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White House Task Force: Knoxville region worst in country for COVID-19 burden

Knoxville, Chattanooga, Johnson City, and Sevierville regions all ranked in the top ten for cases and positivity.

The Knoxville region is the worst in the nation for virus cases and test positivity for areas of its population, a White House Coronavirus Task Force report said Friday. 

The report said the Knoxville region reported that 8,000 people tested positive in the previous week, with one in every five tests conducted indicating a new infection. That data represents a 25% increase in new infections over the previous week. 

The Knoxville region is defined as a "core-based statistical area" which includes Knoxville, Knox County, and several surrounding counties, according to the Census Bureau. It encompasses nearly 870 thousand people.

Johnson City, Sevierville, Cleveland, and Morristown regions also ranked in the top ten worst for COVID-19 burden based on their population. 

In the Sevierville region, which includes Sevier County and some surrounding areas, one in every five COVID-19 tests came back positive, the White House said. 

The entire state of Tennessee was listed as a "sustained hotspot" for COVID-19 infections, with most counties reporting more than 750 new cases per every 100,000 people. 

According to the report, Tennessee is considered a red state. In the last seven days, the positivity rate of the viral lab test is 20.1% and the number of confirmed admissions per 100 bed is 2,361.

The mortality rate in Tennessee is 2.1%-5.1% percentage based on deaths per 100,000 people in the last seven days.

To read the full report click here.

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