This story will be frequently updated with outbreak-related news and links to other in-depth coverage.
Updated 2:20 p.m. March 29
Cases of coronavirus in Tennessee has risen to at least 1,537, according to the latest update from the Tennessee Department of Health. More than 20,000 tests have been conducted across the state, and adults ages 21-30 make up the largest age range with confirmed cases at 390. According to officials with Metro Nashville, Davidson County has 394 confirmed cases, with 80 of those individuals having recovered. Williamson County now has 101 cases, according to the TDH.
Updated 2:15 p.m. March 28
The number of cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has risen to 1,373, according to totals released March 28 by the Tennessee Department of Health. TDH totals show cases in Shelby County have surpassed the number in Davidson County with 269 cases.
According to the TDH, Davidson County has at least 243 cases, however that number varies from Metro Nashville's daily total of 376 total cases.
Updated 2:05 p.m. March 27
Cases of coronavirus in Tennessee have risen to 1,203, according to the latest numbers from the Tennessee Department of Health. Davidson County has more than 200, and Williamson County has 91.
As has been the case over the last few days, case estimates from Metro Nashville have been much higher than those released by the state. According to a press conference this morning with Metro Nashville Mayor John Copper, Davidson County has 312 cases confirmed.
Updated 2:08 p.m. March 26
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health announced March 26 the number of cases of coronavirus in the state has risen to 957, up from 784 yesterday, an increase of 173 cases.
Updated 2:10 p.m. March 25
The number of coronavirus cases across the state has risen to at least 784, which is 117 more cases than yesterday, according to the latest update from the Tennessee Department of Health. Davidson County still has the highest number of cases at 188, up five from yesterday. While this may seem like a slow down in the number of new cases, Dr. Alex Jahangir, chair of the Metropolitan Board of Health and Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said in a press conference this morning he does not believe this means cases are slowing down.
Updated 4:02 March 24
In a press conference March 24, Lee called to schools to remain closed through April 24, an extension from his initial recommendation of April 3.
Updated 2:05 p.m. March 24
Cases of coronavirus are up to 667 statewide as of March 24, up 52 cases from yesterday, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. In Davidson County, at least 183 cases have been confirmed, according to TDH data. However, according to an announcement this morning from Metro Nashville, that number could be as high as 253. Because some facilities report cases based on where the sample was collected versus the person's county of residence, numbers can vary as it takes time to reconcile total cases, according to Bill Christian, associate director for the TDH office of communications and media relations. Williamson County has the third-highest number of cases in the state at 64 confirmed cases, which is 11 more than yesterday.
Updated 3:05 p.m. March 23
The number of cases of coronavirus is now 615, according to a March 23 update from the Tennessee Department of Health. This is 110 new cases since yesterday, March 22. According to an announcement from the TDH, new tracking processes have been recently implemented, which has led to lower figures in some counties.
Updated 2:10 p.m. March 22
Cases of coronavirus in the state have risen to 505, according to the latest update from the Tennessee Department of Health. This is 134 new cases since yesterday afternoon, according to the TDH.
Updated 10:45 a.m. March 22
Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper has issued a 14-day "safer at home" order to help limit the spread of coronavirus in the region. The order, which goes into effect at midnight tonight, calls for all non-essential businesses to close and prohibits social gatherings of more than 10 people. All individuals in Davidson County are expected to stay home, except for going out for essential needs.
Updated 2:01 p.m. March 21:
Official with the Tennessee Department of Health announced March 21 the number of cases of coronavirus in the state has risen to 371, up by 143 cases since yesterday. The highest number of cases is still in Nashville, with 140 cases. Williamson County has the second highest number of cases at 47 and Shelby county has 40 cases.
Updated 2:10 p.m. March 20
At least 228 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Tennessee, according to the latest announcement from the Tennessee Department of Health. Just over 100 of those cases are in Davidson County, with Williamson County having the second-highest number at 35 cases. Cases have been confirmed in 26 counties across the state.
Updated 10:30 a.m. March 20
Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper has called for restaurants in the city to close dine-in services to prevent the further spread of coronavirus in the region. Businesses can still offer take-out orders, drive-thru service, curbside pickup and delivery services, but diners must leave with their food and can not eat on premises, according to a March 20 announcement from the mayor's office.
Updated 2:10 p.m. March 19
The total number of COVID-19 cases have risen to 154 in Tennessee, with 75 reported in Davidson County, 30 in Williamson County and the rest spread across numerous other counties in the state. The total number of cases increased by 56 from yesterday's report by the Tennessee Department of Health.
Updated 4:40 p.m. March 18
As cases of the novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, have risen to nearly 100 cases statewide, Mayor John Cooper has declared a state of emergency in Metro Nashville.
