LIST: Tennessee White House Coronavirus Task Force Reports
UPDATED: January 28
The White House's new COVID data director under the Biden administration is making these Coronavirus Task Force reports available to the public.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: January 13
To date, both President Trump and Governor Bill Lee have declined to publish Tennessee's weekly reports from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. WUOT News is collecting these reports through weekly public records requests to the Knox County Health Department and sharing them below.
Most recently available report: January 24
According to the report, the White House is reviewing how it compiles state profiles so the most recent report does not include recommendations for the state. Tennessee is now ranked 22nd in the county for new cases per 100,000 people, down from first in the country a month ago. The new case rate, percentage of tests coming back positive, hospitalizations and deaths have all fallen in recent weeks. That may indicate the December-January surge is slowing, though health officials have been quick to say the pandemic is by no means over.
Tennessee is ranked third in the country for COVID cases per 100,000 people and fourth in the country for deaths per 100,000 people, according to the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report. Knoxville metropolitan area has the second-highest number of cases over the past three weeks in the state, following Nashville. The report warns of, "the presence of the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible."
According to a statement from the Tennessee Department of Health, the Governor did not receive a report this week.
Tennessee is seeing a decrease in new COVID cases and testing positivity rates, according to the December 27 White House Coronavirus Task Force report. However, the report states that the data are unstable due to inconsistent reporting over the holidays. Knox County Health Director Martha Buchanan said Tuesday, "It's more likely that this is a reflection of lower testing volumes," about lower case rates in Knox County in recent days. The White House report recommends that Tennesseeans over the age of 65 avoid entering indoor, public spaces where anyone is unmasked.
Tennessee is ranked first in the country for COVID cases per 100,000 residents, and third in the country for test positivity rates. The White House Coronavirus Task Force report says "states that recently put in statewide mask mandates experienced dramatic declines in hospitalizations within 4 to 6 weeks." Governor Lee issued an executive order on December 20 restricting some indoor public gatherings but did not pass a statewide mask mandate. Following Nashville, Knoxville has the second-highest number of new cases reported over the past three weeks.
Tennessee is ranked fifth in the county for new cases per 100,000 people, according to the latest White House coronavirus task force report. Nearly 70 percent of nursing homes reported at least one new COVID case among staff. The report recommends Governor Bill Lee require face masks in all public settings and that universities mandate weekly COVID testing during the spring semester.
Ninety-five percent of Tennessee counties are now in the red zone for COVID cases, according to this week's report. Tennessee is ranked 18th in the country for new cases per 100,000 people. The report recommends limiting indoor dining to less than 25 percent until testing positivity rates move into the yellow zone. According to the report, public health officials should not expect vaccinations to significantly impact case rates until late spring 2021.