COVID-19 cases in Greene County increased over the weekend, but it wasn’t clear by how many Monday morning as the state did not update the numbers on Sunday.

Meanwhile the state on Saturday revised downward the number of deaths in Greene County attributed to the virus. According to the daily report issued Saturday by the Tennessee Department of Health, Greene County has two deaths related to the virus. On Friday, the state agency had reported three deaths, an increase of one.

It was not clear Saturday what contributed to the discrepancy.

According to the state Health Department’s report issued Saturday, Greene County had 74 cases of the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began. Of those, 18 case were listed as active.

Those numbers were up from a total of 68 cases, with 12 active, reported Friday by the state agency.

The state Health Department did not release updated numbers Sunday due to what the agency called on its website “an unplanned shutdown of the state surveillance system.”

These technical issues may cause a delay in local public health officials contacting people recently diagnosed with COVID-19, the agency said.

Anyone recently diagnosed with COVID-19 who has questions about their next steps should consult information online or contact their local health department.

The Greene County Health Department can be reached by phone at 798-1749.

Statewide, Saturday’s report included 728 new cases of the virus — down from 1,410 new cases reported Friday — with the total number of cases reported in Tennessee since the pandemic began standing at 40,172.

The number of people who have recovered from the virus is 26,159 statewide, according to the report.

Hamblen County has 58 active cases according to the report, Washington has 23, Carter and Cocke both have 18, Hawkins has eight and Sullivan has 11.

Knox County had 320 active cases reported Saturday, which is an increase of 45 from Friday’s report, while Hamilton County has 875, Davidson County has 2,795 and Shelby County has 2,847.

Nationwide, more than 125,000 people have died from the coronavirus as new infections spike.

With the increase in cases, the best practice is for everyone to wear masks when they are indoors at public places, said Dr. Theo Hensley, a physician with Greeneville Internal Medicine and Family Practice.

Updated recommendations for limiting the spread of the virus for both individuals and businesses can be found on the covidfreegreene.com website, Hensley noted. The site is the work of a group of local medical and business professionals with a goal to share best practices with the community.

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. to noon Monday-Friday. No appointment is necessary, but it is recommended that people call 423-979-4689 and register to speed up the testing process on site.

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 nearest testing site. The line is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Testing is taking place at Greeneville Community Hospital East.

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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