New graphs show how Tennessee has reported three times as many coronavirus cases as neighboring state Kentucky - and it may be because its governor took an extra week to issue stay at home orders.
In Kentucky there are over 1,100 cases of the virus and there have been 65 deaths so far.
In Tennessee, which sits just below Kentucky, the outbreak three times as large, with over 4,300 cases of COVID-19 and 79 deaths reported.
Despite their proximity, Kentucky's early orders to lockdown, practice social distancing and stay at home may have saved the state from a more severe outbreak.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on March 6, the same day the state reported its first confirmed case of the virus. On March 16 he further shut down all bars and restaurants for in-person dining.
Conversely, Tennessee reported its first COVID-19 case on March 5, but Governor Bill Lee did not issue a state of emergency until a week later on March 12 when the number of cases spiked to 18.
Dramatic graphs show how Tennessee's coronavirus outbreak - with 4,300 cases and 79 deaths - is three times as bad as Kentucky's - with 1,100 cases and 65 deaths - despite being neighboring states. Kentucky's governor declared a state of emergency on March 6, the same day it reported its first case. Tennessee declared a state of emergency on March 12 when it had 18 COVID-19 cases. The delay in declaring the emergency state and ordering locals to stay at home may have contributed to the spike in cases in Tennessee
This graph by Stephanie Jolly shows COVID-19 cases in Kentucky and Tennessee per showing the number of cases per 1,000 residents according to test results and how many people have been tested in each state
A tale of two states: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (left) has been praised for his early action to slow the spread of COVID-19 which may have contributed to its low number compared to neighboring state Tennessee. Lee issued a 'safer at home' order on March 30 instead of a 'shelter in place' order saying 'it remains deeply important o me to protect personal liberties'
While both states are grappling with a shortage of tests and medical supplies, Tennessee is seeing over 3,200 more cases than Kentucky.
Kentucky resident and educator Stephanie Jolly, who is currently based in New York awaiting thyroid cancer surgery, has created graphs comparing the COVID-19 outbreaks in the two states to show the public how social distancing is flattening the curve.
'This infographic has encouraged thousands to stay at home who otherwise wouldn't have. I make a version with the actual counts because it is more easily understood by those seeking simple visuals -- especially when sharing with older relatives,' she wrote on Twitter sharing updated graphs on Sunday.
Her graph shows key dates - when the two governors declared states of emergency and stay at home orders.
And they've made a major impact - particularly among disgruntled Tennesseans.
'I’ve had a lot of people from Tennessee telling me they wished they were taking the same steps as Kentucky,'