July 16 COVID-19 update: 71,540 total cases, 796 deaths in Tennessee

Davidson Co. hospital bed availability drops below 20%
Posted at 9:25 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 15:05:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Health reported 2,479 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday. This is the second-highest single-day number of new cases for the state.

Statewide there has been a total of 71,540 cases reported, including both probable and confirmed, and 41,250 Tennesseans are now considered recovered.

Probable cases refer to those that do not test positive in a diagnostic test but might have tested positive in a different form of test like an antibody or serologic test. Probable cases also could refer to cases that were never tested but exhibited the factors consistent with a COVID-19 infection, like symptoms and close contacts of confirmed cases.

Thirteen additional COVID-19-related deaths were reported on Thursday and overall 796 Tennesseans have died.

The state reported 3,497 hospitalizations for the virus, an increase of 63 people in the last 24 hours.

In Nashville, Metro Health officials reported 322 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Including both confirmed and probable cases, that brings Davidson County's total to 16,079 cases. Of those, 16,061 are confirmed cases.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper said our 14-day daily case average continues to rise and our transmission rate remains high at 1.21. Both metrics are in the red on the city's reopening plan.

"As I mentioned on Tuesday, the numbers we are seeing make it clear. We are unable to move out of our modified Phase Two or change our current restrictions on gathering size limits or bars," said Cooper.

Metro officials also said there has been an additional probable death in the past 24 hours, a 71-year-old man with a pending medical history. There have also been two new additional confirmed deaths reported in the past 24 hours, a 60-year-old man with underlying health conditions and a 39-year-old man with an unknown medical history.

As of Thursday, 147 people in Davidson County have died after a confirmed case of COVID-19. Including both confirmed and probable cases, 151 deaths have been attributed to the virus.

So far, 10,746 individuals have recovered.

Dr. Alex Jahangir said there have been 623 new cases and seven additional deaths since their last video update on Tuesday.

The county’s 14-day average continues to increase and is currently at 340 – that’s up 29 cases more per-day since this time last week and 95 more cases per-day from 14 days ago.

Jahangir also said that 18% of people tested this week were positive, saying that number is concerning because it shows the virus isn’t slowing down in the community.

Metro Health officials also stressed the importance of wearing a facial mask to prevent the spread of the virus.

Dr. Jahangir referenced a recent editorial in the "Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)" in which CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said a “broad adoption of cloth face coverings is a civic duty, a small sacrifice reliant on a highly effective low-tech solution that can help turn the tide favorably in national and global efforts against COVID-19.”

Metro also released the following data:

Available hospital beds: 18 percent
Available ICU beds: 23 percent
Positive results as percentage of total: 12.2%

The MPHD COVID-19 Hotline received 107 calls on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Total number of cases: 16,079
Cases reported in the past 24 hours: 322

Cases by sex
Male: 8,306
Female: 7,508
Unknown: 265

Total cases by age

Total active cases5,182

Watch the full briefing below:


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.