Knox County reports 10-plus daily COVID-19 deaths for first time, December becomes deadliest month on record

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Health Department reported 11 new COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, marking the first time the county has ever reported more than 10 in a single day.

December has now become the deadliest month on record for COVID-19 deaths in the county with 67 deaths reported so far, surpassing November’s record of 62 in roughly half the time. The previous record for most deaths reported in a single day in Knox County was eight on Dec. 10.

In all, 472 new cases were reported Wednesday among Knox County residents. The Health Department had never reported more than 400 new cases among its residents in a single day before December. So far this month, 400 or more new cases have been reported six times.

There are now 4,274 active cases in Knox County, down from a record-high of 4,301 on Tuesday.

KCHD has reported 234 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic hit Knox County in March, 226 of those have happened since July 2.

Reported Knox County deaths by month

  • December: 67 deaths
  • November: 62 deaths
  • October: 21 deaths
  • September: 26 deaths
  • August: 19 deaths
  • July: 35 deaths

There are 128 county residents currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, six more than reported Tuesday.

The inactive case count has grown by 555 since Tuesday for a total of 21,874 in the county.

Sunday marked the biggest one-day increase in cases since the onset of the pandemic and the first time the county had ever reported 500 cases in a single day. The Knox County Health Department reported 506 new COVID-19 on Monday.

The Knox County Commission on Monday voted 8-3 to move forward with no recommendation to next week’s meeting a proposal that would shift policy-making power from the Knox County Board of Health and into the hands of the Health Department. Commissioners will take up the proposed ordinance change at their Monday, Dec. 21, meeting.

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. Press briefings by the Knox County Health Department are on Tuesday and Thursday. Briefings begin at 12:30 p.m.

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