Coronavirus Tennessee: Knox County Health Dept. updates benchmarks, new cases ‘red’


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — New cases of COVID-19 in Knox County over the last 14 days were represented as “red” during the Knox County Health Department’s newest benchmark update on Wednesday.

It is the first time weeks the department benchmark has been red.

To more visually represent how the benchmarks are being attained, a traffic light is being utilized to depict the status of each benchmark.

 Red signifies the trends are not moving towards benchmark attainment and may indicate adjustments need to be made.

 Yellow signifies the trends are moving towards/away from reaching benchmark attainment. Yellow indicates caution.

 Green signifies that the benchmark is currently met.

Since Oct. 1, 1,274 new cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed among Knox County residents, an increase of 12.79%.

Testing and death rates improved this week compared to past weeks.

Benchmark No. 2, Community-wide sustained and increased diagnostic testing with consistent or decreased test result reporting turnaround time, showed tests increased by nearly 3,000 and wait time for results dropped slightly. The benchmark was labeled as yellow.

From Oct. 4-10, 10,342 tests were given to Knox County residents, compared to 7,545 given between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3.

Benchmark No. 5, Sustained or decreased COVID-19 related death rate for identified positive or probable cases, was represented as green.

The Knox County Health Department on Wednesday reported one new death and 64 new active cases of COVID-19. KCHD has reported 90 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began, 85 of which have come since July 2. The county reported 19 deaths in August, 26 in September and five in October.

Benchmark No. 4, Health care system capabilities remain within current and forecasted surge capacity, was set to yellow.

As of Tuesday there were 246 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Knox and surrounding counties according to the hospital systems and the state’s patient tracking system. Sixty-nine patients are in the intensive care unit and 36 are using ventilators.

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