KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Health Department is asking people to take precautions after noticing an upward trend of COVID cases. Health officials say the number of cases has been slowly going up for the past couple of months.

Dr. Corinne Tandy, the health department’s top epidemiologist, is reminding people to social distance when possible, wash their hands often and mask up when needed. She also says you should be mindful of any symptoms you have and utilize at-home covid tests. While KCHD expects to see the higher numbers continue, they have hope that it will end soon.

“I can’t for sure tell you what’s coming next. We hope to see a reduction of cases but we are not sure when we will sort of round that corner,” said Tandy.

For at-home tests, Tandy says that they are not factored into the rising COVID case counts the county is seeing right now. This week, KCHD reported nearly 700 new cases of the virus, but the health department said this number is likely higher.

“So this increase that we are seeing is in cases that are reported to public health and home tests aren’t reported to public health so we know that for all the cases we are seeing in the community we know there are a lot out there that have not been reported because they’ve been identified through home testing,” said Tandy.

Tandy also suggests getting vaccinated against COVID if you have not done so. In addition, you can order at-home COVID tests from COVIDtests.gov