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Nashville-area daily COVID-19 cases rise nearly fourfold in six weeks

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Norman
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (Ashley Norman)  --  Daily COVID-19 case counts have nearly quadrupled in Davidson and Rutherford counties in the last six weeks, an analysis of Tennessee Department of Health data shows.

Dr. Ken Blake, an MTSU data journalism professor who has been tracking local COVID-19 numbers, said the counties’ sharp upward trends of daily cases and positivity rates appear alarmingly similar to the rapid case spikes in current COVID-19 hotspots around the country.

“We are not seeing case and positivity spikes as dramatic as those in Florida, Texas and the like,” Blake said. “But these rising local numbers suggest that what we have been doing locally has not been all that effective in reversing the trend. If we do not up our game, so to speak, we shortly could be facing the kind of crisis that these other parts of the country are going through.”

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In late May, Rutherford County was reporting an average of 22 new cases per day and a positive test rate of about 10 percent. As of Monday morning, the county is reporting around 89 new cases per day and a positive test rate nearing 13 percent – down from a peak of 16 percent in late June.

During the same period, Williamson County went from reporting daily COVID-19 cases in the single digits to around 53 new cases per day and a positivity rate approaching 9 percent, the analyzed data shows. Meanwhile, Davidson County’s daily case counts rose from 89 new cases per day to 345, although its positive test rate has fallen from 11 percent to just under 9 percent, after early June peak of almost 17 percent.

Last week, Gov. Bill Lee singled out Rutherford, Macon, Sevier and Bradley counties as having the state's highest increases of COVID-19 cases.

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Macon County has been reporting around 25 new cases per day, up from about three per day in late May. Sevier County's daily case counts have risen from less than one per day in late May to around 36, while Bradley County’s counts have increased from about 1 new case per day to almost 38.

Tennessee was reporting a seven-day average of 1,608 new cases per day as of Monday morning. The state has seen 51,431 cases so far and 646 deaths.

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