After recording the highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases so far on Thursday, Greene County’s coronavirus data looked different on Friday.
Nine new cases were reported for the county by the Tennessee Department of Health in its daily COVID-19 update. One of the new cases is an individual between the ages of 5 and 18.
There were 193 active cases in the county on Friday, down four from Thursday when 52 new cases were reported and there were 197 active cases, according to the state report.
Thirteen more people were added to the inactive/recoverd category by state, which are individuals who are 14 days beyond either the onset of symptoms or a positive test. Since the pandemic began, 1,203 people locally are now counted as having inactive cases or recovered from the virus.
One Greene Countian was hospitalized with the illness within the previous 24 hours, according to the Department of Health report. Ninety people in the county have required hospital care to treat the virus.
On Friday, 108 people were hospitalized within COVID-19 in Ballad Health facilities with seven being treated with symptoms but awaiting test results, according to the health system’s daily COVID-19 Scorecard. Seventeen people are in intensive care units and six on ventilators.
Since the pandemic began, 1,444 people have contracted the virus in Greene County, according to the state. Friday’s report reflected no new deaths locally. Forty-eight people have died from the virus in the county.
Each Friday, the state updates its data about long-term care facilities. Recent increases in new cases are not from local nursing homes. Two local nursing homes have had resident cases, but it has been more than 20 days since the last person tested positive at either Signature Healthcare of Greeneville or Life Care Center of Greeneville, according to the state update.
At Signature Health, 98 of the 108 residents tested positive for the virus, and there were 70 staff cases. Twenty of the nursing home’s residents died from the virus. It has been 22 days since the last positive test at the facility.
Of the 106 residents at Life Care, 75 tested positive for the virus. Forty-three of its employees tested positive for the virus. Ten residents of the facility died from the virus. Its last positive test was 25 days ago.
With the recent increases, Greene County’s average of new cases per day increased to 17.6 for the past 14 days. For the 14 days prior to that period, the average was 10.9.
Over the last seven days, the percentage of people with positive results among all those tested was 11.1%, according to state data. According to Ballad Health, the positive rate for the region it serves was 10.6% for the past week.
All of the 10 counties in Northeast Tennessee had more new cases on Thursday than on Friday, most by a significant number, except for Hancock County which had no new cases either day.
For the region on Thursday, there were 289 new cases reported for the 10 counties. On Friday, there were 84 new cases for those same counties, according to the Department of Health report.
In addition to Greene County, significant differences in new cases between the two days included Sullivan with 84 on Thursday and 29 on Friday, Washington with 54 compared to 19, and Unicoi, which had 21 new cases on Thursday with none on Friday.
Sullivan County has the highest number of active cases in the region at 487. Greene County has the fifth highest number of active cases in the 10-county region.
On Friday, 666 new cases were recorded across Tennessee, according to the Department of Health report. Seven new deaths were recorded statewide. Since the pandemic began, 223,493 people have contracted the virus in Tennessee and 2,871 have died.
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 at the Greene County Health Department from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. No appointment is necessary, and those seeking to be tested are asked to use the Church Street entrance to the Health Department.
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.