The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 14,096 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 158 cases from the number on Wednesday afternoon.
More than 9,200 tests were processed and reported since Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 236,328 people tested. Across the state, 1,266 individuals have been hospitalized and 237 people have died. Those numbers are up 45 and down two (the state decreased its overall death toll), respectively, in the past 24 hours.
Gov. Bill Lee continues to expand the list of businesses that can reopen in 89 of the state’s 95 counties.
On Friday, small group recreation businesses like bowling alleys and mini-golf will be allowed to reopen under Lee’s plan. The guidelines suggest limited capacity and extra sanitization for communal equipment.
Lee’s recommendations still suggest bowling leagues and other large group activities remain on hold. Playgrounds, ball pits and laser tag venues should remain closed, according to the governor’s office, because physical contact is likely or social distancing is difficult in those venues.
“As our testing capacity and contact tracing ability continues to improve, it’s time to get Tennesseans back to work safely and successfully,” Lee said. “These guidelines were created in partnership with business leaders and health experts to preserve the progress we’ve made and protect the lives and livelihoods of Tennesseans.”
Lee also extended his executive order that allows local governments around the state to meet via teleconference through the end of June. That provision has helped legislative bodies like Nashville’s Metro Council avoid regularly scheduled large, public gatherings while continuing to conduct business but has drawn some concern from pro-transparency advocates.
Williamson County has 434 cases as of Thursday, with 10 deaths and 5,908 negative cases, per the state's map.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced Tennessee will receive more than $9.3 million to support expanded testing at 29 health centers, including five in Nashville receiving a combined $1.4 million.
The state Department of Health for the past few weeks has been expanding access to testing by establishing weekend drive-thru testing sites, mass testing in long term care facilities and prisons, and pilot antibody testing on health care professionals.
Army Corps campsites closed through end of May
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday said it is extending its closure of area campgrounds it manages through at least May 31.
In a statement, the Corps said they have not determined a possible reopening date and that people with reservations will be able to change their bookings by May 15 in order to avoid future cancellations. The decision applies to Corps-managed campgrounds at Cheatham Lake, J. Percy Priest Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Center Hill Lake and Dale Hollow Lake as well as Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland in Kentucky.
Nissan extends plant downtime again
Nissan leaders have extended production downtime at most of their U.S. manufacturing facilities. They are not committing to a reopening date and say they will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic as well as customer demand and supplier readiness before picking a possible restart date.
Nissan executives decided to first close their factories on March 18 and had eyed April 6 as a tentative re-opening date. In early April, they extended the closures to at least late April. The automaker was reported last month to also be temporarily laying off 10,000 people as it adjusts to the impact of COVID-19.