Click here to access information about the Tennessee Pledge.
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 contact and monitor anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 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.
On July 1, the Knox County Board of Health voted to issue an order requiring community members to wear face coverings in most public, indoor spaces. The order is slated to go into effect July 3 and will be assessed at each Board of Health meeting moving forward. Children under 12 years of age and those with certain medical conditions are exempt. Places of worship, public schools as well as state and federal government facilities are excluded. The intent of the order is to increase face covering usage and slow the spread of COVID-19. The Board discussed enforcement at the meeting and agreed the intent is to issue warnings and, if possible, provide a face mask to those who do not have one. The full text of the order is available here.
Knox County COVID-19 Case Count and Test SitesKnox 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.
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. The Knoxville Chamber also has additional resources and information for businesses click here.
- 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.
- Media Releases – Media releases from the Knox County COVID-19 Joint Information Center.
- Media Briefings and Board of Health Meetings – View previous media briefings and Board of Health meetings.
- Public Meetings
- 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 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.
- People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported which range from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Those who are not sick do not need to be seen by a medical provider.
- 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 or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
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.
The following resources are available to help the public distinguish between facts and rumors regarding COVID-19:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency - COVID-19 Rumor Control
- World Health Organization - COVID-19 Myth Busters
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:
- Reduce mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19
- 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.
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.