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The Hamilton County Health Department announced the first coronavirus-related death in the county in more than five weeks on Monday.

The new death was listed by the Tennessee Department of Health on Sunday but did not appear on the county health department's coronavirus data page until Monday.

The announcement brings the county's total to 14 deaths.

The last local death occurred on April 18, though a Georgia resident died in Hamilton County from the virus on May 12. Since then, testing has expanded in the county with the health department working with local clinics and nonprofits to create testing communities in city neighborhoods.

Monday also marked 54 new COVID-19 patients in the county, bringing the area total to 694. The weekend brought the largest single-day case increase after the health department announced 74 new infections on Sunday.

Hamilton County has been reopening businesses and lifting restrictions that were designed to slow the spread of the global pandemic, but health officials have said those decisions are not contributing to the recent surge in local cases. Instead, they say the uptick is among workers whose jobs are considered essential, who have therefore been working throughout the health crisis.

Hamilton County had its first coronavirus case on March 13, an Episcopal pastor who had attended a conference in Louisville. The first known death was confirmed on March 25, a Hamilton County resident over 65 with underlying illnesses who died in the hospital.

Tennessee as a whole has confirmed 20,607 cases as of Monday, including 338 deaths, 1,594 hospitalizations and 13,073 recovered.

Contact Wyatt Massey at wmassey@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249. Follow him on Twitter @news4mass.

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