Fewer COVID-19 tests done in Bedford County

Friday, April 3, 2020

By Wednesday afternoon, 81 people had been tested for COVID-19 in Bedford County. Four people (almost 5 percent) tested positive. (By Thursday afternoon the number of positive tests was up to 6, a 50 percent increase overnight.) The first positive test was reported in Bedford County on March 25.

Based on population, the percentage of Bedford County residents who’ve been tested is the lowest in its class of similar size counties — between 40,000 and 49,000. Six counties fall into this population range: Bedford, Monroe, Lawrence, Franklin, Warren and Gibson.

The lowest percentage of tests has been in Bedford County where 0.17 percent of the population has been tested. The highest percent of tests in this group of counties has been in Lawrence where 0.24 percent of the 42,937 people have been tested. Two people tested positive in Lawrence County, half the number of Bedford County. (The number of positives remained at two Thursday afternoon.)

Only one other county of similar size to Bedford has tested less than 2 percent of its population: Franklin. Franklin County with a population of 41,512 has conducted tests on 0.18 percent of its people. Seven people in Franklin County have tested positive, the highest number in the group of six counties. (The number of positive tests rose by just one Thursday afternoon.)

Warren County, with a population of 40,454, has tested the exact same number of people as Franklin County and found one that tested positive.

Gibson County, with its population of 49.175, has tested 117 people and found six who have the virus. Gibson has tested 0.237 percent of its population.

Statewide, 32,452 people have been tested, 0.479 percent of Tennessee’s population of 6.77 million. By Thursday afternoon the number that tested positive had risen from 2,683 Wednesday afternoon to 2,845 Thursday afternoon — a 6 percent increase in 24 hours.


Neighboring counties have tested considerably more people, percentage wise, than Bedford County.

• Marshall County, population 32,269, tested 105 (0.32 percent), found one positive.

• Coffee County, population 54,531, tested 127 (0.23 percent), found one positive.

• Rutherford County, population 307,128, tested 959 (0.312 percent), found 86 positive.

Test shortages?

There are continuing reports nationwide of shortages of supplies for testing and at least one reader told of a local incident. According to our reader, her grandson was denied a test recently. She reported that her 4-year-old grandson was seen at a local clinic for symptoms that included “coughing, heavy chest and difficulty breathing. He was tested for flu and strep throat,” she said, but they refused to test him for COVID-19 because, they said, “we only have 8 tests here and we aren’t testing any teens or small children because they are least likely to have it.”