preview_caseload redlight.JPG

Red: Three-day shifts detected above 3.0 standard deviations above a rolling mean (based on data from the previous 14 days)

Rachel's picture

That light's been red for

That light's been red for days and days. Doesn't seem to matter.

Mike Knapp's picture

According to epi staff at KCPH

1st time for 3 consecutive three-day shifts detected above 3.0 standard deviations above a rolling mean (based on data from the previous 14 days) was 6/25-6/27. According to staff the first day the red light was posted for that shift was last Friday.

R. Neal's picture

So the red light just means

So the red light just means Jacobs stops for donuts on the way to Cotton Eyed Joe's or something?

Rachel's picture

There are five benchmarks and

There are five benchmarks and this is the only one that's red. When the hospital capacity shows a red light, action will probably be taken but by then it'll be too late.

R. Neal's picture

Jacobs:“It is unrealistic,


“It is unrealistic, at this time, to believe COVID-19 could be stamped out completely so the goal must be to mitigate the damage the virus causes as it spreads.

We have seen a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Knox County and hospitalization numbers have gone up a bit, but we knew this was likely as we began to re-open, and people began moving around more. Thankfully, the number of deaths has held steady for weeks.

Nationally, more than 40% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred among residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care operations, so it is especially important that we keep these vulnerable populations safe. We must all take personal responsibility to practice good hygiene, be aware of physical distancing recommendations, wear a mask if necessary and, most importantly, stay home if we are sick.

I am aware other states are making moves to tighten restrictions as their case numbers go up, but the decision to move forward or backward in our phases is the board of health’s to make — not mine. It is also important to note, however, that the Knox County Law Department has opined Knox County should be aligned with or less restrictive than the Tennessee Pledge.

The board of health is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, July 1. There are no plans to convene the group before then. Requirements of the sunshine laws make that difficult to even consider on such short notice.”

Glenn Jacobs, mayor, Knox County

In other words, no help is coming.You are on your own. Sorry if you or a loved one gets sick and/or dies. It's for the greater good. Calhoun's needs to sell stale beer and not very good barbecue to keep the American Dream alive

Mike Knapp's picture

Take note of Knox county growth rate and locations

The problem is this - if there continues to be "red-light" growth outside of the bounds of nursing homes, as Jacobs hinted at in his comments, then it could be argued that the problem may even be more of a community spread process in Knox county vs isolated multi-person institutions. He's gotta start wearing a mask and showing leadership outside of the Trumpian version.

R. Neal's picture

it could be argued that the

it could be argued that the problem may even be more of a community spread process in Knox county vs isolated multi-person institutions

Apparently KCHD agrees. Compass reported Friday: Charity Menefee, the Health Department’s director of communicable and environmental disease and emergency response, said on Wednesday that recent transmissions appear to be general throughout the county. “While we have seen some small clusters, many of our cases have no known contact to a previous case,” she said. “This can be an indication of community spread.

Rachel's picture

Meanwhile, in Davidson

Meanwhile, in Davidson County.....

fischbobber's picture

Closer to home, in Blount co.


Don't worry though. Mayor Jacobs has assured Knox Countians that the victims of this virus would have ended up dead or disabled anyway. So there's that.

Side note: That smirk Jacobs had when he was talking to that British Journalist, advancing his personal brand on the backs of the Knox County citizens he has overseen the infection of, when he said people were going to die anyway, really stuck in my craw. It's his job to produce policy that will lower the rate of infection, not to expose as many people as he can.

Mike Knapp's picture

No leadership, absolute failure - trash of the history books

Jacobs ttbomk like Trump won't wear a mask in public and is now making grovelling sounds as if it was a forgone conclusion that containment and control were never possible because... well his and his party's ineptitude. Just like in 2000 when the Undertaker ripped his mask off, he just fled and failed. In contrast other countries and places like the EU with state-level coordination and serious, persistent science-led policy have succeeded doing the exact opposite of what the US South and other homegrown spike states like AZ & TX have done. For example, Belgium, with a population of 11.5 million and the size of Maryland has accomplished this -

preview_belgium covid 6_26_2020.JPG

Jacobs tapped out before he started the fight because with his disposition on science and policy the tap-out is all he's got. The whole world sees it, especially the EU.

