Northeast Tennessee reported a record number of new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections on Saturday, crossing the 500-mark for the first time and topping the previous record of 496 reported on Nov. 16. 

No new deaths were reported for the second straight day, however, a streak that hasn't been seen since late September.  

Northeast Tennessee by the numbers

  • 522 new cases in the upper eight counties for a total of 22,635.
  • 0 new deaths in Northeast Tennessee for a total of 413.
  • 355 new projected inactive cases for a total of 19,756.
  • 2,466 estimated active cases in Northeast Tennessee.
  • New cases by county: Carter 64, Greene 76, Hancock 11, Hawkins 51, Johnson 3, Sullivan 139, Unicoi 22, Washington 156.
  • Active cases by county: Carter 274, Greene 317, Hancock 27, Hawkins 215, Johnson 51, Sullivan 809, Unicoi 103, Washington 670.

Local data analysis

Northeast Tennessee reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with Hancock and Washington counties each reporting record numbers of new infections. Overall, 522 new cases were reported across the region. Washington County reported the most with 156, with Sullivan's 139 close behind. Carter (+64), Greene (+76) and Hawkins (+51) counties each reported more than 50 new cases. 

The rise in cases sent the region's active case count up in every county but Johnson, increasing by 167 region-wide. Washington County saw the largest increase in active cases, with its count climbing by 72. Greene (+25), Hawkins (+23) and Sullivan (+36) counties also saw double-digit increases in active cases. Six of the region's eight counties have more than 100 active cases, led  by Sullivan County's 809. 

There were 2,658 new tests reported on Saturday, most since Nov. 16. Of those tests, nearly 19% (18.92%) came back positive. The region's positivity rate hasn't dipped below 10% in nearly three weeks. Johnson County (6.78% positivity) was the only county below 15% on Saturday, with Hancock County's rate of 26.32% leading the region. Washington County reported the most new tests with 918, and had the third-lowest positivity rate at 17.32%. 

No new deaths were reported in the region for the second-straight day — a streak that hasn't happened since Sept. 27-28. A three day streak with no new deaths hasn't happened at all since Aug. 1.   


Ballad Health reported a slight increase in it's COVID-19 hospitalizations on Saturday with 240, up one from Saturday. Of those hospitalized, 47 (+0) were in intensive care and 28 (-1) were on ventilators. Four others were awaiting test results.  

There was only one new hospitalization reported on Saturday in Washington County. 

School-age children

There were 70 new cases reported among school-age children in the region, with Carter (+17), Greene (+5), Hawkins (+7), Johnson (+1), Sullivan (+25), Unicoi (+1) and Washington (+14) reporting new cases. It is one shy of the record of 71 reported on Nov. 16. 

Novel coronavirus in Tennessee by the numbers

  • 6,750 new cases for a total of 363,466 since tracking began in March.
  • 15 new deaths reported for a total of 4,541.
  • 4,853 new inactive cases for a total of 323,376 inactive cases.
  • 2,233 hospitalizations as of Friday. Hospitalization data lags by one day.
  • 42,782 new tests for a total of 4.44 million.
  • 35,549 active cases.

State analysis

Tennessee reported its second most new cases on Saturday with 6,750, the fifth time the state has reported more than 5,000 new cases — all of which have been reported this month. 

The state's hospitalizations rose sharply on Saturday, increasing by 91 to a record number of 2,233. Of those hospitalized, 595 were in the ICU and 280 were on ventilators. Both of which were records.