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Knoxville Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WBIR.com

KCHD urging people to stay home for the holidays as COVID-19 cases continue to increase

"We can't change what happened over Thanksgiving, but we can change what happens over Christmas," said Chief Strategy Officer of KCHD, Katharine Killen.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — After each holiday this year, a surge in cases has been reported in Knox County.

The Knox County Health Department said that with Christmas next week, there’s not enough time for caseloads to level off without seeing another surge.

From December 1 to December 16, 51 individuals have died due to COVID-19, more than 20% of all deaths reported.

More than 25% of the cases reported to the KCHD over the pandemic have been reported during that time frame.

Since December, an average of 3.4 individuals have died every day from COVID-19 in Knox County and an average of nearly 400 cases have been reported every day.

Spanish Version: KCHD recomienda quedarse en casa durante las navidades tras aumento en casos de COVID-19

"We can't change what happened over Thanksgiving, but we can change what happens over Christmas," said Chief Strategy Officer of KCHD, Katharine Killen said.

Officials are urging people to stay home for the holidays and celebrate with those within your household, considered a low-risk activity.

If you have plans of celebrating the holidays with people outside your household, officials are recommending to practice the 'Five Core Actions': wear a mask, keep at least 6 feet of distance, and stay home if you are not feeling well. 

"You have the power to impact your community," said Killen. Please take a moment today to consider how you can shift your holiday plans to protect yourself, your family, and your entire community."