US travelers 'unlikely' to be allowed into EU as bloc reopens, diplomats say

An EU diplomat told CNN that it was very "unlikely" travelers from the US would be allowed in, adding that even though the list had not been finalized "the US's chances are close to zero." The diplomat also said, "with their infection rates ... not even they can believe in that possibility."

Perhaps someone needs to ask him (or respectfully Bill Lyons for that case) why this chart looks the way it does. My guess is that the EU CDC would take issue with the idea that science isn't reliable enough to set policy. Unreliable, uninformed ideologies on the other hand clearly are insufficient to set policy.

bizgrrl's picture

There is a second red-light

There is a second red-light now, 6/27/2020.

2) Community-wide sustained and increased diagnostic testing with consistent or decreased test result reporting turnaround time.


Moon's picture

Re second red light

“We understand the reporting system (NBS) is likely experiencing a delay statewide in recording negative tests, therefore the data is demonstrating lower numbers than what was actually conducted for this time period. To be clear, there is not a delay in reporting positive cases.“

fischbobber's picture

Hospital Rooms.

Within the next two weeks we will begin to see a statistically significant upward tick in Hospital room supply. I seriously doubt we have enough PPE to handle what the next month will bring. Right now Jacobs is scrambling to avoid responsibility for all his lousy decisions. He will be held accountable.

Mike Knapp's picture

It never was rocket science

What’s become clear in all of this is that the hyper individualistic, libertarian, anti-communitarian ideology of the modern US right, represented by those in power like Trump, Jacobs and leaders of spiking COVID states, is simply unprepared to adequately deal with the emergent reality of a changing global climate and the collateral challenges that accompany it like pandemics and exacerbated inequality. The only thing they're evidently prepared for is making the "hard decisions" like keeping virus testing sites open during a surging pandemic.

A Horrifying U.S. Covid Curve Has a Simple Explanation

preview_some curves not like others.JPG

Amid all of this, one particular difference stands out between the American and European approaches. Many states were happy to reopen after simply "bending the curve" — that is, slowing upward growth and ensuring spare hospital capacity. These states went on to expand economic activity at an elevated plateau with lots of ongoing transmissions. In contrast, European countries mostly waited to reopen until they crushed the curve or reached its far slope, with substantially lower incidence or dramatic reductions in the viral spread. It's not the only explanation for a growing gap, but it's a compelling one.

preview_curve breakers vs benders.JPG

Bill Lyons's picture

More Making Sense of Data

Mr. Knapp earlier requested that I try to make sense of the Kaiser data that he cites. I wish I could. There is a natural implied comparison in the Curve Breakers vs Curve Benders Kaiser chart that serves as the foundation of the discussion. Let's look to Italy and Florida or substitute Texas. They were almost identical in peak cases per day at reopening. And the reopening rules were not that different. By June 1 Italy allowed bars and restaurants to open.

Italy's Reopening

So why has Italy fared so much better than Florida or Texas and what has been the efficacy of public policy measures? The data are contradictory and confusing. The Kaiser source yields all sorts of anomalies. To this point Italy's death rate is 574 per million. Tennessee's is 84.5 Florida's is 157.8. Massachusetts is 1162. Is there any correlation between public policy measures among these jurisdictions and the virus spread and impact. Maybe others can make sense of this. I cannot. I cannot explain why Tennessee has fared significantly better than Kentucky, at least to this point, despite the latter's more aggressive policies.

I spent my academic career dealing with public policy and statistical indicators and it is clear that the reliability and validity of the measures we are referencing are highly questionable. I am confident that most participating in this thread are committed to the the scientific method. Simply put - no theory of policy and outcome can adequately explain this data. It may be that there is no consistency across jurisdictions in methods of data collection. We will get there but the models that eventually will emerge will undoubtedly be multivariate and complex.

