print header

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)


Local situation

Per standard public health protocols for infectious disease response, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is working with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Knox County. Comprehensive data about the local situation is updated daily on this website. Those with questions about testing options can contact KCHD’s Public Information Line at 865-215-5555.

Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking to help with the COVID-19 vaccine efforts for Knox County? KCHD needs medical and non-medical volunteers for our vaccine clinic. Click here to sign up today!

Knox County Health Department YouTube Channel

Click here to view our YouTube Channel

(COVID-19 informational videos in English, French, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Spanish, and Swahili)

Knox County COVID-19 Case Count and Test Sites

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.

Click Here to View Case Counts Click Here for COVID-19 Test Sites

Educational Toolkit

*These videos were made possible thanks to a great collaboration with the KCS Welcome Center.

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

  • High risk groups – Learn who is at high risk so you can help protect our community.
  • If you are sick – Protect your health and those around you.
  • Families – Actions you can take to prevent getting sick.
  • Businesses – Businesses are encouraged to review the Tennessee Pledge, designate a COVID-19 Coordinator, and have them sign up for the listserv to help your business receive the most current information available.
  • Small Businesses – Small businesses are encouraged to review the Tennessee Pledge, designate a COVID-19 Coordinator and have them sign up for the listserv to help your business receive the most current information available. The CDC has additional resources and information for small businesses click here.
  • Transit Workers – Links to CDC guidance for transit station workers, maintenance workers, and bus transit operators.
  • K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs – K-12 schools and Childcare Programs are encouraged to review the Tennessee Pledge, designate a COVID-19 Coordinator and have them sign up for the listserv to help your organization receive the most current information available. The CDC has additional resources and information here.
  • Faith Community – Guidance for houses of worship is provided through the Governor's Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, click here.
  • Mental Health – Resources for anyone feeling overwhelmed.
  • Mask Guidance – Learn what type of mask you need. For information on cloth face coverings from the CDC, click here. For information on free masks, click here
  • Media Briefings – View previous media briefings here.
  • Modified Services – Click here for information about our Modified Services.
  • COVID-19 Symptoms – Symptoms can be mild to severe and you may only have a few of these symptoms. Just because your symptoms are mild doesn't mean you can't spread the virus to others. For a full list of symptoms, click here.

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.
  • COVID-19 is primarily 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, talks, etc.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or may 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.
  • Protect yourself and others by practicing the 5 Core Actions:
    • Practice Physical Distancing
    • Wear Cloth Face Coverings
    • Practice Proper Handwashing
    • Clean/Sanitize Surfaces
    • Stay Home if You’re Sick
  • Symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
  • People with mild or no symptoms can still spread the virus to others, who may become very ill. This is why it is important to practice the 5 Core Actions and to stay home if you are sick or have been asked to quarantine.
  • Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care.
  • Seek medical attention if you have any of these *emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face
    * This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
    Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
  • If you are sick, click here.

Verified COVID-19 Information

Having issues distinguishing between fact and fiction when it comes to COVID-19? The following resources are available to help:

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.

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.

Click here to learn more about KCHD’s Epidemiology and click here to learn more about KCHD’s Emergency Preparedness Division.


Call KCHD's Public Information Line at 865-215-5555 or toll-free at 888-288-6022. The Public Information Line is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday. For questions concerning business reopening, please dial 3-1-1.

Call volume can be high at times. 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 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT), Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT), Saturday and Sunday.

Additional information about COVID-19 can be found below.