedly shows the state with more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week, and the yellow zone for test positivity, indicating a rate between 5% to 10%.
Shelby, Davidson and Rutherford Counties represent 50-percent of new coronavirus cases in Tennessee, according to the Center for Public Integrity's findings in the document.
STATE REPORT 07.14.2020
- Tennessee is in the red zone for cases, indicating more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week, and the yellow zone for test positivity, indicating a rate between 5% to 10%.
- Tennessee has seen an increase in new cases and a decrease in testing positivity over the past week.
- The following three counties had the highest number of new cases over the past 3 weeks: 1. Shelby County, 2. Davidson County, and 3. Rutherford County. These counties represent 50.0 percent of new cases in Tennessee.
- Tennessee had 155 new cases per 100,000 population in the past week, compared to a national average of 119 per 100,000.
- The federal government has deployed the following staff as assets to support the state response: 3 to support leadership, administrative, operations, and logistics activities from and 2 to support medical activities from VA.
Continue weekly testing of all workers in assisted living and long-term care facilities and require masks and social distancing for all visitors.
- Mandate public use of masks in all current and evolving hot spots.
- Close bars and in hot spot counties.
Move to outdoor dining and limit indoor dining to less than 25%; decrease gathering limits to 10.
Encourage individuals that have participated in large social gatherings to get tested.
Increase messaging of the risk of serious disease in all age groups with preexisting medical conditions, including obesity, hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
Continue the scale-up of testing, moving to community led neighborhood testing and pooled household testing in the Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville and other red zone metro areas.
- Test households in one tube with rapid turnaround testing. For households that test positive, isolate and conduct follow-up individual tests.
- Work with local communities to provide clear guidance for households that test positive, including individual isolation.
Continue to enhance contact tracing and ensure the ability of cases and contacts to quarantine or isolate safely. Monitor testing data to identify additional sites of increased transmission and focus public health resources on them.
- Expand testing capacity in Public Health labs, adding shifts and weekend shifts to decrease turnaround times. Institute 2:1 pooling of test specimens.
This article about the coronavirus red zone was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom based in Washington, D.C.