Covid is incredibly serious. It is threatening to overwhelm hospitals in some states It matters not to me that we can't model virus spread in a given jurisdiction and can't yet create models that explain the variance. That involves a lot of social science. The natural science is becoming clear. We know we catch it from others, mostly from the spread of droplets. From a policy perspective, I think it is most effective to model behavior and strongly encourage mask wearing and social distancing. Requiring masks in public is OK, I suppose, but it raises real question of equal and effective enforcement and the specter of cynicism when enforcement is nonexistent or spotty.

FWIW I was still at the City when Mayor Kincannon issued the initial orders and totally supported that action at that time.I remain uneasy about opening bars. I always carry a mask and put it one when I am within ten feet of anyone. I am most perplexed by those who do not. People are slowly catching on. I have walked around downtown Knoxville every day for weeks, and have noticed a slow but steady increase in mask wearing. I have seen the same pattern at Publix and Target.

We all bring our own biases and world views to discussions like this. With that in mind my experience have been that ad hominem, exaggerated attacks on others, with attribution of evil motives is counterproductive to accomplishing policy objectives and corrosive to productive conversation that might lead to understanding, compromise and progress. Others see their role in the world of political dialog a bit differently. Thanks.

fischbobber's picture

I would be one of those other people.

Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, misanthropes are vital to both stopping evil and pushing forth good in today's political climate. I have done my best to research, and determine, to the best of my ability, the right and wrong side of certain issues. Morality is important in the public, governmental process. Certain things are easily identified, others, not so much.

For instance, masks. Masks are clearly necessary to control the corona-19 virus. It's been shown to be effective in every single situation in which they have been mandated. Regardless of whether or not there is a three year, double blind negative study that has been peer reviewed, there is more than enough evidence to show that masks work. And yet, we still have public officials in denial of this, what would appear to be a widely accepted, circumstance. Certain politicians are still allowing the Shrodinger's mask argument (O2 can't get in but corona virus escapes at will) and are giving it their implicit endorsement. These folks are blatantly lying by not demanding the truth and picking and choosing their lies in order to advance their cause. This issue is not my first rodeo. Once, I came across a project that was based on a publicly funded project on a sinkhole that, until I did an onsite inspection of the property involved, I was in favor of. I stood up and did the right thing, mainly because I was teaching my son about civic responsibility. I went against what would have been my tribe and sacrificed any chance I would ever have of doing greater good for the community I love. Perhaps you remember. And that's their choice. It's also why misanthropes are vital to the modern political process.

Some things about the covid crisis are becoming clear. Laissez faire policy (Knox County policy) does not work. We have local politicians who have agendas that extend beyond the welfare of the citizens that elected them, in good faith, to govern with the best interest of the community at the forefront. Ones personal brand cannot supersede one's duty to the citizenry if one is to govern effectively. The censorship of dissenting opinions is not only a violation of Tennessee State Law, it is a violation of the federal Bill of Rights. When our own elected officials cannot defend their positions and must resort to suppressing any dissent, the pendulum has swung too far. I deliberately push the boundaries of the dissent. That's how people know whether or not a point is valid. Government has a purpose. That purpose is to serve the citizenry, and if that purpose is not being met, then it is up to members of the citizenry to stand up and hold the government officials accountable. I understand that it gets ugly. That is unfortunate. But, what is more unfortunate is that, were it not for misanthropes, deliberate acts of using the government for personal gain, such as advancing one's personal brand, would go unchecked. It's one thing to subscribe to a crackpot economic theory, it's another to try to institute it during a pandemic and economic crisis at the projected cost of the very citizens you are trying to protect lives.

I admit, waking up to a world where my elected officials have suddenly decided that my life or death is irrelevant, and that I should merely role over and allow my death to occur to serve a greater good, to serve their personal ideology, kind of pissed me off. So, I chose to stand and fight for myself. But when I looked around, it was bigger than me. What a small group of our elected officials are attempting to pull off goes beyond a political, philosophical difference. We have people in office, playing God, setting up circumstances where they get to determine who gets to live, and who dies. And I'm in the group they want to die. Our local government is acting against my best interest. I'm going to do my best to change that.

