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This story was updated Friday, March 13, 2020, at 11 p.m. with more information.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus, click here

 

UPDATE: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state increased to 26 on Friday from Thursday's total of 18, according to the Tennessee Department of Health's daily virus update. 

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The number of cases of COVID-19, the deadly respiratory virus affecting people worldwide, in Tennessee doubled Thursday, bringing the number to 18 confirmed cases.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health's daily update, the number went from 9 to 18 between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, the same day Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency in Tennessee. 

Though there are no confirmed cases in Hamilton or any surrounding county, the increased number of cases and looming threat of the virus has spurred a rash of schools and colleges closing across the state to prevent further spread. 

Hamilton County Officials will host a press conference late Thursday afternoon to address concerns of the virus locally. 

This is a developing story. 

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @sarahgtaylor.

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