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It's been four months since the first COVID-19 case in Knox County

In over 120 days, lives have done a 180 in Knox County. Looking back over the last four months reveals what the community has experienced in that time.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — It's been exactly four months since the first COVID-19 diagnosis in Knox County. 

The CDC marked Knoxville and Knox County as hot spots after positive cases nearly tripled in the last month.

As hospitalizations continue to rise, it's important to take a look back at where everything started.

Four months ago on a calendar seems like just yesterday, but four months living in a pandemic feels like a lifetime. March 12, 2020, is the day Knox County reported its first positive case of COVID-19.

RELATED: First coronavirus case confirmed in Knox County, Tennessee now reporting 18 cases statewide

At that point, Dr. Martha Buchanan, the director of the Knox County Health Department, said there was no community spread.

In over 120 days since then, life has done a 180. Cases have nearly tripled in the last month, and the Knox County Health Department reports 10 people have died from the virus.

RELATED: 61,443 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tennessee, including 35,855 recoveries & 714 confirmed deaths

But, how did we get here? Let's take a look back.

Not long after the virus started to spread in the community, Knox County officials implemented a "safer at home" order, closing nonessential businesses and asking families to stay inside and only go out for essentials.

"We understand the significant and in some cases devastating impact this will have on local businesses," Buchanan said, announcing the order in March.

RELATED: LIST: Here's what you can and cannot do under Tennessee's Safer at Home order

RELATED: Gov. Lee: Tennessee's Safer at Home order will expire April 30, allowing most businesses to reopen

The terms "flatten the curve" and "new normal" became household sayings. Families sacrificed parts of their lives to slow the spread. Churches found a new way to worship.

Volunteers made masks for the public, healthcare workers were celebrated. Education took on a new form, and employees worked from home.

RELATED: You can help by making cloth face masks or donating medical supplies

RELATED: Community shows love and support for health care workers in East Tennessee

The state reported nearly 700,000 unemployment claims were filed since March 15.

Slowly, businesses started to reopen.

"For the good of our state, social distancing must continue, but our economic shutdown cannot," Governor Bill Lee said in April.

The lingering health crisis is still here and cases aren't going away. Now, masks are required for indoor public spaces in Knox County and survivors are stressing the importance of taking it seriously.

RELATED: 'It is miserable' | Oak Ridge family infected by COVID-19 urges mask usage

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Take precautions now, so the next four months' COVID-19 cases go down and the quality of life goes up.

RELATED: 1 week later: Knox Co. adjusts to mask mandate

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