COVID-19 cases and deaths in long-term care facilities throughout Knox County are trending downward and have been for more than a month.  

“Since COVID-19 first arrived in our community nearly a year ago, we have known that these individuals were at some of the highest risk for severe outcomes,” said Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan. “With the dedicated, statewide push to get those living and working in these facilities vaccinated, we are finally starting to see these numbers trend down and that is extremely encouraging.” 

Local long-term care facilities recorded record-high COVID-19 cases and related deaths in January. Since then, both have steadily declined. Cases dropped 55% and deaths dropped by roughly 70%.  

As it stands, all of Tennessee’s nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have completed both doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Further, Tennessee’s assisted care living facilities and residential homes for the aged were also projected to be completed last week.  

Effective this week, TDH has ended visitation restrictions for long-term care facilities. KCHD continues to urge these facilities in Knox County to review CDC Infection Control Resources and Follow the Five Core Actions in order to protect residents and staff.   

More than 101,000 vaccinations have been reported across the county, including first and second doses. As it stands, Knox County also leads the big four metro counties in percent of the population vaccinated with both doses.