KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Health Department has reported six new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday as some regional hospitals have requested National Guard assistance or paused elective surgeries to account for rising case totals.

Knox County has reported 28 COVID-19 deaths in the month of August, more than the three previous months combined. A total of 684 Knox County residents have died from COVID-19.

August marks the deadliest month in Knox County since March when the health department had 36 deaths.

A total of 3,669 cases are considered active as of Aug. 26, up from 3,650 on Tuesday. The county reported 1,240 active cases on Aug. 4, marking a percent change increase of 195%.

There are 567 COVID-19 inpatients at 19 regional hospitals as of Aug. 25, with 154 in intensive care and 101 on ventilators. It’s the highest number of regional inpatients since Jan. 14.

There were 201 total COVID-19 inpatients in the region on Aug. 1. Earlier this month, Tennessee Health Department Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey revealed that the first half of August has seen more new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state than any full month of the pandemic.

A total of 75 COVID-19 positive inpatients were reported in area hospitals on July 21, including 18 on ventilators.

As of Aug. 23, the seven-day COVID-19 positivity percentage average is 19.6%. This shows the average percentage of daily COVID-19 tests performed that are positive over a 7-day period. The 7-day average at the beginning of the month was 14.69%.

According to researchers from Johns Hopkins, Tennessee ranks sixth in the country for new cases per capita. The rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by about 2,200, an increase of 75%, over the past two weeks.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center has requested national guard assistance due to a strain on hospital capacity. The national guard had been cleared by the state’s military department to increase support to area hospitals across Tennessee as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, guardsmen and women deployed to Morristown.

Blount Memorial Hospital has stopped elective surgeries due to a rise in COVID-19 patients.