COVID-19: 9/30/2020 Update (State, Local, UTK, KCS)

Tennessee Daily Cases 9.30.2020 (Source:


We’ve made it to Wednesday! The rain has stopped, we’ve reached the best part of the first presidential debate, and the air is slightly crisp. After tonight’s Board of Health meeting, I’m going to feel pretty good about looking toward the weekend. Check out the meeting, if you like, at 5:00 pm on CTV (or their website) or the Knox County Youtube Channel.

State News:

The state of Tennessee reported 879 additional cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the total to 187,197 confirmed cases, and an additional 7,414 probable cases. 177,945 people have recovered and 9,252 people remain ill. 31 Tennesseans died yesterday of COVID-19, bringing the pandemic total to 2,420.

53 additional Tennesseans were hospitalized yesterday, bringing the pandemic total hospitalized to 8,672. Hospitalizations, which have trended downward significantly in recent weeks have, at least for the moment reversed course. The 806 COVID-positive Tennesseans currently hospitalized is roughly equivalent to the number on September 17. Of these, 253 are currently in ICU and 116 are on ventilators. These numbers have slowly declined over recent weeks and have yet to show a significant reversal.

Tennessee Daily Testing and Positive Test Result Rates 9.30.2020 (Source: Johns Hopkins University)

For a second consecutive day, reported testing was at a low level, with 12,958 tests reported, moving the state total to near 2.9 million since the begging of the pandemic. For the day, the state reported a 7.43% positive test result rate, while Johns Hopkins reports a 5.6% seven-day moving average positive rate for the state.

The other big news in the state yesterday, was action by Governor Lee who extended the state of emergency through October, but removed most restrictions on gatherings. Restrictions were also eased, but not removed, on senior centers and nursing homes. The governor’s office said the previous restrictions are still a good idea, but are now recommendations. They encouraged people to continue wearing masks and keeping social distance.

Knox County Daily Cases 9.30.2020 (Source: Knox County Health Department)

Knox County News:

The Knox County Health Department reported 57 additional cases of COVID-19 today among Knox County residents. It brings the pandemic total in the county to 9,885. 8714 people are considered inactive and 1,516 are considered active. 36 people are currently in the hospital, and the pandemic total for hospitalizations is 369. There was one additional death, which brings the total to 84 Knox County residents.

Benchmarks, which are updated on Wednesdays, have not been updated as of the time of the publication of this article. They should be updated later today and discussed at tonight’s Board of Health meeting.

University of Tennessee Active Cases 9.30.2020 (Source: University of Tennessee)

University of Tennessee News:

The University of Tennessee continues to report significantly lower number than was the case two weeks ago. There are now a very modest 75 cases reported among the university community, including 72 students and 3 staff. There were 8 new cases reported today and 1,420 students and staff have recovered from the illness.

There are currently 313 in isolation, as compared to well over 2,000 just more than two weeks ago. Of those currently in isolation, 37 are university employees and 276 are students. No clusters have been identified within the last two weeks. Follow up testing is underway for the pooled testing groups which came back positive, so new information should be forth-coming very soon and the number will almost certainly increase, but the amount of the increase will be interesting to follow.

Knox County Schools Active Cases 9.30.2020 (Source: Knox County Schools)

Knox County Schools News:

The Knox County Schools are reporting 61 active cases, including 20 staff and 41 students. The number is down 4 from yesterday, but up from 44 the same day last week. 268 are reported to have recovered, while 1,002 are in isolation or quarantine. Of the 1002, 890 are students and 112 are staff. The number in quarantine or isolation has dropped by 26 from yesterday, but is up slightly from the 979 reported the same day last week.

Benchmarks remain the same, with most indicators in the green, but custodial attendance and substitute availability remaining in the red. Both Halls High School and Vine Middle Magnet School are currently on virtual-only instruction.


