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After seeing nine new cases of COVID-19 reported on each of the previous two days, Greene County experienced a major spike Thursday with 52 new cases reported by the Tennessee Department of Health.

That number eclipsed the previous daily high of 42 cases recorded Aug. 16 and came a day after officials with Ballad Health warned the region was entering a second wave of the pandemic and could see a dramatic rise in hospitalizations.

Greene County had no new hospitalizations reported Thursday. Since the pandemic began, 89 county residents have been hospitalized due to the virus.

The number of county residents who have died from the virus remained steady at 48, according to state figures.

In all, the county has had 1,435 cases of the virus among its residents, with 197 cases listed as active by the state on Thursday.

Across Tennessee, there had been nearly 223,000 cases and 2,864 coronavirus deaths reported as of Thursday afternoon. Those are counted among the 216,025 deaths the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recorded across the nation.

Among other counties in the region, Sullivan recorded the most new cases Thursday with 84; Washington had 54; Unicoi had 21; Carter had 20; Hamblen had 17; and Cocke had eight.

The Ballad Health officials said Wednesday the region had just recorded its second highest number of new cases in a one-week period since the pandemic began. They also said the number of positive test results has increased in the region in the past several weeks.

Those factors lead them to project that hospitalizations of patients with the illness will most likely match or surpass the highest number recorded thus far. If hospitalizations surge, the system would have to consider limiting elective surgeries to provide bed and staff capacity to handle the numbers, they said.

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