The Tennessee Department of Health on Tuesday afternoon reported a total of 21,306 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 341 cases from the number on Monday. Of those people, 1,647 individuals have been hospitalized and 353 people have died, up 38 and 10 in 24 hours, respectively.
Nearly 6,126 test results were processed and reported since Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 409,630 people tested.
Williamson County's cases are at 532 as of Wednesday, per the state. The death count stays at 10, with 9,118 negative tests being conducted to date.
State to stop sharing health data
Tennessee will stop sharing COVID-19 patients’ identifying information with law enforcement agencies at the end of the month, according to The Tennessean.
Gov. Bill Lee established the data-sharing arrangement last month but is letting it expire on May 31.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, in addition to immigrants and other advocates, criticized the move, though the governor’s office insisted it was necessary to protect law enforcement officers.
"As the supply chain for PPE has stabilized, and our understanding of COVID-19 has increased, the Department of Health has determined the continued disclosure of information regarding COVID-19 cases is no longer warranted," Todd Skelton, legal counsel for the governor's coronavirus task force, wrote in an email obtained by The Tennessean.
Metro Nashville officials separately shared similar information with local law enforcement. A Metro Health spokesperson said the office is "reviewing the state's decision."
Court updates COVID-19 restrictions
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the further loosening of coronavirus-related restrictions at courts across the state.
That includes the resumption of eviction actions, which can begin on June 1 for rental agreements not covered by federal relief programs.
Jury trials can begin starting July 3 under the new order, which allows for juries of six people instead of 12 in certain cases.
Certain court-related deadlines that had previously been extended due to the pandemic will be extended again, but only through June 5.
“The point of extending deadlines was to give judges, attorneys, and litigants time to adjust to this new normal and weather this storm a bit,” Chief Justice Jeff Bivins said. “But, extensions cannot go on indefinitely. Judges, of course, can extend deadlines on an individual basis when permissible.”
More than 700 court proceedings have taken place via state-managed teleconferencing technology since last month, including oral arguments before both the Tennessee Supreme Court and Tennessee Court of Appeals.