The order directs all Metro Nashville departments, agencies, boards and commissions to assist the Metro Nashville Board of Health to enforce public health orders, according to a release from Metro Nashville.
In addition to the declaration, Metro Nashville officials announced they city will set up six to nine Community Assessment Centers where residents can be assessed and, if needed, tested for coronavirus. The centers will be set up in partnership with five area health systems and two medical schools in the area. Locations for the centers have not yet been announced.
Updated 2:04 p.m. March 18
The number of cases of the coronavirus in Tennessee has risen to 98 statewide, with more than half of all cases confirmed in Nashville, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. There are 58 confirmed cases in Davidson County and 24 cases in Williamson County. The total number of cases has risen from 39 cases on March 15. A small number of cases has now been confirmed in 13 counties across the state, including four in Shelby County and two each in Knox and Sumner counties.
Updated 2:03 p.m. March 17
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Tennessee has risen to 73, according to officials with the Tennessee Department of Health. There are now 42 cases in Davidson County, up from 25 March 16. Williamson County has the second highest number of cases at 21.
The age range with the highest number of cases is those from ages 18-49, according to the TDH.
Updated 11:33 p.m. March 17
Following the city's order on March 15 to close all bars in Davidson County and have restaurants limit their seating capacities to 50%, several restaurants and shops in Southwest Nashville have adjusted their operations due to concerns around the spread of coronavirus.
Updated 3:55 p.m. March 16
Officials with Metro Nashville Public Schools have announced campuses throughout the district will close through April 3.
“Ensuring the well-being of our students and staff is our top priority in how our district responds to the COVID-19 state of emergency,” Director of Schools Adrienne Battle said in a news release. “We appreciate Governor Lee taking the first step of flexibility for districts by urging for all schools to remain closed throughout the month of March, and we’ll be closely monitoring the situation to determine when it will be safe to reopen our schools.”
MNPS closed on March 12-13 ahead of spring break due to concerns about the potential spread of coronavirus. In addition to school closures, school board chair Anna Shepherd has cancelled the board meeting on March 24.
Updated 2:10 p.m. March 16
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health announced March 16 the number of cases of coronavirus statewide has climbed to 52. More than 80% of these cases at in Davidson and Williamson counties, which have 25 and 18 confirmed cases, respectively.
Updated 11 a.m. March 16
Gov. Bill Lee is urging all school districts in Tennessee to close "as soon as practically possible" to prevent the possible spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, according to a statement released March 16. Lee said all schools should be closed by March 20 and remain closed through March 31.
“As the response to COVID-19 evolves, I urge every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible, with all schools expected to close by Friday, March 20, 2020 at the latest,” Lee said in a statement. “Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31.”
Superintendents and local leadership will have the administration's support to determine dates for closure this week, according to Lee. Ahead of school closures, the Tennessee Department of Education set up a hotline for district leaders open on weekdays from 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at 629-888-5898.
State officials will issue additional guidance regarding future closures prior to March 31, according to Lee.
Updated 5:30 p.m. March 15
The Metro Nashville Board of Public Health has voted March 15 to approve the declaration of a public health emergency in Davidson County.
The declaration gives Metro Nashville Director of Health Dr. Michael Caldwell the ability take "any action that would be necessary to address this public health emergency."
This declaration comes after Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced bars and restaurants in Davidson will undergo restrictions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the county.
Updated 2:47 p.m. March 15
In response to the announcement of more than three dozen cases of the coronavirus confirmed March 15 in Tennessee, Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper has announced new business limitations to prevent further spread of the virus.
The mayor's office will hold an emergency meeting of the Metro Nashville Board of Health at 5 p.m. March 15 to take action to declare a public health emergency, according to an announcement from the mayor's office. In advance of that meeting, Cooper has announced the following short-term restrictions for local restaurants and bars in the county that will go into effect immediately:
Bars on Lower Broadway and throughout Davidson County will close their businesses until further notice; restaurants—public facilities where the sale of food make up more than 50% of revenue—will limit their regular maximum seating to under 50% of capacity, and no more than 100 individuals will be allowed; bar service at restaurants should be limited to 50% of capacity with no standing allowed.
Updated 2 p.m. March 15
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the state of Tennessee have climbed to 39 statewide, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.
The total number of cases includes 17 in Davidson County and 14 in Williamson County as well as a small number of cases in seven additional counties across the state, according to TDH.
Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper is encouraging social distancing as a measure to limit the spread of the virus.
