Updated 12/23/20


State health officials said the rise in current COVID-19 infections can be attributed to the Thanksgiving holiday, which leaves officials concerned with the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey urged Tennesseans not to travel to visit family during the holiday season.
Tennessee now has the highest infection rate in the country with more than 40 percent new cases above average reported.
Piercey said many of the cases at household gatherings happened after individuals were asymptomatic and felt fine. Days later they reported feeling ill or testing positive.
Most patients are hospitalized on days 5 to 8 of the illness.
The new cases and increase in hospitalizations have put a strain on state hospitals.