KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The novel coronavirus has reached a milestone as the total number of deaths from the virus in Knox County reaches 1,000, according to data kept by the Knox County Health Department.
On Thursday, the department reported an additional death, the first update since before Christmas.
The health department categorized 2,268 cases active as of Thursday, an increase of more than 400 from the day before.
Hospitals in the East Region, which include the Knoxville area, report 91 percent of non-ICU beds are in use and 92 percent of ICU beds are full as of Dec. 29.
The 19 medical facilities in the Knox County region report 229 people were being treated in a hospital for COVID-19 on Wednesday night, up slightly from the day before. Hospitalizations have been steadily rising since Thanksgiving.
State data has shown the 1,000 benchmark was reached earlier this month. County and regional health agencies have posted differing figures throughout the pandemic, periodically reviewing and reconciling the differences.
Health officials locally and across the state have said in recent weeks that the omicron variant is likely now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Tennessee.
As of Dec. 26, the Tennessee COVID-19 total number of reported COVID-19 deaths was at 20,613.
Last week, Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey announced a change in COVID-19 death count that increased the statewide toll by about 2,700 due to lagging data, she said was caused by manual reporting by many health care providers and an increase in deaths at home, which often trigger investigations.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been edited for clarity.