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Northeast Tennessee’s seven-day average for new reported novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections fell to its lowest point in more than five months on Thursday as the region’s death toll reached the 1,000 mark with four new deaths.

Over the past week, the region is averaging 71.8 new cases per day, its lowest rate since Sept. 17, following a day with more than 100 new cases. Since July, the region’s seven-day new case average has only dipped below 75 five times, with a low of 56.57 reported on Sept. 13. Since Monday, Northeast Tennessee’s new case rate has fallen by 13.7%.

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Despite that downward trend, active cases saw a slight increase on Thursday, rising by 20 to 829. It’s the just the fifth time active cases have risen since Feb. 1, with the last increase reported on Feb. 25. Only Sullivan (305), Washington (181) and Hawkins (131) have active case counts above 100 in the region, with all three reporting an increase on Thursday.

Northeast Tennessee also reached a grim milestone Thursday in reaching the 1,000-mark for COVID-19 deaths across its eight counties, with four new deaths reported across the region. Sullivan (274) and Washington (234) account for half of that total, while Carter (155) and Greene (145) have also reported triple-digit deaths. Hawkins (95), Unicoi (47), Johnson (38) and Hancock (12) each have tolls in the double digits.

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