Knox County hits three red lights in COVID-19 plan as deaths, cases continue to rise

New data released by the Knox County Health Department shows progress in the reopening plan has hit three red lights and one yellow light.
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 1:47 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - New data released by the Knox County Health Department showed the COVID-19 reopening plan has hit three red lights and one yellow light.

Sustained reduction or stability in new cases for 14 days: Red

Knox County reported the highest increase in cases since the pandemic began with 118 new cases on Tuesday. KCHD said this is part of a continuing trend which they find “very concerning.” Continued increases caused the benchmark to be marked red.

Community-wide sustained and increased diagnostic testing with consistent or decreased test result reporting turnaround time: Red

Health Department officials said they are experiencing delays in receiving test results. Anyone who is tested should expect to wait for results for a least a week or more and should self-quarantine until receiving a negative result.

Sustained or decreased COVID-19 related death rate for identified positive or probable cases: Red

An additional death reported Wednesday brought the total in Knox County to 15.

Health care system capabilities remain within current and forecasted surge capacity: Yellow

Some Knox County Hospitals released a statement regarding their capacity and ICU bed availability asking the public to do everything they can to help slow the spread.

Health officials said they expect hospitalizations and ICU bed use to continue to rise along with cases in the county.

Sustained or increased public health capability: Green

Contact tracers at the Knox County Health report 100 percent of new case investigations have been initiated within 24 hours of notification and 100 percent of close contact investigations have been initiated within 48 hours of notification.

The Knox County Health Department updates current and in-depth information on local case counts on their website each day at 11 a.m. Read more about the data here.

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