KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – New data released Wednesday by the Knox County Health Department continues to show active COVID-19 cases and regional hospitalizations have been on the rise over the past month. Knox County reported over 500 new active cases and three new deaths in the past week.

There are now 1240 active COVID-19 cases in Knox County, a percent change increase of 199.5% from July 21 when 414 active cases were reported. The number of active cases in Knox County on July 14 was 198.

In 19 hospitals in Knox County and the surrounding region, hospitalizations have also followed a similar recent trend. There are 220 COVID-19 positive inpatients in regional hospitals as of Aug. 3, including 65 on ventilators. A total of 75 COVID-19 positive inpatients were reported in area hospitals on July 21, including 18 on ventilators.

The 7-day average percent positive in Knox County, which measures the average percentage of daily COVID-19 tests performed that are actually positive over a week period, was 14.03% as of August 2. The 7-day percent positive average in Knox County was 3.32% a month earlier on July 2.

The total death toll from COVID-19 in the county stands at 658. The county reported two new deaths on the first day of August. Eight COVID-19 deaths were reported in the month of July. Knox County reported a total of 14 COVID-19 deaths in the months of May and June.

According to the most recent data from the Knox County Health Department, 50.70% of all county residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 47.37% have been fully vaccinated.

Earlier this week, the University of Tennessee system announced that campuses will begin the fall semester requiring masks to be worn in classrooms, labs, instructional spaces, and any indoor events students are required to attend. Campuses with the mask requirement include Knoxville, Institute of Agriculture, Chattanooga, Martin, Southern, and Health Science Center.

East Tennessee State University also announced that masks will be required in most indoor spaces.

On August 3, Hancock County Schools said masks will be required on school buses and indoors amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the county. Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton has previously said he would consider legislative action if school districts chose to issue a mask mandate or close schools due to the pandemic.