KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Active cases in Knox County reached a new high on Wednesday despite the smallest one-day increase in cases in more than three weeks.

There are now a record-high 5,429 active cases among Knox County residents, an increase of 277 since Tuesday.

The Knox County Health Department reported six new coronavirus-related deaths and 163 new cases Wednesday, the smallest one-day increase in cases since Nov. 30.

A total of 9,423 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in December for a daily average just below 410. From the onset of the pandemic in mid-March, Knox County did not report 9,400 total cases until Sept. 24.

There are 145 county residents currently hospitalized, five fewer than the record-high reported Tuesday.

KCHD has reported 278 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic hit Knox County in March. Two hundred seventy-two of those have happened since July 2.

Reported Knox County deaths by month

  • December: 111 deaths
  • November: 62 deaths
  • October: 21 deaths
  • September: 26 deaths
  • August: 19 deaths
  • July: 35 deaths

There are also 2,441 probable cases in Knox County, an increase of 121 from Tuesday. The inactive case count grew by one Wednesday for a total of 24,658 in the county. Of the 27,924 cases confirmed cases in Knox County since the pandemic began, 719 have resulted in hospitalizations.

Knox County reported a record one-day increase of 724 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced during a statewide address on Sunday he signed an executive order, limiting indoor social gatherings to 10 people. Worship services, weddings, funerals and related events are exempt from the gathering limitation.

The Knox County Board of Health voted 7-3 in favor of passing a new COVID-19 Social Gathering Limitation Regulation on Dec. 2, limiting some social gatherings to 10 people. The regulation went into effect Dec. 4.

As of Sept. 4, KCHD reports “inactive” cases instead of “recovered” cases. Inactive cases include those who are 14 days or more beyond their illness onset date or, for asymptomatic cases, their specimen collection date. This is in alignment with the Tennessee Department of Health.

KCHD updates its numbers daily at 11 a.m. Visit for more information.

The final press briefing before Christmas by the Knox County Health Department was held on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Case counts will continue to be updated everyday online.

Knox County Health Department will resume COVID-19 briefings on Tuesday, Dec. 29.