Friday the 13th may not be unlucky as the day brought 13 new cases of COVID-19 to Greene County, the lowest count locally in seven days.

The new cases bring the number of local people who have contracted the coronavirus to 2,394 since March, according to the update Friday from the Tennessee Department of Health.

The active case count dropped on Friday by 36 with 305 people having the virus locally, according to the state Department of Health report.

On Fridays, the state updates its data about cases within long-term care facilities. That data reflects that three employees of Signature Healthcare of Greeneville have contracted the virus with the last positive test occurring on Nov. 9.

No residents of Signature Healthcare are listed as having contracted COVID-19. The nursing home had an outbreak of the virus earlier this year when 20 residents died with the virus.

One additional person in Greene County was hospitalized due to the virus in the 24 hours covered in the state report. Since the pandemic began, 109 people have required hospital treatment for the virus.

Ballad Health had another record day for hospitalizations on Friday as the system reported the highest number of COVID-19 patients in its facilities thus far in the pandemic at 233. An additional six people have been admitted with virus symptoms but were still awaiting test results at the time of the health system’s report.

Thirty-three of the coronavirus patients are being treated in intensive care units with 22 on ventilators, according to the daily COVID-19 scorecard from the health system.

No new deaths from the virus were reported locally on Friday. Sixty-three people in Greene County have died from the virus since the pandemic began.

Ballad Health reported that 63 people have died from the virus in the past seven days in the region the health system serves. Three Greene Countians have died from the virus in the past seven days.

The positive rate of the region for the past week is trending higher and now stands at 17.2%, according to Ballad Health. That rate is the percentage of people who have positive results among all the people tested for the virus in the past seven days. For Greene County, the positive rate is 14.9% for the past seven days, according to state data.

On Friday, 49 more people from Greene County were added to the inactive/recovered category. Since the pandemic began, 2,026 people have reached either 14 days past their onset of symptoms without hospitalization or the same period following a positive test if they were asymptomatic.

In the Northeast Tennessee region, 266 new cases were reported in the 10 counties by the state on Friday. Sullivan County accounted for about 40% of the new cases with 104 while Hamblen County had 69.

The number of active cases within Northeast Tennessee totaled 2,578 on Friday, according to the state. Nearly half of those cases were in Sullivan and Washington counties with counts of 639 and 540, respectively.

According to the Veterans Administration, there are 102 active cases at the James H. Quillen Veterans Administration Healthcare System at Mountain Home. The Veterans Administration reports cases that are tested or treated at the facility in Johnson City.

Eighty-two of the active cases are veterans, 17 are employees and three are employees who are also veterans. There have been 820 total cases reported at the VA Center during the pandemic with 675 listed as convalescent cases with 43 known deaths.

For Friday, 3,733 new cases and 64 additional deaths were reported across Tennessee by the Department of Health. Since the pandemic began, 300,458 people have contracted the virus in the state and 64 have died from it.

Most people who contract COVID-19 will become only mildly or moderately ill, according to health experts. However, for the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, it can cause serious illness and can be fatal.

Tests are being administered by the Greene County Health Department from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday at the former Greene Valley Developmental Center site on East Andrew Johnson Highway. No appointment is necessary.

Free self-swab tests are now available at the CVS Pharmacy location on the Asheville Highway for those who meet Centers for Disease Control qualifications. An appointment is required and can be made at CVS.com.

Ballad Health asks anyone concerned they may have the virus to call the system’s Nurse Connect line at 833-822-5523 to be scheduled for testing at the individual’s nearest testing site. The line is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tests may also be scheduled using the Ballad Health app or on its website. Testing is taking place at Greeneville Community Hospital West at 401 Takoma Ave.

Those who need to speak to someone about mental and emotional challenges the coronavirus may be causing, can call Frontier Health’s 24-hour crisis line at 877-928-9062, Tennessee’s 24-hour crisis line at 855-274-7471, or the federal mental health services help line at 1-800-985-5990.

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