Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports biggest 1-day spike in new COVID-19 cases

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Health Department reported 23 new active COVID-19 cases Tuesday, marking the biggest 1-day spike in the total number of active cases since the pandemic arrived in our area.

The 23 new active cases on Tuesday increases the total of active cases to 93, up from 70 on Monday. The only other day 20 or more new cases were reported in a single day was April 8.

“While the increase in new cases is concerning, we did expect to see an increase in cases as our community continues to reopen,” the Health Department said Tuesday. “There could be several reasons behind the increase in new cases, and we continue to investigate. There is more opportunity for testing, more people are out and about as our community continues to reopen, among others.”

RELATED: Knox County releases guidance for Phase 2 of reopening plan

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county is now 433.

Case breakdown by age range
Source: Knox County Health Dept.

No new recovered cases were reported, and the total number of recoveries remained at 335. Recovered cases refer to those who have been released from isolation after seven days from their onset of symptoms, plus 72 hours of being symptom-free. Recovered does not mean necessarily the person had to be hospitalized.

One Knox County COVID-19 patient is currently hospitalized after no hospitalizations were reported Monday. There have been five deaths in Knox County from COVID-19 since the first locally confirmed case in March.

Of the 433 cases, 43 of them have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. There are eight probable cases of COVID-19 listed on the county information page.

The Knox County Health Department updates its numbers daily at 11 a.m. Visit covid.knoxcountytn.gov for more information.

We want to stress to our community that this virus is still very much present in Knox County, and we continue to highlight the importance of the Five Core Actions,” the Health Department said. “Through our investigations of cases and clusters, we have often found that the Five Core Actions haven’t been consistently followed. This trend applies across all demographics for our cases and is one of the reasons why we continue to stress the importance following all of the measures.”

The Five Core Actions include:

  • Practice social distancing,
  • Wear cloth face coverings when in public and social distancing can’t be achieved,
  • Wash your hands properly and often,
  • Clean surfaces regularly, and
  • Stay home when sick.

Several of the new cases are related to ongoing clusters. KCHD has said the clusters are linked to businesses and social gatherings.

“We want to emphasize that identifying clusters is something we expect to do and is a standard part of the public health response. We will continue to work to identify new cases and reach out to close contacts,” KCHD said.

“Additionally, the focus of our benchmarks is on assessing the local ability to manage an increase in cases while preventing the unobstructed growth of transmission. As stated on our website, our low initial active case counts will likely mean we will not obtain a downward trend as we reopen.

“Further discussions about benchmarks and the corresponding traffic lights will be discussed on Friday.”

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