The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 9,918 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 251 cases from the number on Sunday afternoon. 

Nearly 6,900 tests were processed and reported during the same time frame, bringing the statewide total to 154,400 people tested — nearly one for every 44 Tennessee residents. 

Across the state, 837 individuals have been hospitalized and 184 people have died. Those numbers are up nine and three, respectively, since Sunday.

At the state level, 87 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, including Williamson County, were able to reopen restaurants at limited capacity on Monday after five record days of daily case increases from expanded testing. Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said much of those increases came from the state’s prison population, where many confirmed cases were asymptomatic.

More than 7,000 tests were conducted by the Tennessee National Guard and Department of Health over the weekend at 18 drive-thru sites across the state, including Hamilton and Shelby counties. Last weekend, when more than 11,000 tests were conducted at more than 33 sites, less than 2 percent of results came back positive.

Court closures extended through May

Nonfederal courts in Tennessee will remain closed through May and jury trials will be suspended through June unless there are “extraordinary circumstances,” the Tennessee Supreme Court ordered last week.

The decision extends restrictions originally issued in March but gives local judicial districts the option of submitting a plan for easing restrictions for approval by the high court. Once the proposal is approved, the judicial district could begin conducting some in-person business with social distancing, limited courtroom access and other precautions.

While many court hearings have been suspended for the duration of coronavirus-related closures, the state Supreme Court now allows courts to conduct business via video conference.

“I am very impressed with how judges, lawyers, and everyone in the system have quickly innovated and adapted to keep the courts open and dockets moving forward,” Chief Justice Jeff Bivins said. “The justice system cannot grind to a halt, and everyone quickly appreciated that rescheduling everything a few weeks out was not going to be a viable option. Every day I hear stories of judges who are anything but tech savvy holding Zoom hearings and developing a new approach to getting the work done. This has been a tremendous learning opportunity, and there are going to be a lot of lessons learned about the use of technology in the courts that we can use even after this state of emergency is over.”

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

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