October 22 COVID-19 update: More than 3K killed as state adds 2,066 new cases

Metro’s ICU bed availability dips to 10%, 3 metrics in red category
Posted at 9:23 AM, Oct 22, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — More than 3,000 Tennesseans have died from COVID-19 as of Thursday. The Tennessee Department of Health reported 41 additional deaths, bringing the total number to 3,011.

Overnight, Tennessee hit another record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, breaking the previous record set earlier this week.

Tennessee also added 2,046 new cases on Thursday. The state has reported a total number of 237,907 cases and 212,555 people are now considered recovered. As of Thursday, there are 22,341 active cases statewide.

Metro health officials issued a stark warning about hospital capacity in Middle Tennessee as the number of hospitalizations continues to surge across the state.

Dr. Alex Jahangir said during Metro's COVID-19 update on Thursday that the latest numbers show that transmission is getting higher.

“Unless we do something to curb transmission now, we will see more people die,” Jahangir said. “And we may see our hospitals hit a capacity that will make it hard for them to take care of other people.”

The hospital bed availability in Middle Tennessee is currently at 13%. However, for the nine hospitals in Nashville, that number drops to 5%. ICU bed availability for both Nashville and Middle Tennessee is at 10%.

Earlier this week, Ascension St. Thomas, Tristar Health, Meharry Medical College, and Vanderbilt Health released a joint statement, urging people to remain vigilant in their efforts to limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks, washing hands and staying socially distant.

“Unless we act now to curb the transmission rates in Middle Tennessee, we expect this trend to continue. A major surge of new COVID-19 cases could threaten our ability to serve patients with many diagnoses requiring hospitalization,” the statement said in part.

For the first time, three of Nashville's key metrics are in the red and two are in the yellow. As of today, the county’s transmission rate is at 1.22 -- the highest it’s been since July 3.

Nashville reported 249 new cases and three additional deaths in the past 24 hours. Today's update brings Davidson County's total number of cases to 32,559. Right now, there are 1,920 active cases in Metro.

Three additional confirmed deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, a 95-year-old woman and a 71-year-old woman, both of whom had underlying health conditions, and a 23-year-old woman with a pending medical history.

As of today, 281 people in Davidson County have died after a confirmed case of COVID-19. Including both confirmed and probable cases, 292 deaths have been attributed to the virus.

So far, 30,347 individuals have been labeled as inactive/recovered.

Watch the full briefing below:

New cases per 100,000 people: 28.16
Seven-day percent positive of COVID-19 tests: 6.1

Available Middle Tennessee hospital beds: 13 percent
Available Middle Tennessee ICU beds: 10 percent

The MPHD COVID-19 Hotline received 195 calls on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

Total number of cases: 32,559
Cases reported in the past 24 hours: 249

Cases by sex
Male: 15,922
Female: 16,334
Unknown: 303

Cases by age

Total active cases1,920


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.