KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Health Department has reported six new deaths since Tuesday’s COVID-19 data report, bringing the total number to 707 among county residents.
Along with more deaths, come more active cases in the county with 266 new active cases of COVID-19 in two days, bringing the total to nearly 5,000 at 4,920.
The 19 hospitals in the Knox County/East Region have reported a sharp increase in inpatients since the middle of July, and as of Sept. 1, there are 657 inpatients including 158 in the ICU and 107 on ventilators.
There are currently 3.8% of the region’s ICE beds available, along with 40.7% of ventilators available.
On Tuesday, KCHD reported they are having trouble with contact tracing. The health department is saying they are working to hire more staff members to keep up with the case count. They are also working with Knox County Schools to create a more efficient process for contact tracing in schools as the number of cases among school-age children rises.
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Wednesday night, the Knox County Schools Board of Education voted 5-4 against a mask mandate in its schools after hours of debate among board members and the public. The vote was just one of the votes taken on matters considering COVID-19 protocols.
As of Sept. 1, there are 750 active cases of COVID-19 among Knox County Schools’ students, and 140 among staff.