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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)


Knox County's Safer at Home Order

For more information on Knox County's Safer at Home Order and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

Local situation

Per standard public health protocols for infectious disease response, KCHD epidemiologists are working with TDH and are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to contact and monitor anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in Knox County. There is evidence of community transmission in Knox County. Testing in Knox County is ongoing, and any additional positive results will be announced below. KCHD anticipates identification of additional cases of COVID-19 in the county. Those with questions about testing options can contact KCHD’s public information line at 865-215-5555.

Knox County COVID-19 Case Count

Knox County numbers are updated daily at 11 a.m. EDT. State numbers are updated at 2 p.m. CDT daily; there may be a lag in reporting of cumulative numbers at the state level.


Number of Positive Cases


Number of *Recovered Cases

(This number is included in the number of positive cases)






***Number of Tests (positive and negative results in NBS)


Age Category:


























*Recovered refers to released from isolation

**Information about hospitalization status is gathered at the time of diagnosis, therefore this information may be incomplete. This number indicates the number of patients that were ever hospitalized during their illness, it does not indicate the number of patients currently hospitalized.

***The National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Base System (NBS) is a CDC-developed information system that helps public health departments manage reportable disease data and send data to CDC. The testing data referenced above is only comprised of Knox County residents and includes:

  • The number of people KCHD has collected specimens on, based on the consideration of being high-risk;
  • The number of people hospitals and health care providers have tested through the TDH State Lab, based on the consideration of being high-risk;
  • The number of people health care providers have tested through private labs that report through NBS.

The number above does not include every negative test in Knox County. Negative tests are not typically reported to public health for any notifiable disease; therefore, not all labs utilize the NBS system. Because this is not a part of the traditional reporting system, there may be a lag in the reporting of negative cases. Public health typically evaluates the burden of disease compared to the overall population, as you can see here in our last Community Health Assessment.

Everyone has a role. Learn what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Helpful facts

  • There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a new coronavirus that hasn’t previously been seen in humans.
  • There is still more influenza and other respiratory illness circulating in our community than COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet):
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs by people in close contact.
    • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • For the vast majority, symptoms of COVID-19 are mild. Fever and respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, are some of the common symptoms. Other typical cold symptoms such as a runny nose and a sore throat are generally not associated with COVID-19. 
  • Those who are not sick do not need to be seen by a medical provider or tested. 
  • If you are sick, click here.

Local preparedness & response

In February 2020, KCHD implemented its incident command structure (ICS) to support the COVID-19 preparedness and response effort. KCHD senior leadership, all members of the epidemiology and emergency preparedness teams, as well as its public health investigation team were involved in this initial phase of the response.

KCHD identified two key objectives for the response:

  1. Reduce mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19
  2. Reduce the social and economic impacts associated with the pandemic

KCHD, area hospitals and medical providers are focused on the first objective. To address objective two, KCHD asked the Knoxville Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) to activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on March 16. This provides a way for social service organizations, government agencies, nonprofits and many others to develop supports for many of the social and economic challenges while allowing public health officials to focus on the first objective, a necessary move given the size and scope of the response.

On March 17, KCHD activated its Joint Information Center (JIC) to support communication efforts related to the COVID-19 response. The JIC is comprised of staff from Knox County Mayoral communications team, City of Knoxville Mayoral communications team, KCHD, other County departments and other agencies.

KCHD continues to be in daily communication with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH). KCHD is also communicating regularly with various state and local partners, such as hospitals, businesses, emergency management, schools, city and county leadership, among others.

To read more about KCHD’s epidemiology and emergency response teams, click here.


KCHD has launched a COVID-19 public information line. The hotline number is 865-215-5555 or toll-free at 888-288-6022. The information line will be available from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 pm. EST, Saturday and Sunday.

Call volume is expected to be high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time. People with concerns about their health should contact their health care provider.

In addition, the Tennessee Department of Health has a public information line, 877-857-2945, that is available 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST (10 a.m. – 10 p.m. central time), seven days a week.

Additional information about COVID-19 can be found below.