In the same sense that they are downplaying my existence, I will overplay theirs until we are back on a level playing field. The mayor is in charge. I will do my best to never forget that.

There comes a time to temper a misanthrope's arguments. My goal, from an early critical post to Congressman Burchett months ago to now, has been to work to impress the urgency of the situation upon our elected officials. Perhaps now would be a good time to take a deep breathe, take a bit of a break, and see if the value I've added to the discourse on the government's role in this pandemic has added value and provided a better service to the community. If what I've done with my writing has been to save lives, even if the rest of the world views that death and the life that preceded it as somewhat irrelevant, it was relevant to the person and family of the person that lived it. We are more than just poker chips played on the table by a gambler by the seat of his pants. We have value. We are human beings.

As more people step up, I'm more comfortable stepping back.

Bill Lyons's picture

Different Styles but Shared Concern for the Community

This issue is not my first rodeo. Once, I came across a project that was based on a publicly funded project on a sinkhole that, until I did an onsite inspection of the property involved, I was in favor of. I stood up and did the right thing, mainly because I was teaching my son about civic responsibility. I went against what would have been my tribe and sacrificed any chance I would ever have of doing greater good for the community I love. Perhaps you remember.

I do remember and never faulted you for that. In the long run it turned out to be right to move on from that project at that location. BTW that was some public meeting!

Flenniken was a better choice and well worth the effort It has also turned out very well. Most of these contentious issues are complicated and I always appreciate your contribution to the larger discussion. We have different styles but it is clear that you care very much about your community. Thank you sir.

fischbobber's picture

There were several of those bizarre public meetings.

I can remember one encounter where then future Mayor Rogero asked me, "How do we get people to accept projects like this into their neighborhoods?" and I said "Bribe them. Always make sure that any project makes their neighborhood a better place to live and their property values rise."

I don't know what she did with my answer, but every project I saw her take on under her administration did just that. Flenniken included.

I live in a generation that seems to have forgotten that government has a legitimate purpose and takes that purpose for granted. I'm lucky to live in a city where that view has not dominated the landscape. A lot of that credit goes to you.

This is a good time for me and maybe us all to step back and let the Board of Health have some room to do their job.

Should things not shift to the betterment of the community at large, I'll keep my keyboard.

P.S. At one of those meetings (they were during a county Mayor election) I found myself standing between Tim Hutchinson and Tim Burchett. I've known and liked Tim Burchett since the World's Fair and introduced myself to Tim Hutchinson who I did not know from Adam. Had you known me to identify me, you could have observed me actively trying to keep my mouth shut for one of the few times in my life, solely for the greater good of keeping the meeting moving and on point. I kept looking back and forth at the two of them thinking, "This is one of the most interesting situations my life has drawn me to."

fischbobber's picture


That tactic will work here as well. Football season is important to this town.

Mike Knapp's picture

Thanks Bill

It was nice to connect to check that we are on the same page wrt what is meant by the term reliability as a social science construct. Being in quarantine the last three months watching the GOP amateaur hour their way through as 125,000+ Americans have died because of the GOP's federal and what appears to be increasingly state-level incompetence has solidified my disposition. Let's hope that their dispositions change as we move forward through what appears to be a cubic function in our national COVID caseload.

Perhaps we are seeing some of that evolution with people like Mitch McConnell, someone in a high risk group, saying the following today

preview_mcconnel tweet.JPG

Bill Lyons's picture

We are on same page!

Thank you Mike. It was great to catch up. This McConnell tweet is welcome news.Let's hope others follow. We may not yet be able to assure that we have reliable data - that is certainty that all jurisdictions are measuring and reporting in comparable ways. Regardless of whether we can yet construct full models of the virus spread we know it is here, it spreads incredibly efficiently and it is very dangerous. That is enough to inform policy and to guide responsible behavior.

fischbobber's picture

Some of us old people....

