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Tenn. health officials report a total of 154 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, up 56 in 24 hours

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This report is no longer current. State health officials are updating the COVID-19 infection numbers daily at 2 p.m. Central Time. Please look for the latest report at WMOT.org/news.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  -- Tennessee health officials are reporting an alarming spike in the number of coronavirus cases statewide. As of 2 p.m. Thursday, a total of 154 cases were confirmed, up 56 cases in 24 hours.

Metro Nashville continues to report the highest number of cases by far, rising to 75 infections. That’s an increase of 17 confirmed COVID-19 infections in 24 hours.

Williamson County has the state’s second largest number of reported cases. The county added six more infections overnight for a total of 30 cases. 

Several counties reported their first confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday. Cumberland, Dyer Montgomery, and Wilson counties report one infection each. 

The state is reporting a new category of infected individuals it’s referring to as “Residents of other states/countries.” That new category shows 26 confirmed cases.

Several coronavirus drive-thru assessment/testing centers are now operating in Middle Tennessee. There are five sites in Williamson County, four in Nashville, and one each in Montgomery, Sumner and Wilson counties. 

The coronavirus telephone hotline state officials launched this week is off to a rocky start. Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey says the line is answering as many as 900 calls a day, but admitted to reporters that hundreds of calls are going unanswered. Piercey says the state is setting up a second phone bank to handle the calls. The hotline’s number is 877-857-2945.

Metro Nashville has launched a new information website at covid19.nashville.gov. Officials say the site will be kept up to date with all the latest information about the city's response to the pandemic. Visitors to the site can view timely information from every corner of Metro government, from city schools to the water department.