Coronavirus in Knox: On social distancing, KCHD’s Dr. Buchanan urges public to ‘keep it up’

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan began her daily briefing Thursday by thanking county mayor Glenn Jacobs, for the move to offer free COVID-19 testing to those who are uninsured and otherwise might be unable to receive a test.

Buchanan also addressed several calls her office has received about the safer at home order, and more specifically, when the public can expect to see results from their social distancing.

“I understand we’re asking out community to do a whole lot right now,” Buchanan said. She continued to emphasize the importance of following the guidelines and how crucial they are in slowing the spread of the virus.

Daily totals for Knox County, as of 11 a.m. Thursday, show 28 total coronavirus cases, with six patients recovered. Five of the 28 required hospitalization at some point, as noted in the reported total.

On the closure of non-essential businesses, Buchanan encouraged the public to call 311, if they see a business that isn’t following the directive.

This, she said, will allow her team to work with the business, and help them become compliant.

Buchanan noted the public should refer to the list of essential businesses first, as you might be surprised to find certain industries including auto repair shops, are free to operate.

KCHD will also be conducting their own spot checks of businesses in the county.

Buchanan previously predicted COVID-19 cases would appear in Knox County, as well as community spread; however, she indicated Thursday she expects the “spikes” in reported cases will, eventually, level off.

She attributed them to a lag in test results and reporting. As more private labs sign on to conduct tests, and their processes become more efficient, she expects the climb will be slower.

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