“As my administration works with state and federal officials and community partners to respond to the coronavirus in Nashville and Davidson County, I encourage everyone to take necessary precautions to prevent person-to-person spread," Cooper said in a statement. "This includes postponing large public and private gatherings, encouraging teleconferencing and remote working, and taking all necessary precautions to protect employees, congregants, students, and all Nashvillians–especially our medically fragile residents."
Schools in the area will be closed this week for spring break, and multiple venues across the area, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, Bridgestone Arena and more, are closed through at least the end of the month.
Updated 2:20 p.m. March 13
The number of confirmed and presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus has increased to 26 cases statewide, according to a March 13 update from the Tennessee Department of Health.
According to the TDH, there are now 10 coronavirus cases in Davidson County and nine cases in Williamson County. In addition to two cases in Shelby County, one case in Knox County and one case in Sullivan County—all of which had been previously reported by state health officials—the TDH now reports one case each in Hamilton, Jefferson and Rutherford counties.
Updated 2:30 p.m. March 12
Recorded cases of the coronavirus doubled overnight from nine to 18, according to a March 12 2 p.m. update from the Tennessee Department of Health.
According to the TDH, there are now eight cases in Williamson County, six cases in Davidson County, one case in Knox County, one case in Sullivan County and two cases in Shelby County.
The update comes just hours after Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency in Tennessee due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
Updated 11:32 a.m. March 12
Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency for Tennessee at a press conference March 12 due to the spread of the coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19.
“We have watched over the past week how Tennesseeans have come together to address the tragedy amongst our neighbors as a result of the tornadoes,” Lee said. “Now, it’s time, once again, to come together around a different challenge: COVID-19 in Tennessee.”
At the time of the declaration, the statewide total of coronavirus cases was nine, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Lee said he signed an executive order earlier in the day to request funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to combat the spread of the virus.
“This morning I signed Executive Order [No.] 14, which will move us into position to bring in additional funds from FEMA and relax certain laws which will make it easier to respond to this disease,” Lee said. “This emergency declaration is an important next step in our efforts to treat and mitigate the impact of this disease.”
Dr. Lisa Piercey, the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, said the state lab had enough to supplies to test “at least 500 individuals” for the virus in addition to testing taking place in private labs. She said efforts are increasing across the state in order to “flatten the curve” and reduce the strain on healthcare facilities and resources by attempting to slow the growing number of cases.
“We’ve been ramping up our efforts for vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and those in nursing homes,” Piercey said. “Our hospitals have also made significant strides in the last several days on their testing and response efforts.”
Updated 3 p.m. March 11
The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed two additional cases of coronavirus in the state, one in Davidson County and another in Williamson County, bringing the statewide total to nine as of 2 p.m. on March 11.
Overall, there are two cases in Davidson County and five cases in Williamson County, according to the TDH. The other two cases are in Shelby County and Sullivan County.
On March 10, the TDH announced it had updated its protocol for reporting cases of the coronavirus to include each patient’s county of residence. The cases confirmed by the TDH include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases.
Updated 2:15 p.m. March 10
The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed a seventh case of coronavirus in the state as of 2 p.m. on March 10. Additional details about the case have not yet been announced. According to previous announcements from the TDH, the majority of the cases confirmed to date have been in Middle Tennessee.
Updated 11:25 a.m. March 10
The Tennessee Department of Health announced March 10 there are now two additional cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in the Middle Tennessee area, bringing the state’s total number of confirmed cases to six. The patients are both adult males, according to a news release.
The two new confirmed cases follow four other cases announced by the TDH, including one case in Williamson County, one case in Davidson County, one case in Shelby County and one other case identified only as being in the Middle Tennessee region.
Updated 11:36 a.m. March 9
The Tennessee Department of Health announced March 9 there is now one additional case of the coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, in the Middle Tennessee area, bringing the state’s total number of confirmed cases to four.
Updated 10:20 p.m. March 6
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health announced March 6 that the household contacts of Williamson County's first coronavirus patient have tested negative for the virus.
Original post 9:05 a.m. March 5
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced March 5 that state health officials have identified the first confirmed case of COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in Williamson County.
“As of last night, we have our first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Tennessee,” Lee said. “As confirmed cases surface in other parts of the world, we in Tennessee prepared early. Tennessee was one of the first five states to begin COVID-19 testing and we continue to remain confident in our ability and in the measures that we’re taking to prevent the spread of this infection in our state.”
Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said the individual with the virus is an adult male living in Williamson County, who is currently being isolated at home while health officials work to determine if others who have come in contact with the patient have been exposed to the virus.
“The TDH state laboratory tested the individual yesterday and has submitted the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation,” Piercey said. “While we are saddened to learn this virus has now reached Tennessee, our recent preparedness efforts that the governor just mentioned have positioned us to respond swiftly and thoroughly.”