For the fourth day in a row, Greene County has had 20 or more new cases of coronavirus.
The tally for the county of COVID-19 cases increased to 1,365 on Monday, reflecting 29 new cases, according to the daily update from the Tennessee Department of Health. Four of the new cases are people between the age of 5 and 18.
There are 171 people with active cases of the virus locally, up 22 from the weekend. Seven people have been added to the inactive/recovered category for the county. Since the pandemic began, 1,146 individuals are now in that category, defined by the state as persons who are 14 days beyond the onset of symptoms or a positive test and considered no longer contagious.
No new deaths for the county were reported on Monday. Forty-eight people in Greene County have died from COVID-19.
Greene County has had the most deaths from the coronavirus in Northeast Tennessee since the pandemic began. Washington County is second with 41 deaths and Hamblen County has had 40.
According to data from the state Health Department, 30 of the deaths in Greene County were nursing home residents, 21 of those in Washington County were from four nursing homes and 13 in Hamblen were from long-term care facilities.
No new hospitalizations were reported for Greene County on Monday, and 89 people have required hospital care since the pandemic began locally.
On Monday, 98 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus in Ballad Health facilities in the region, according to the daily COVID-19 Scorecard from the health system. Ten people were hospitalized with virus symptoms awaiting test results.
Of those hospitalized, 15 are in intensive care units and eight are on ventilators, according to Ballad Health.
Greene County was not alone Monday with a sizable increase of new cases as six of the other counties in the 10-county Northeast Tennessee region had double digit increases in new cases. On Monday, 239 new cases were reported in the 10 counties, according to the state Health Department report. The increases varied from Cocke County with 17 new cases to Sullivan with 54.
In active case totals for the region, Greene County continues to have the fifth highest number. Sullivan County has the most with 428 on Monday followed by Washington with 315, Johnson at 291 and Hamblen, 246.
For the state of Tennessee, 2,695 new cases were reported Monday and seven deaths. Since the pandemic began, 217,682 Tennesseans have contracted the virus and 2,774 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.