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Knox Co. Health Department reports 961 new COVID-19 cases over past week

The health department reported 811 new cases the week before, indicating a slight uptick in the rate of new cases.
Credit: WBIR

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — The Knox County Health Department reported 961 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a slight uptick compared to the number of cases they reported the week before. Their data shows the number of new cases per day and the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is trending slightly up, but still nowhere near previous peaks of the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that Knox County was at a "medium" community impact level for COVID-19, but some surrounding East Tennessee counties were at a "high" risk level.

The CDC gauges impact and risk by comparing the number of cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days with the number of hospitalizations and available hospital beds. 

Per the CDC's recommendations, counties with "high" community levels are recommended to wear masks in public when indoors and should take extra precautions needed to protect people at high risk of developing a serious illness. 

Counties with "medium" community levels should stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they start showing symptoms of COVID-19. They also recommended wearing a mask on public transportation and said people should take extra precautions if they are at high risk for severe illness.

Two subvariants of COVID-19 are responsible for most new COVID-19 cases, according to health leaders — the BA.5 and BA.4 subvariants. The BA.5 subvariant accounts for around 65% of all cases in the U.S. Knox County health leaders also said that they expect BA.5 to be the most common variant in the area, consistent with the rest of the state.

Health leaders warned that symptoms can fall under the same umbrella as the Omicron variant. However, they can vary depending on a person's vaccination status, age, prior infection, medication, and other health factors. The most common symptoms of the subvariant mimic the common cold, with sore throats and runny noses. However, it is still possible for worse symptoms to develop.

Health leaders said people should make sure to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and receive boosters. A new version of the vaccine made by Novavax also uses more conventional technology to teach people's immune systems how to fight the coronavirus. It was recently endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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