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Unemployment, virus cases climb
corona virus

Statewide unemployment continues to skyrocket, while confirmed COVID-19 cases are inching higher as well, including two confirmed cases at our Bridgestone facility.

The latest unemployment figures released Thursday morning by the Tennessee Department of Labor show 43,792 people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending April 25. That brings the cumulative total for the past six weeks to 437,261 unemployment claims statewide.

Tennessee has an estimated workforce of 3.35 million, meaning just over 1-in-7 workers in the state have applied for unemployment benefits since mid-March.

Nationwide, the federal government reports 30.3 million workers have applied for unemployment benefits in the six weeks since the outbreak.

There are now 10,735 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, according to figures released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Health. That includes 199 deaths. The state reports a recovery rate of 5,338 patients, which is 50%

In Warren County, there remains seven confirmed cases by the state Department of Health. In surrounding counties, there are 36 cases in Coffee County, 28 in Grundy, and 15 in DeKalb.

Bridgestone has confirmed one of its employees and a contract employee have tested positive for COVID-19.

“On Monday, April 27, Bridgestone Americas received confirmation of an employee at the Warren County Truck and Bus Radial Tire Plant testing positive for the coronavirus,” said director of communications Emily Weaver. “The employee is currently in isolation at home. We remain in contact with the employee and all employees at the facility to provide clear direction and ensure their safety regarding this matter.”

Weaver continued, “Out of an abundance of caution and to help ensure the continued safety and well-being of our employees, Bridgestone Americas did a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the area of the facility where the employee worked. We have contacted all employees who may have had contact with the affected employee, as defined by the CDC. Those who have will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days and to contact their healthcare provider if they develop any symptoms.”

When asked about additional cases at the Bridgestone facility on Thursday, Weaver confirmed a contract employee there has also tested positive.