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Tennessee declared ‘ground zero’ for a US surge in COVID-19 cases, after it recorded the nation’s highest rate of new coronavirus infections

Summary List PlacementTennessee has recorded the highest rate of new coronavirus infections of any US state over the past week, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data — prompting the state’s governor to declare it “ground zero” for the nation’s COVID-19 surge. On average, 127.9 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Tennessee…

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Tennessee declared ‘ground zero’ for a US surge in COVID-19 cases, after it recorded the nation’s highest rate of new coronavirus infections

Summary List PlacementTennessee has recorded the highest rate of new coronavirus infections of any US state over the past week, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data — prompting the state’s governor to declare it “ground zero” for the nation’s COVID-19 surge.
On average, 127.9 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Tennessee residents were confirmed each day in the week to November 23. This put it above California, the second-highest state, with a 111.2 daily infections per 100,000 people.
Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive order Monday, urging residents to work from home whenever possible and to limit social gatherings.
“We are in the darkest part of this pandemic in Tennessee. Our cases are surging, it’s a very serious situation,” Lee said in a video Tuesday.
He urged residents to wear face masks and only spend the holidays with people from their own household, adding that the state is “ground zero for a surge in COVID-19.”
In a previous tweet, he noted that holiday gatherings and extended time indoors “have been the principal driver in spreading COVID-19 like wildfire.”
As of December 22, Tennessee has recorded more than half a million cases of COVID-19, around 3% of all infections in the US, including 6,269 fatalities, according to the Tennessee State Government. Its population makes up around 2% of the US.
The state began vaccinating frontline healthcare workers on December 17, six days after the US Food and Drugs Administration approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine.
In the first round of vaccine distribution, Tennessee is getting 56,000 doses.
Read more: Employers are frantically calling labor lawyers to ask whether they can make a coronavirus vaccine mandatory in the workplace. Here’s the advice 6 lawyers are giving clients.
On Sunday, Lee’s wife Maria tested positive for COVID-19. Lee himself is isolating but has no symptoms.
Early in the pandemic, Tennessee became one of the first states to reopen after a month-long shelter-in-place executive order.
In late April, the state allowed the return of indoor dining and non-essential retail.SEE ALSO: The first 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the US in just 10 days
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