Staff Report Graphic

Wednesday night, the Knox County Health Board held their weekly meeting to give updates on COVID-19 in Knoxville and discuss COVID-19 procedures.

The board reported that a total of 45 new, confirmed cases emerged in the past day with 203 probable cases. 39 people are currently hospitalized and one additional death has occurred bringing total deaths in Knox County to 52. Over 3000 people have recovered from COVID-19 within Knox County.

The rate of deaths has decreased slightly from last week to this week from 17 to 11. The contact tracing currently used is primarily based on the patient recollection of who they have met and talked to in the last 48 hours.

Previously, the board had estimated that it takes up to 10 days for COVID-19 signs to develop but we now know it takes 11 days, which is the first time this number has started to increase. Additionally, from last week to this week, the number of new cases per week has gone down marginally by 56 patients.

Knox county is consistently lowering case numbers especially when compared to Davidson and Hamilton counties whose numbers have slightly risen this week. Our hospitalizations per week have gone down from 20 to 16.

“COVID is not going away... We have to learn how to live with COVID,” Martha Buchanan, a member of the board, said.

Buchanan made clear that this improvement is not something that allows us to lower our safety standards rather we still need to maintain and follow the "5 Core" program. The five core actions are: practicing social distancing, wear a face mask, wash your hands, use a disinfectant and stay at home.

A concern was brought up by bar owners that their curfew of 10 p.m. may be applied unfairly as restaurants who sell alcoholic beverages are not affected. The reason bars were targeted was made clear citing the age demographic that visits there however because this curfew was recent they are unable to tell whether this curfew is effective.

So far most businesses have been compliant with the regulations set forth by the county. To date, only seven complaints have been filed and upon further investigation, only one was out of compliance. The county encourages you if you feel that a business isn’t following guidelines to call 311 and make a complaint about the investigation.

The board voted at the end of the meeting to extend the 10 p.m. for bar curfew two weeks. The curfew will be voted on again on Sept. 3.

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