The Tennessee Department of Health on Wednesday afternoon reported there are 784 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 52 counties. The statewide death toll has risen to three. 

TDH Commissioner Lisa Piercey contends the rate by which cases are being reporting has slowed but that does not indicate a downturn in the outbreak. The state’s death and hospitalization reporting are also delayed, Piercey says, because of logistical reasons within the health care system. 

Piercey says Tennessee is currently experiencing a hospitalization rate just shy of the national average of 10 percent, but TDH has been able to report only 53 hospitalizations so far. 

News Channel 5 has begun aggregating county-level data to track total confirmed cases statewide and Wednesday afternoon confirmed more than 900 cases.

Gov. Bill Lee has ordered the closure of all dine-in restaurants, bars and workout facilities until April 6. Lee also formed a unified command, which will help the state acquire resources during the national supply chain shortage and expand testing capacity across the state. Yesterday, the governor ordered 250 volunteer soldiers and airmen from the National Guard to assist in these efforts.

BCBS pitches in to Second Harvest Food Bank as part of grander plan

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation will donate $750,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee as part of a $3.25 million plan to support food banks around the state.

The gifts will shore up those organizations’ ability to buy supplies and get meals to people in need. In a fundraising email, Second Harvest President and CEO Nancy Keil on Tuesday said her team’s switchboard has been "overwhelmed" this week.

"A lot of these people have never used a food pantry before —they’re scared because they don’t know how this works,” Keil wrote.

This post originally appeared in our sister publication, the Nashville Post

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