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“We have to be careful about becoming numb to the numbers:” Knox Co. Board of Health meets for the first time in 2021

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:08 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knox County Board of Health met Wednesday evening for the first time in 2021, amid growing COVID-19 concerns.

WATCH: Board of Health Meets Now

Knox Co. Board of Health meets for first time this year.

Posted by WVLT on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Dr. Martha Buchanan started the meeting by giving an update on vaccines in the county.

“We can expect that vaccine demands will outpace vaccine availability for some time,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan reminded the people watching that the state only allots a certain amount of vaccines to each county weekly and the county has no say so as to how many it receives.

“We all need to be patient, but it’s coming,” said Patrick O’Brien.

Buchanan then moved on to benchmarks in the county.

Knox County COVID-19 cases remain in the red as the county sees an average of 68 new cases per 100,000 people. Buchanan noted that this trend is slightly down from last week.

Hospitalizations in the county also remain in the red, even though Buchanan’s data has seen a slight decrease in the last week.

Knox County COVID-19 deaths remain in the red after seeing an average of four deaths per day over the last week. Dr. Buchanan noted that this trend is slightly lower than last week.

The testing in the county is in the yellow zone, as Buchanan says more than 10,000 tests have been given per week in Knox County.

University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Dr. Shamiyeh also shared his data on COVID-19 testing and cases, which he said was similar to Dr. Buchanan’s findings.

“We have to be careful about becoming numb to these numbers that we just think ‘it’s okay’,” said Shamiyeh.

He noted that there has been a drop off in testing around the holidays and that data indicates a decrease in cases in seniors.

As of Jan. 13, 2021, there were 4,936 active COVID-19 cases, 167 hospitalizations, and 383 total deaths due to the virus in Knox County according to health department data.

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