Blount County saw the second-highest spike in COVID-19 cases on Sept. 10 with 96 new active cases, the Tennessee Department of Health reported.

Additionally, two Blount Countians have died from the virus since Sept. 9.

As of 3 p.m. Sept. 10, there were 147 active COVID-19 cases in the county.

According to TDH data, 72 of the cases were in people ages 21-60. Nine cases were reported in people 11-20 and 15 in those 61 and older.

Alcoa City Schools reported no new COVID cases this week, and Maryville reported just one new student case at the high school. Blount County Schools reported four new cases among students and two among staff in the past week, but that district is not providing information on which schools its cases are in.

In total, the county has had 2,264 people test positive for COVID-19; 2,098 have recovered and 19 have died from the virus.

Despite this increase, Blount Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Harold Naramore reported BMH is seeing a decrease in hospitalized COVID-19 inpatients.

“In recent weeks, we’re encouraged that our community may be doing a little better job with these three things, as the number of people requiring medical treatment has decreased over the last couple of weeks,” Naramore said, referring to hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing.

Only 13 of the 147 active cases in Blount were hospitalized at BMH, Public Relations Manager Jennie Bounds said.

Narramore said that’s a “good sign, and we hope it continues, but we, as a community, can’t let up on adhering to the precautions that medical science says are our best and only line of defense for now.

Where exactly Thursday’s spike came from is unknown, officials said.

“We’re not aware of any large clusters of illness in Blount County at this time,” state Department of Health Director of Communications Shelley Walker said. “We do continue to see community spread of COVID-19 across the state, and remind Tennesseans to practice preventive measures.”

Lapping Thursday’s high was Aug. 27, when TDH reported 170 people had tested positive for the virus. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office later that day reported that 114 inmates at the jail had COVID-19.

Four inmates at the Blount County Correctional Facility were tested for COVID-19 on Sept. 10 as a result of a court-ordered transfer, which requires testing before moving inmates between facilities, BCSO Public Information Officer Marian O’Briant said.

As of Friday at 3 p.m., BCSO had not received the results of those tests.

Follow @sshreports on Twitter for more from county government reporter Shelby Harris.

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