Knox County took a big step this week in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccinations in Knox County surpassed the total number of COVID-19 cases. Currently, more than 45,000 vaccinations have been administered, compared to the approximately 43,000 total cases since March.

“I continue to be grateful to the healthcare workers and to the members of this community for recognizing the importance of this vaccine,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “This is an incredible feat and we should be very proud.”

“In less than two months since COVID-19 vaccines first arrived in Knox County, we have hit this incredibly encouraging milestone,” said Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan. “We know there’s a long way to go, but it is important that we, as a community, celebrate the promising steps that are being made every day in the fight against COVID-19.”

Strong vaccination partnerships between regional hospital systems, other health care providers and KCHD have been critical in reaching this milestone.

This week, the Knox County Health Department expanded vaccine eligibility to those 70 years and older. Additionally, KCHD continues to vaccinate those in the first two priority groups, including first responders and health care workers. A full list of those who are eligible can be found here. On this same page, KCHD is updating county vaccination numbers on Tuesdays and Fridays. According to state data, Knox County is currently leading the big four metropolitan counties in the percent of population who have received just the first dose.

Even with these encouraging steps, it remains critically important that the community continues to follow the Five Core Actions, regardless of vaccination status. That includes wearing a mask, maintaining at least six feet of distance from those outside your household, washing hands regularly, sanitizing surfaces and staying home if you are sick.