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Knox Co. confirms its first coronavirus-related death

Knox County currently has reported 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Eight people have been hospitalized and 17 have recovered.

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Knox County has reported its first death from complications related to the coronavirus.

Martha Buchanan, Director of the Knox County Health Department, said Monday that the person who died this weekend had been hospitalized and was part of the high-risk group with complications.

They are not releasing any further information about the patient at this time.

"We are heartbroken for the family," she said. "We know this won't be our only loss. We expect to have more cases as we are still in the initial phases of the outbreak."

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Knox County currently has reported 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Eight people have been hospitalized and 17 have recovered.

Buchanan said they believe the person who died contracted coronavirus from community spread, meaning they had not traveled elsewhere or been in contact with someone who had it.

"Being at high-risk means you are risk of complications. We are all at risk of getting the virus," she said.

Buchanan said so far, Knox County has not seen a concentration or cluster of cases. They've been mostly isolated. One of the cases was in a long-term care facility.

Knox County continues to encourage social distancing to prevent the spread.

"Data and history have both taught us that what we are doing as a community is an effective way to slow down, not stop, the rate of infection," she said, but added it will be some time before we can see the results.

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Knox County still does not have any drive through screening sites for the coronavirus, but they are still working on it.