DATA: Overall rate of positive coronavirus cases in Tennessee declining despite day-over-day increases

The percentage of positive cases has been decreasing over the past two weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The percentage of positive cases has been decreasing over the past two weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The percentage of positive cases has been decreasing over the past two weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

With more new cases being announced each day, it can be difficult to tell how the rate of new coronavirus cases is responding to social distancing efforts.

On April 23, the Tennessee Department of Health announced the state now has more than 8,200 confirmed cases, which marks more than 400 new cases since the day before.

However, while data from the TDH shows large variations in day-over-day increases, when compared to the total number of tests conducted daily, the rate of positive cases is declining.

For example, from April 21 to April 22, the state saw a 6.1% increase in new cases; however, when compared to the number of total tests conducted, the percent of positive cases saw little to no change.

With the state working to make testing more widely available, there have been large increases in test conducted day-over-day.


According to an announcement from Gov. Bill Lee's office, the state ranks 12th in the country for the highest number of total tests.

TDH Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said during an April 23 update that the department saw a large increase in testing from the state's prison populations and results from those have been released over the last two days. Additionally, the state recently launched weekend testing, which has resulted in higher numbers of tests being conducted.

"We now have all of the results of last weekend's tests, and as a reminder, we did 11,230 tests last weekend over 33 sites," Piercey said. "Interestingly, only 1.2% of everyone that was tested tested positive. Around 100 people that were tested tested positive. That's a really good sign."

See the data below for trends from over the past two weeks.


By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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