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COVID-19 UPDATE (3/24/20): Tenn. officials confirmed 667 infections, up 52 cases in 24 hours


EDITOR'S NOTE: This report is no longer current.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)  -- State Health officials reported Tuesday afternoon that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tennessee rose by 52 infections over the past 24 hours, for a current total of 667 cases.

That number includes 183 total cases in Metro Nashville, 13 cases in Rutherford County, 34 cases in Sumner County, and 64 total cases in Williamson County. Thirty-eight additional Tennesseans have been tested and their results are pending.

In a press statement released Tuesday, state officials announced a recovery assistance plan intended to aid child care facilities impacted by so many families sheltering at home. In partnership with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the state is making $10 million in grants available to help child care operators "recoup some of their losses and expenses."

In a second press release, the Tennessee Department of Higher Education announced that the state's colleges and universities will dedicate their 3D printers to the fight against coronavirus. The printers are normally used by students as learning tools. With campuses now closed, the printers will Wednesday begin building the face shields worn by medical staff to protect them from contagion.

A lack of medical equipment is a nationwide problem as the pandemic escalates. Nashville officials issued a call Tuesday, asking health practitioners across the city to consider donating medical supplies to Metro. Mayor John Cooper says Nashville now has two drive-thru virus testing centers ready to open, but can't do so because the city doesn’t have the medical supplies to keep them operating.

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