  1. StopTheSpread-Knoxville says

    There is a group of people that have started a boycott of a list of local businesses that got together and had Isaacs Law Firm write a letter to the Knox Board of Health. The usual suspects are on the list:

    The boycott list is as follows; Bed Store (8 locations),Aubrey’s inc., including Bistro by The Tracks, Aubrey’s Papermill, Aubrey’s Cedar Bluff, Aubrey’s Emory Road, Aubrey’s Strawberry Plains, Sunspot Restaurant, Fieldhouse Social, Stefano’s Pizza Cumberland Avenue, Stefano’s Pizza Hardin Valley, Conner Concepts llc, Copper Cellar Corporation Family of Restaurants including Copper Cellar Cumberland, Copper Cellar Bearden, Cappaccino’s, Calhoun’s on the Tennessee RiverCalhoun’s Bearden Hill, Calhoun’s Original Location, Smokey Mountain Brewery,and Corner 16; Dead End BBQ, Sapphire Food and Fancy Drinks, Smith Bars, El Chico Caf’e, Ye Olde Steakhouse, Wild Wing Cafe Farragut and Wild Wing Cafe Powell, Literboard, Finn’s Restaurant, Coolbeans Bar and Grill, Merchants of Beer, Barleys Taproom and Pizzeria, Speakeasy Sports Grill, SoKno Taco Cantina, Central Flats and Taps, Uptown Bar and Grill, Soccer Taco, Not Watson’s Kitchens and Bar, Myrtles Chicken and Beer, Hilton Knoxville Hotel, Courtyard residence and Inn.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Just a thought: Businesses make a lot of decisions for reasons we can’t always know. It’s hard to own and operate a business. Some of these same businesses were also represented on the letter of support to the Health Department. Having a letter written asking for a one week delay in enacting a curfew may not agree with your perspective, but is enough that you’d wish them to be out of business? If so, so be it. That’s your right, but I’d advocate for an ounce of grace.

    • The owner of Sapphire has commented here multiple times and it sounds like he does not belong on that list.

    • If the draconian regulations stay in place you won’t have to boycott. The govt. Will kill their business due to not understanding economics. Abviously your organization thinks like the govt. and knows nothing about economics.

  2. concerned parent 2 says

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for all your efforts to include positivity rates, their time spans, and the amount of testing being done. Lots of numbers to consider so I tried to find the minimum number of tests needed to provide an accurate positivity rate that might be useful in assessing the spread or decline in COVID infections in a community.

    TTSI (Harvard and MIT with other schools) calculates that in order for COVID to be *suppressed* (not allowed to spread or just maintained at current levels) a maximum positivity rate of 3% or less and at least 1,504 tests per 100K residents need to be given each day…

    …in TN this comes to 102,729 tests per day
    …in Knox Co it is 7073 tests per day (this is by my calcs not TTSI’s)

    Minimum *mitigation* levels (maintenance of current number of infected people over time) of daily testing (allows for 10% positivity or less) are roughly a little more than a quarter of suppression levels.

    Tennessee looks to be conducting about 11-45K tests per day with a positivity rate of around 6% for the last few weeks. Twice the positivity rate and 1/10th to 1/2 of the needed daily tests to kill off the virus in TN.

    Unless TTSI’s calculations are incorrect, it looks like sub-suppression levels of daily testing/positivity (like we are seeing in TN) potentially allows for an endless cycle of infection, the currently assumed 90-day immunity, and then eventual reinfection… Certainly a gloomy outlook.

    Nobody likes to hear it but I become more and more convinced (in my little inexpert mind) that the only way this virus might ever be stopped once and for all is when a world-wide multi-government coordinated lockdown of 14-28 days is implemented. And then coordinated and synchronized lifting of single mandates on a weekly basis thereafter starting with the most restrictive but least risky (allow people outdoors to gather with current house-mates outdoors, then perhaps individuals may meet individuals outdoors at 6-foot distances, etc.).

    This would mean No travel. No leaving your house. No gatherings. No nothing. Basically martial law everywhere with cops, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, those sorts the only people out at work on shifts while bunking at work, tested daily, etc. It would totally suck. Hard. And it won’t work unless virtually everybody in contact with others outside their own family does it at the same time.

    But the short-term harsh pain might finally allow us to put COVID behind us all.

    Or, as we all seem to be agreeing is the only way we can beat COVID, an effective vaccine is discovered.

    • Widespread mask usage95%+ also works at achieving a herd immunity effect. We have not come anywhere close to that. All is not lost, but without leadership, it does look bleak.

Leave a Reply to Jeremy Cancel reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.