Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports 52nd death, weekly benchmarks all green, yellow

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knox County on Wednesday reported its 52nd coronavirus-related death and the lowest one-day increase in total cases since July 13.

The Knox County Health Department reported one new death and 45 new cases on Wednesday, a 0.82% increase in the total case count. Health officials also reported 98 new recoveries.

The 45 new cases mark the smallest single-day increase in the total case count since July 13 when 42 new cases were reported.

Of the 52 deaths in Knox County, 47 have occurred since July 2.

There are now 2,197 active cases in Knox County, down from 2,251 on Tuesday.

Of the 5,528 total confirmed cases reported in Knox County since the pandemic began, 239 of them have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. There are 39 county patients currently hospitalized.

The number of recoveries is at 3,482 . Recovered cases refer to those who have been released from isolation after 10 days from their onset of symptoms, plus 24 hours of being symptom-free. Recovered does not mean necessarily the person had to be hospitalized.

Knox County Health Department lists 203 probable cases of COVID-19 on the county website.

KCHD updates its numbers daily at 11 a.m. Visit covid.knoxcountytn.gov for more information. Press briefings by Knox County Health Department have been moved to a Tuesday and Thursday schedule this week. Briefings begin at noon.

No red benchmarks

The Health Department made one change to its weekly benchmarks Wednesday and in doing so, gave the county no red lights for the first time in weeks.

To more visually represent how the benchmarks are being attained, KCHD is utilizing a traffic-light system 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.

  • Benchmark No. 1, Sustained reduction or stability in new cases for 14 days, remained YELLOW. The color means Knox County has seen three-day shifts detected above 1.5 but not greater than 3.0 standard deviations above a rolling mean (based on data from the previous 14 days). A sustained reduction or stability in new cases for 14 days is an indicator for movement towards the next phase. Although most cases occur within 5-7 days of exposure, almost all are evident by 14 days.
  • Benchmark No. 2, communitywide sustained and increased diagnostic testing with consistent or decreased test result reporting turnaround time, is GREEN. The Knox County Health Department changed testing providers two weeks ago and has seen a drop in wait time to a little more than two days. The number of tests done by the department continues to trend down.
  • Benchmark No. 3, Sustained or increased public health capability, is also GREEN. There are 233 KCHD epidemiology support team members. The team assists with case investigation, contact tracing, monitoring, data input, and data analysis.
  • Benchmark No. 4, health care system capabilities remain within current and forecasted surge capacity, is YELLOW. The health care systems in and around Knox County meet daily and discuss hospital bed capacity, intensive care unit capacity, and ventilator capacity. They make the decision on this benchmark in accordance with the current need for the three services in the area and their ability to sustain a surge in COVID-19 cases at the given time.
  • Benchmark No. 5, sustained or decreased COVID-19 related death rate for identified positive or probable cases, is YELLOW. Of the 52 deaths in Knox County, 47 have occurred since July 2. KCHD reported on Wednesday the 52nd death in Knox County.

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