Some of us old people really take offense when local politicians decide they're just going to kill a bunch of us rather than get up off their lazy, useless as* and do their job.

Some of us have even been known to stand up and fight back.

lml's picture

time to hunker down, again

Time to hunker down; deja vu to 12 weeks ago. Been warning my friends and family to not come to ETN, and thankfully they haven't. In fact, a few friends have left here for weeks and gone to "safer" states.

New Zealand has been very successful w/ taming the virus. The County Mayor should read up about it. Shame on Jacobs and our county leaders (really hate to use that term here) for their lack of concern and action.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Mayor Jacobs poor leadership

Mayor Jacobs poor leadership is an embarrassment to Knox County. He needs to apologize to the citizens of Knox County and resign as Mayor. His ignorance and lack of concern for our health makes him unqualified to be Mayor of Knox County. We need a metro government that saves taxpayers lots of money by consolidating services and eliminating one ignorant Mayor, Glen Jacobs.The sensible Knoxville Mayor Kincannon could take over for Mayor Jacobs and use her superior qualifications and decency to lead the entire county. We could save the money wasted on his salary to hire a few teachers.

R. Neal's picture

I used to think metro was a

I used to think metro was a good idea, and get rid of all those stupid fee offices while you're at. But, there's a problem. Look at the most recent election results:

City: 25,363 votes, 13,294 for Kincannon
County: 78,057 votes, 51,814 for Jacobs

City residents would get shouted down and it would be difficult if not impossible to elect decent people like Kincannon and Rogero.

Mike Daugherty's picture

I reckon you are right. Metro

I reckon you are right. Metro makes sense when you have well qualified leaders. It would be impossible to find a decent and well qualified Mayoral candidate that would be representative of city folk and other reasonable citizens interests and that could win a county wide election. Thank God Knoxville has Kincannon to counter Jacobs. We should all pray that the multitudes of misguided Republicans will finally see the light after the terrible nightmare of Trump, McConnell, and Jacobs!

Rachel's picture

In theory, Metro govt is a

In theory, Metro govt is a good idea. I voted for it twice. I will never vote for it again as long as I see the people of Knox County elect such incompetent people.

lml's picture

the responsible thing to do

The WWE NXT Live Event scheduled for the Knoxville Coliseum on July 12th was cancelled this week. That's the responsible thing to do.

Joe328's picture

City County Cases

The Knox County Health Department map indicates zip codes with high number of cases are in the corporate limits of City of Knoxville. Knox County seems to be doing something right.

fischbobber's picture

Best check that again.

South, deep west and north are County zips.

barker's picture

The ZIP Code data is almost

The ZIP Code data is almost useless. It tells you where people who have tested positive live, not where they were exposed to the novel coronavirus.

Joe328's picture

Zip Code Corona Cases

People transmit the virus, not locations. Zip Codes with high number of case tells where people who are not following CDC guidelines live. The zip codes with the highest number of cases are mostly in the city limits. Zip Codes in Knox County are usually lower. Zip Codes in both City and County are higher than codes only in the county. Examples, 37921 (city) 98 cases, 37923 (city) 69, 37919 (city) 48, 37920 (city/county) 61. Most of 37920 residents live in the city where there are are several apartment sites and high density housing, the county portion is rural with farms, woodland, and subdivisions.
The data supports the opinion that the city is not as safe as the county.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

37919 is also county.

37919 is also county.

barker's picture

The ZIP code data doesn't

The ZIP code data doesn't necessarily tell you that people who live there aren't following the guidelines. People don't stay in their ZIP codes -- they often work in other places and some even go to Gatlinburg from time to time, and cases are skyrocketing in Sevier County. The Health Department has also said the data reflects where residents are getting tested more. There are no places in East Knox County that conduct tests, for example, which is why the Health Department held a testing event recently at the Carter Senior Center.

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