The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 11,891 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 1,156 cases from the number on Thursday afternoon.
The significant increase was mainly due to an outbreak at Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, where 1,246 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed from 2,450 tests. According to TDH, nearly 98 percent of those who tested positive are asymptomatic.
"It's a real head-scratcher why they have such a high asymptomatic rate," said state Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, who added that similar trends have been identified in other prison clusters.
More than half of the inmates at the Trousdale facility have tested positive for the disease, according to state officials. Two inmates from the facility have been hospitalized.
More than 8,500 tests were processed and reported since Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 186,132 people tested. Across the state, 1,113 individuals have been hospitalized and 204 people have died. Those numbers are up 68 and five, respectively.
As of Friday, Williamson County has 416 confirmed cases of the virus, with nine deaths and 4,919 negative tests conducted, per the state's interactive map.
Gov. Bill Lee's Unified Command Group announced Friday the state will begin mass testing for all Department of Corrections staff and inmates beginning next week. There are now more than 1,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout four prisons in the state.
State Corrections Commissioner Tony Parker said 500 inmates who tested positive for the disease at another prison in Bledsoe County would be released from isolation next week.
Nonessential businesses and gyms across 89 of the state’s 95 counties were allowed to reopen on Friday, and salons, barbershops and other personal-care facilities will follow next week. Gov. Bill Lee lifted the state’s safer-at-home order beginning May 1 but encourages all Tennessee residents to remain home as much as possible and practice social distancing efforts to help reduce the spread of the virus.
The state will deploy its third round of drive-through 16 testing sites over the weekend across the state. The National Guard and Dept. of Health have so far tested more than 18,000 residents through their drive-up locations. The first weekend, when more than 11,000 people were tested, yielded a positivity rate of less than 2 percent.
TDH has also started testing every resident and staff member at every long-term care facility in Tennessee. As of the latest update from the state, 478 cases of, and 44 deaths from, COVID-19 are attributed to patients in these care centers.
The state’s health care capacity remains relatively stable. Data released by TDH shows currently 31 percent of hospital beds and 29 percent of ICU beds available across the state. The number of ventilators available has risen to 1,552 out of 2,068. In early March, the state reported only having 600 ventilators in stock.