Greene County had 30 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and has 377 people with active cases of the virus.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 report, 2,693 people in the county have contracted the coronavirus since March, which reflects the 30 new cases. Active cases for Thursday dropped by nine. There were no new deaths reported locally by the state.

Two more people from the county have been hospitalized with the virus, according to the Department of Health. Since the pandemic began, 114 people have required hospital care to treat the virus.

Ballad Health reported Thursday that 225 people were hospitalized within its facilities with COVID-19 and nine were admitted with symptoms, but awaiting test results. Forty-five of those patients are in intensive care units with 34 on ventilators.

The positive rate for the region hit a new high Thursday at 19.3%, which reflects that close to one in five people tested in the previous seven days for the virus had a positive result, according to Ballad Health. Greene County’s positive rate for the past seven days was 17.5%, according to data from the state Department of Health.

Ballad Health uses the positivity rate as an indicator of the extent of spread of the virus in the region. The health system’s officials have said that a 5% or under positive rate indicates that the spread is coming under control and the goal is to reach a less than 1% rate for seven days.

In the 10 counties in Northeast Tennessee served by Ballad Health, 336 new cases were reported Thursday, according to the state Department of Health, which is 71 cases fewer than Wednesday’s total. Sullivan County had the highest increase with 116.

However, the active cases for those counties increased by a little over 100 on Thursday to 3,159, according to the state data. Sullivan County also has the highest number of active cases at 741.

The number of inactive/recovered cases in Greene County increased by 39 on Thursday, the state report indicated. During the pandemic, 2,249 people locally are now defined by the state as having inactive cases by reaching 14 days past the onset of symptoms without hospitalization or that point since a positive test if they were asymptomatic.

Statewide, 2,887 new cases of the virus were reported and 80 additional deaths, according to the Department of Health. Since March, 328,088 people in Tennessee have contracted COVID-19 and 4,128 have died from the illness.

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.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, extended hours for testing of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be observed Nov. 23 and Nov. 30 at Greene Valley. There will be no testing Nov. 26-28.

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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