Northeast Tennessee reported its 20,000th novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection on Friday, doubling its count since Oct. 9. It took 54 days for the region’s case count to double from 5,000 to 10,000, but only 42 for it to double again.

Northeast Tennessee by the numbers

  • 274 new cases in the upper eight counties for a total of 20,205.
  • 6 new deaths in Northeast Tennessee for a total of 380.
  • 325 new projected inactive cases for a total of 17,248.
  • 2,577 estimated active cases in Northeast Tennessee.
  • New cases by county: Carter 26, Greene 22, Hancock 0, Hawkins 20, Johnson 1, Sullivan 135, Unicoi 9, Washington 61.
  • Active cases by county: Carter 356, Greene 357, Hancock 10, Hawkins 229, Johnson 56, Sullivan 810, Unicoi 113, Washington 646.

Local data analysis

While another low test reporting day kept new cases down on Friday, the region is still on pace to set a record for monthly infections early next week and is also on pace to set a weekly record for new cases. Since Monday, the region has reported 1,559 new cases of COVID-19, 556 below the record of 2,115 set last week. On Friday, the region reported 274 new cases and is averaging just over 311 new cases per day this week.

There were fewer than 1,000 new tests reported for the second consecutive day on Friday, which kept Northeast Tennessee’s positive test rate above 20% for the third straight day. Hancock and Johnson counties did not report any new tests, while Hawkins County had a positive test rate below 10% — no other county had a positive test rate below 11%.

Sullivan County, which reported the most new tests, had the highest positivity rate at 33.22%. Washington County had the second most reported tests and a positive rate of 16.55%.

Active cases, meanwhile, fell by 57 from Thursday’s count, though they remain up compared to this time last week. Sullivan County (+33) was the only county to report an increase in active cases, though Hancock County reported no change.

There were six new deaths in the region following a record number of new reported deaths on Thursday. Carter (+1), Johnson (+2) and Washington (+3) counties reported deaths. Since Monday there have been 41 reported deaths in the region, eight below the weekly record of 49 set the week of Nov. 8.


Ballad Health reported another drop in the number of patients hospitalized with the virus on Friday, down to 220 from a peak of 253 on Tuesday. Of those hospitalized, 39 (-5) were in intensive care and 30 (-4) were on ventilators. Eight others were awaiting test results.

There were 17 new hospitalizations reported in the region on Friday, bringing the total since Monday to 67. The record for hospitalizations in a week was 93 set last week. New hospitalizations were reported in Carter (+4), Johnson (+1), Sullivan (+6) and Washington (+6).

School-age children

University School’s active case count was down to two from a weekly high of five, along with 36 still in quarantine. So far this week, only one new case has been reported after a record of five last week.

There were 35 new cases reported among school-age children in the region on Friday, many in Sullivan, which added 16. Carter (+5), Greene (+3), Hawkins (+4) and Washington (+7) counties also reported new cases.


East Tennessee State University’s active case count rose by four to 40 on Friday, continuing a recent upward trend over the past few days. There were 31 students infected and nine employees. There were 44 (+23) quarantined in ETSU housing. There were 10 new cases reported on Friday, tying for the third highest single-week total reported since June.

In total, 439 have been infected with 399 considered inactive.

Mountain Home VA

The Mountain Home VA had two new fatalities attributed to it on Friday, bringing its total to 47. Active cases, meanwhile, increased to 131, setting a new record. As of Friday, there were 943 (+28) total cases, of which 131 (+11) were active and 765 (+15) were inactive.

Novel coronavirus in Tennessee by the numbers

  • 3,444 new cases for a total of 331,532 since tracking began in March.
  • 74 new deaths reported for a total of 4,202.
  • 4,123 new inactive cases for a total of 287,908 inactive cases.
  • 2,035 hospitalizations as of Thursday. Hospitalization data lags by one day.
  • 21,287 new tests for a total of 4.21 million.
  • 39,422 active cases.

State analysis

The state reported 74 new deaths on Friday, bringing the total since Monday to 309 — the first time that number has crossed the 300-mark for a week with two reporting days still remaining. It is likely the state will set a record for new deaths in a month as well.

Tennessee’s hospitalization numbers continued to rise on Thursday, the sixth straight record-breaking day as the number of COVID-19 inpatients statewide reached 2,035 — 551 of which are in the ICU, and 254 on ventilators. ICU capacity was at 10%, while general capacity was at 14% statewide. 73% of ventilators are still available.