Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports benchmark improvements Wednesday

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knox County reported over 100 new recovered COVID-19 cases for the second straight day on Wednesday.

The Knox County Health Department reported one new death and 68 new cases on Wednesday, a 1.40 % increase in the total case count. Health officials also reported 127 new recoveries on Wednesday.

KCHD reported during its Wednesday briefing they conducted a data review over all of its data that has been reported on its website.

The change in number in deaths comes from, “two duplicates” in the previous data; there have been a total of 45 coronavirus-related deaths in the county.

There are 2,207 active COVID-19 cases in Knox County, down from 2,261 on Tuesday.

Knox County has now reported less than 100 new daily cases in five of the last seven days.

Of the 4,868 total confirmed cases reported in Knox County since the pandemic began, 223 of them have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. There are 29 Knox County patients currently hospitalized.

The number of recoveries is now at 2,855. 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 171 probable cases of COVID-19 on the county website.

The Knox County Health Department updates its numbers daily at 11 a.m. Visit covid.knoxcountytn.gov for more information. Press briefings by Knox County Health Department are normally held at 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

KCHD Wednesday briefing takeaways

While only one COVID-19 benchmark remains in the red for Knox County, others have improved to either yellow or green, per KCHD

  • Sustained reduction or stability in new cases for 14 days was changed from a red to a yellow which indicates, “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).”

Why case count went from Red to Yellow:

“We hope this stability and new cases we’re seeing translates into a downward trend but there is a great deal of activity shifting in our environment in the next month, including schools and extracurricular activities as well as the Labor Day holiday, which will have an impact so we will continue to watch this local situation very closely.”

KCHD
  • Community-wide sustained and increased diagnostic testing with consistent or decreased test result reporting turnaround time continues to move upward, setting this benchmark at green which indicates, “Sustained or increased diagnostic testing and sustained or decreased test result reporting turnaround time.”
  • Sustained or increased public health capability continues to reach the mark for KCHD which puts this benchmark at green which indicates, “Initiate investigations for 97 to 100 percent of new cases within 24 hours from KCHD receiving notification of the case, and contact tracing is initiated within 48 hours for 97 to 100 percent of close contacts.”
  • Health care system capabilities remain within current and forecasted surge capacity; this benchmark is set at yellow, which indicates, “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).”
  • Sustained or decreased COVID-19 related death rate for identified positive or probable cases this benchmark remains at red, which indicates, “Increased case fatality rate above 2.0% over a 14-day period for identified positive or probable cases.”

‘Are mask mandates having an impact?’

During the briefing KCHD was asked if mask mandates are having an impact.

KCHD responded by saying that, “From the mask mandate until now, more than two incubation periods, which is what we would expect to start seeing change definitely and it’s encouraging. You know correlation and causation isn’t always the same thing but something happened and we are happy to see that the rate seems to be stabilizing hopefully on a downward trend at this time and we do believe that the increased mask wearing of the public is having an impact.”

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