December 31 COVID-19 update: Tennessee reports 5,993 new cases, 97 additional deaths

Metro reports 1,168 new cases, 3 deaths in 24 hours
Posted at 8:58 AM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 15:02:14-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Health reported 5,993 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases ever reported to 586,802.

As of Thursday, 508,914 Tennesseans have recovered from the virus while 70,981 cases remain active. Thursday's rate of positive tests is 22.64%.

Ninety-seven additional Tennesseans have died from COVID-19. TDH has attributed 6,907 deaths to COVID-19.

Hospitals statewide reported 3,218 active COVID-19 patients overnight.

Metro reported 1,168 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the third-highest single-day increase in cases. The Metro Public Health Department said the majority of Thursday's new cases were from tests on Monday following Christmas.

Three additional deaths were reported, two of which were from a confirmed COVID-19 case and one probable: a 93-year-old woman, a 90-year-old man and an 86-year-old man.

In Davidson County, a total of 68,812 cases have been reported so far, with 61,505 of those cases now considered recovered or inactive. As of December 29, 6,831 cases remain active in Metro Nashville.

MPHD said 453 people have died from a confirmed case of COVID-19. Including probable and confirmed cases, 476 deaths in Davidson County have been attributed to COVID-19.

Davidson County hospitals reported 550 active COVID-19 patients and in Middle Tennessee hospitals there are 976, the highest for the county and region since the pandemic began.

Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper resumed his weekly updates on COVID-19 on Thursday morning. The mayor's office did not provide a live update last week due to the holidays.

Watch the full update below:

Davidson County remains in phase 1a1 of Tennessee's COVID-19 vaccination plan. MPHD said 10,955 Davidson County residents have been given the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far and there are about 55,000 people in the 1a1 group. Additionally, about 6,500 people who work in Davidson County but live elsewhere have been vaccinated.

Metro is now waiting for its next shipment of vaccine doses and is not able to begin supplying vaccines to older residents at this time.

As of Thursday, three of Metro's key metrics for reopening are considered unsatisfactory and three are considered less than satisfactory. Click here for more information on the key metrics.


Below is data from MPHD on cases in Davidson County:

New cases per 100,000 people: 77.1
Seven-day percent positive of COVID-19 tests: 15.1
Available Middle Tennessee hospital beds: 14 percent
Available Middle Tennessee ICU beds: 9 percent

Cases by sex:
Male: 32,753
Female: 35,444
Unknown: 615

Cases by age:

Total active cases6,831

Total number of tests conductedTotal positive/probable resultsTotal negative resultsPositive results as percentage of total


See all our coronavirus coverage here


What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.