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Gov. Lee says surge in Tennessee COVID-19 cases 'expected'


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Wednesday he isn’t especially concerned about the statewide surge in new cases of COVID-19.

The state’s four day running average of confirmed infections is up roughly 44 percent since the first week of May.

Gov. Lee told reporters yesterday the uptick in new cases was expected once he began lifting pandemic related restrictions at the end of April.

Reacting to a reporter’s question, Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said she’s seen no evidence that the jump in new cases is related to the ongoing George Floyd remembrance protests that have taken place statewide in recent days.

In addition to the spike in new infections, Dr. Piercey also noted a small increase in the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations. However, she stressed that Tennessee continues to have more than adequate hospital beds and intensive care units to address the health crisis.

As of Wednesday, May 10, Tennessee officials had confirmed 27,869 virus-positive test results statewide. Exactly 1900 residents have been hospitalized. A total of 436 Tennesseans have died as a result of COVID-19 complications. Well over 18,000 residents have recovered from the illness.

Gov. Lee and Dr. Piercey both urged Tennesseans to continue to be diligent about practicing coronavirus prevention protocols. They asked residents to maintain social distance, wear a face mask in public, remain home when feeling ill, cover coughs and sneezes, and wash hands often and thoroughly.

Would you like to watch a video of Gov. Lee and Dr. Piercey’s press briefing on Wednesday, May 10, 2020?

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