Williamson County has seen its first COVID-19-related death in nearly a month.
Tennessee's interactive coronavirus tracker shows that an eleventh person has died of the disease in the county, the first fatality reported by the state since May 6.
Cases are up to 567 overall in Williamson, with 9,922 negative tests conducted so far.
The Tennessee Department of Health has reported a total of 24,375 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 821 cases from the number on Monday. Of those people, 15,916 have recovered, 1,792 have been hospitalized and 381 people have died, up 353, 25 and 14 in 24 hours, respectively.
Nearly 13,643 test results were processed and reported since Monday, doubling the average number of tests processed in one day, and bringing the statewide total to 462,132 people tested.
The uptick in cases and testing is partly attributed to a second outbreak at the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, according to the health department, which has reported 349 new cases. Last month, mass testing at the prison identified more than 380 cases of COVID-19. The state is currently in the process of retesting correctional facilities and completing mass testing within long-term care facilities.
Tennessee suspends distribution of free masks over health concerns
Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Health have suspended giving away free face masks manufactured by Renfro Corp. after a report by News Channel 5 claimed the masks were treated with a potentially harmful pesticide.
Lee’s Unified Command, the group in charge of procurement efforts through the COVID-19 pandemic, ordered five million masks from the North Carolina sock company for nearly $8.2 million without a formal bidding process.
The NC5 report cites an environmental expert from the University of Wisconsin at Madison saying she wouldn’t wear one, and that the chemical used to treat the masks, Silvadur 930, could be harmful if inhaled.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, company leaders said the report was false, and that the article “erroneously provided links to a different EPA Registration” for a different form of Silvadur.
“DuPont’s SILVADUR 930 FLEX Antimicrobial is widely used in textiles and garments, including those that come in close contact with the face and body, such as pillowcases, sheets, towels, jackets, athletic wear and non-medical face masks. In fact, the independent International Oeko-Tex Association conducted a thorough evaluation of the technology, and confirmed SILVADUR™ 930 FLEX Antimicrobial has been demonstrated to be harmless to human health when used as intended,” company officials said in the statement.