COVID-19: 10/9/2020 Update (Including UT Briefing)

Tennessee Daily Cases 10.9.2020 (Source:

It’s Friday and we’ve got a soggy weekend ahead, followed by Fall Break for all the public school students in the county. I know the two in my house are abuzz with excitement. Nine months ago we were planning to take them to San Francisco for their break. It’s another of the many losses we’ve all experienced. To give them some attention, I’m going to ease up on publication next week. As of now, my plan is to post the mid-day update and skip the morning articles for the week. We’ll see how it goes. I hope you have a great weekend and all the families with school children have a safe and happy week.

Tennessee News:

Yesterday, the state of Tennessee reported 1,992 new cases of COVID-19. Pandemic totals now include 200,013 confirmed cases and 9,344 probable cases. 189,990 people have recovered and 7,408 people remain ill. The state had the 7th highest total of new cases for the day and the current seven-day average is 1,717 per day, the highest it has been since August 13.

Reported deaths surged yesterday to 63 for the highest number of deaths in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic. The total dead is now 2,705 in the state. The current seven-day average for deaths is 29 per day.

There were 59 additional COVID-positive hospitalizations across the state yesterday, bringing the pandemic total to 9,094 Tennesseans hospitalized with the illness at some point. Hospitalizations have been escalating across the state for the last two weeks, after a period of prolonged decline.

As of yesterday afternoon, there were currently 1,023 COVID-positive Tennesseans hospitalized, with 285 of these in ICUs and 146 on ventilators. At this point, hospitalizations have increased with little movement in the most severe cases. In the last two weeks, hospitalizations have increased by 33%.

Tennessee Daily Testing and Positive Test Result Rate 10.9.2020 (Source: Johns Hopkins University)

The state reported just over 27,000 tests yesterday to bring the total tests given to about 3,081,000. The state reported a 6.88% positive test result rate for the day. Johns Hopkins University is reporting a 6.4% seven-day average.

Knox County Daily Cases 10.9.2020 (Source: Knox County Health Department)

Knox County News:

The Knox County Health Department reported 92 new cases, bring the total to 10,647 confirmed cases. There are also 481 probable cases. 10,084 people have recovered and 957 remain ill.

Hospitalizations continue to be a source of concern, as each of the last five days have set or tied a record from the highest number of COVID-positive Knox County residents. Today the number was reported as 54, a new record and up 3 from yesterday. The increased hospitalizations have not yet produced a surge in deaths. One additional death was reported today, bringing the pandemic total to 86 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Knox County since the beginning of the pandemic.

University of Tennessee Active Cases 10.9.2020 (Source: University of Tennessee)

University of Tennessee News:

The number of confirmed active cases at the University of Tennessee plummeted, then shifted to a slow decline for the the past two weeks. The university is currently reporting 61 active cases, including 59 students and 2 staff members. New daily cases, which have been under twenty per day for the last two weeks, were reported at 9. A week earlier, the same day, the university reported 90 active cases.

As a result of the above, isolations and quarantines have plummeted and then slowed to a steady decline. There are currently 268 in quarantine or isolation, including 29 employees and 239 students. This number is down from 319 a week ago. There have been no additional clusters.

Friday UTK Briefing:

Dr. Plowman began by urging everyone get a flu shot and reminded students and staff that it is required. She thanked everyone who enjoyed last weekend’s football game responsibly. She reviewed today’s data.

Dr. Gregg said, as he has before, that it is great to see the decline in cases, but he fells the number will increase with more comprehensive testing. He reminded students that while numbers are down on campus, hospitalizations are up in Knox County and that they may spread it to more vulnerable symptoms. Testing, he said, is steady, but they are still seeing students who test positive off-campus, not reporting as they are required to do so.

Dr. Plowman said three additional dorms were pool tested this week. She reminded students that they signed a contract to submit to the testing protocol. She said failure to participate in saliva testing or follow-up testing will result in punishment. Dr. Gregg said of the dorms they have tested, they have had 76%, 51%, 41% and 63% compliance rates. Testing yesterday at Fraternity Park resulted in a 59% compliance rate.  Dr.Gregg emphasized that unless there is comprehensive data, it will be hard to draw accurate conclusions regarding the situation.

Knox County Schools Active Cases 10.9.2020 (Source: Knox County Schools)Knox County Schools News:

The Knox County School system is reporting 53 active cases, including 37 students and 16 staff. Unlike previous weeks, the number has declined through the week. The current number reflects a drop of 2 from yesterday and, most significantly, a drop of 12, or about 19% from last week. 346 are reported to have recovered.

There are currently 934 in isolation or quarantine, including 841 students and 93 staff. This also reflects a significant drop from a week ago, when the total was 1,064. All metrics remain green with the exception of custodial staff and substitutes which remain red. No additional school closings have been announced, with Austin East set to return to in-person instruction after the break.


  1. Bob Fischer says

    An interesting trend is emerging as we track our active Covid cases from theoretical spreader events. The correlation between those events and active cases appears causal. This creates an issue of what is an exercise of free will versus what is an organized terrorist activity? Sunday, Monday and Tuesday’s numbers should give a tremendous insight as to just what exactly the anti- mask movement is.

    I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about Eric Rudolph lately. When one has a shack in the middle of the manhunt area in the woods that was searched by federal agents with dogs during the height of his flight from law, one will find his mind wandering back to the issues surrounding his circumstance.

