The Tennessee Department of Health has reported a total of 43,509 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 1,212 cases since Monday from 15,921 new test results. Of the total cases, 27,599 people have recovered, 2,665 have been hospitalized and 604 have died — up 637, 66 and 12, respectively, from the numbers 24 hours earlier.

The number of active cases in Tennessee has risen 34 percent in the past week. On Tuesday, the state reported another all-time high of 15,306 residents currently infected with the virus. 

As of Monday afternoon, 527 confirmed coronavirus patients were hospitalized statewide and 312 patients were awaiting test results — making up less than 5 percent of all hospitalizations statewide, according to the health department.

In terms of capacity, the state reports 22 percent of inpatient beds and 21 percent of ICU beds are available, down 2 percent each day-over-day. Nearly 72 percent of the state's ventilator supply — which was low in March until the state bought about 1,000 more — is still available.

Williamson County cases stand at 1,013 as of Tuesday, with 14 deaths and 16,832 negative tests conducted on the state's record

Meharry joins national vaccine initiative

Meharry Medical College has joined a national network for COVID-19 vaccination trials and will begin enrolling community members in future studies, President and CEO James Hildreth announced on Tuesday. 

The move adds one of the nation’s oldest historically black medical schools, located in the heart of North Nashville and housing the city’s safety-net hospital, to the list of organizations that are part Operation Warp Speed, a federal initiative to deliver 300 million doses of an effective vaccination by January 2021. 

“I am excited given the importance of minority communities taking part in COVID19 vaccine trials,” Hildreth tweeted on Tuesday morning. 

The pandemic has exposed and pronounced pre-existing health disparities among Black citizens within the country’s health care system, including the higher likelihood of having a chronic health condition, which has caused higher rates of hospitalization and death in individuals who are infected with COVID-19. A contributing factor to those long-term inequities is a disparity in clinical research over the decades: some 85 percent of health care research in history has been conducted on men of European descent.

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

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