COVID-19: 10/23/2020 Update (State, Local, UTK, KCS, Including Today’s UTK Briefing)

Tennessee Daily Cases 10.23.2020 (Source:
Tennessee Daily Cases 10.23.2020 (Source:

It’s the weekend! Celebrate with a long walk or a good book. Check out the entertainment options listed in this morning’s article. We’d probably all be better off if we took the next week-and-a-half off social media. If not, maybe we should ask ourselves if what we read there makes us more happy or less happy and if what we post elevates the readers or denigrates them. Are we spreading positive thoughts or posting memes and statements that reinforce the pervasive anger in our country? I’m looking in the mirror.

State News: 

The state of Tennessee reported 2,046 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the pandemic totals to 225,658 confirmed cases and 12,249 probable cases. 212,555 are reported as inactive, leaving 10,092 ill with the virus. The current seven-day average for cases is 2,155 per day.

The state reported 41 deaths for the day, which pushed the state total to over 3,000 at 3,011. It was the seventh deadliest day for the state since the beginning of the pandemic. The seven-day average for deaths is now 21, within the range where it has stayed since early August.

68 additional COVID-positive people were hospitalized yesterday across the state, bringing the pandemic total to 9,802 COVID-positive Tennesseans hospitalized at some point during the pandemic. The number of people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 across the state dropped yesterday, from 1300 to 1,248. Of these, 388 are in ICUs and 160 are on ventilators.

Tennessee Daily Testing and Positive Test Result Rate 10.23.2020 (Source: Johns Hopkins University)

The state reported results on 19,824 tests yesterday, bringing the pandemic total to solidly over 3.4 million tests given in the state. Tennessee ranks 11th in the U.S. for the number of tests given and 9th in per capita testing. The state reported a 10.11% positive test result for the group of tests. Johns Hopkins University is reporting a seven-day average of 9% positive test results for the state, the highest it has been since early August.

Knox County Daily Cases 10.23.2020 (Source: Knox County Health Department)

Local News:

The Knox County Health Department reported 93 additional COVID-19 cases today, bringing the pandemic totals to 12,152 confirmed cases and 573 probable cases. 11,350 cases are counted as inactive and 1,276 are considered active.

Today, there are 67 COVID-positive Knox County residents in the hospital, a number that has remained steadily in the 60s after setting a new record of 70 on October 13. 450 Knox County residents have been hospitalized with the illness at some point this year. The state website, which updates local positive test results now has Knox County at a 12.6% positive test rate.

There were no additional deaths reported, leaving that total at 99 so far in the pandemic.

University of Tennessee Active Cases 10.23.2020 (Source: University of Tennessee)

University of Tennessee News:

The University of Tennessee is reporting 57 active cases, down from 61 yesterday. 1,646 in the University community have recovered. 8 new cases were added yesterday, and 308 students and staff are in quarantine or isolation. The number in isolation or quarantine is down from 337 the day before and includes 32 employees, 94 residential students and 182 students living off campus.

UTK Briefing:

Dr. John Zomchick headed the briefing and confirmed the above numbers. He said participation numbers are better in the pooled saliva testing. He noted that the positivity rate is less than 1% and suggests the virus has been controlled on campus. Dr. Amber Williams joined the briefing and discussed academic support.

Knox County Schools Active Cases 10.23.2020 (Source: Knox County Schools)

Knox County Schools News:

The Knox County School System is reporting 79 active cases, including 49 students and 30 staff members. The number of active cases is up one from the day before. 446 students and staff have had the illness and are now considered inactive.

There are 594 in quarantine or isolation, including 504 students and 90 staff members. This number is up from 577 yesterday but remains well below the 1,000+ numbers seen earlier in the semester. The metric codes remain the same, with only custodial staff and substitute availability currently rated yellow.

Going into the weekend, all schools continue to maintain in-person instruction.