    Like the anti- maskers, Rudolph posed as a patriot, defending some claimed esoteric value of our constitutional republic that only he and others joining him in his view that inflicting random casualties and death upon our citizens was a legitimate means of spreading his message, much like the anti-mask and now violent undertones of their message that Jacob’s cult views as legitimate.

    The Board of Health itself is a study of the effectiveness of the democratic process. It was born in the legislature, a body of duly elected officials entrusted with overseeing the public good. It was determined by this elected body that a non-partisan body of experts should be put in place to oversee the management of public health in the event of an emergency. It was signed into law by our governor and has been adjudicated at both the state and federal levels as legal and necessary. The law then proceeded to local county commissions where those elected commissioners wrote the parameters of operation into our county charter, providing a second layer of democratic process giving even more of a say to the citizens voting on how our government is to function. The third layer of the democratic process comes from the professional boards that pick and nominate the best among themselves for positions on this Board. And finally, the elected commission itself must approve the nominees to the board. There are no other serving members of government in this county that have had to go through a process that goes four layers deep in its accountability to the citizens. These folks were ultimately elected by commission, not once, but twice, both in the creation of their position and when they as individuals were called to serve. To disband this group and have their power turned over to a cult for rule by mob goes contrary to every single value espoused by the American way of government.

    When can we as a community come together and work for our common good? How long will the dogged determination of a minority of a highly vocal cult members seeking to undermine the well being of an entire community be viewed as legitimate? It would appear the answer is, at least through the holidays.

    The steaks from Willies look great. My wife is taking pictures and sending them over the internets. I’ve been thinking about a breakfast bowl from Hollies Gourmet Market and am looking forward to having one on the covered porch there tomorrow morning. Jambalaya from Shrimp Dock will round out the game day fare.

    Do not fall for the logical misstep of allowing an unrelated idea justifying an action. We are not a Greek Democracy, despite what various cults try to tell you. We are a constitutional republic and we elect representatives to act in our interests, and in the case of the Board of Health, three different elected legislative bodies have determined that indeed, the best interests of our community were served by structuring our Board of Health as it is. They are accountable to all of us and can be removed for cause. They are accountable to their professional ethics, standards, and their God, and can only be removed for cause and are therefore duty bound to serve the public interest. This is how it should be, and indeed the only way a Board like this can function.

    Be careful this weekend. We know increased social activity will result in an uptick of active Covid cases. We also know that by following the five core habits, particularly wearing a mask we can mitigate and minimize that effect. Look out for each other. Look out for yourself . Be a part of a greater good.

    Go Vols! Take down them Dawgs.

    • Holy exaggeration and incoherent ramblings, Batman!

    • Every time you said “democratic process” you were actually referring to a republican process. You are advocating for a republican process to the detriment of a democratic process (which you call mob rule).

  2. I’m not gonna defend anti maskers but I will say that the comparison between them and Rudolph is way out there.

    We use to make laws and enforcement based on there danger to society and at times themselves. A 26 year old male who sees the news about the virus and realizes he’s in an age group that largely is unaffected. He hears his dad, mom and friends say they are stupid and doesn’t want to wear one. Is that dangerous? Yeah of course even if he’s safe he could spread it, potentially in large numbers. Problem is intent.

    Rudolph went around town to collect parts, the whole time knowing what he was about to do. He then constructed the bomb. All the while knowing what he was about to do. Then he walked it down there and armed it with hundreds of men, women and children. With all the adrenalin and anxiety pumping through his veins he didn’t back down and knew what he was about to do.

    That is a lot different then someone being a little ignorant and irresponsible. I get the actendotal comparison. It totally lacks the malicious intent on its face to try and label it as terrorism. It’s a lot easier to not wear a mask then it is to spend weeks orchestrating a plan to potentially kill hundreds of people.

    Mr. Jacobs in my eyes is pushing b.s. to help himself in his next election with potential business contributors and if you want to punish him and the people who support him do it at the ballot box. Demonizing everyone in that fashion serves no constructive purpose.

  3. Bob Fischer says

    Intent is actually at the heart of this issue. Back in April, when Jacobs, Martin Daniel, and Zachary started pushing for the Swedish Protocol, they were well aware that they were choosing a course of action that would kill dozens, if not hundreds of innocent civilians that would have been saved by a more standardized approach using masks. Despite that knowledge, they forged ahead anyway.

    From Jacobs call to arms to his followers in a pre Memorial Day address on the County Facebook site, to his Fourth of July speech in which he rewrote the history of the American revolution, to his ongoing insistence that the Board of Health is not a legitimate function of government to his incendiary video with its overt call to terrorize the Board, Jacobs has been engaged in an ongoing propaganda campaign designed to motivate his followers to deadly action against their fellow citizens.

    I would argue that the primary difference between Glenn Jacobs and his followers and Eric Rudolph, is that Jacobs is not only more efficient at killing and hospitalizing his victims, but he has built a shield of ignorance around his movement allowing his followers to claim stupidity as an excuse to be held unaccountable for their actions.

    And that to me is the heart of this problem. We are past the point where the outcome of actions such as the unmasked mobs at the commission meeting are unknown. We know they are spreader, and possibly super spreader events and that people will end up in hospitals and morgues as a result, but Jacobs not only allows these events to continue, he encourages them. Jacobs is just better at this than Rudolph was.

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