Knox County COVID-19 hospitalizations reach new high, 6 new deaths reported


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – There have been more than 100 COVID-19-related deaths among Knox County residents this month.

The Knox County Health Department reported six new coronavirus-related deaths and 478 new cases Tuesday. There are now 5,152 active cases in Knox County, a decrease of 29 since Monday.

There are a record-high 150 county residents currently hospitalized, four more than reported Sunday. The total surpasses a previous high for hospitalizations set on Dec. 10.

Knox County reported a record one-day increase of 724 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The health department also reported 11 new deaths, matching the most reported in a single day.

KCHD has reported 272 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic hit Knox County in March. Two hundred sixty-six of those have happened since July 2.

Reported Knox County deaths by month

  • December: 105 deaths
  • November: 62 deaths
  • October: 21 deaths
  • September: 26 deaths
  • August: 19 deaths
  • July: 35 deaths

There are also 2,320 probable cases in Knox County, an increase of 85 from Monday. The inactive case count grew by 586 Tuesday for a total of 24,657 in the county.

Knox County commissioners on Monday passed an ordinance on first reading to move the Knox County Board of Health to an advisory role. The ordinance would put the authority in the hands of Knox County Health Department Senior Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. It needs to go before commission on second reading in January, where it will be discussed and voted on once more.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced during a statewide address on Sunday the signing of 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 will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22. Case counts will continue to be updated every day online.

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