Greene County recorded 76 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths due to the virus on Monday, the state reported.
Gov. Bill Lee’s office on Monday also announced extended hours for free testing by many health departments for the Thanksgiving holiday. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and Nov. 30 at the Greene County Health Department’s testing site at the former Greene Valley Developmental Center campus.
Health Department testing sites will be closed for the holiday Nov. 26-28, and testing will be the normal hours of 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Greene Valley Nov. 24-25.
The two new deaths reported by the Tennessee Department of Health on Monday bring the total in Greene County due to the virus to 65 thus far in the pandemic. Ten people have died locally from the pandemic in November.
The 76 new cases bring the number of coronavirus cases in Greene County to 2,572 since the pandemic began.
Active cases in the county increased by 48 to 383 on Monday, according to the state Department of Health report.
Twenty-six people were added to the “inactive/recovered” category by the state in the county. Since the pandemic began, 2,124 people have reached the 14th day after onset of symptoms and not been hospitalized or are two weeks past a positive test result if asymptomatic.
Locally, two more people have been hospitalized with the virus. Since the pandemic began, 112 people have required hospitalization to treat the virus.
According to the daily scorecard from Ballad Health, the health system reached another peak in the number of hospitalizations on Monday with 247 people in their facilities being treated for COVID-19. Twelve people had been admitted to hospitals with virus symptoms awaiting test results.
There are 47 people in intensive care units being treated for the virus and 27 of those are on ventilators, according to the the Ballad Health report.
The Ballad Health scorecard also recorded the highest regional positivity rate to date at 18.3%. That rate reflects the percentage of people with positive results among all those tested in the past seven days.
Monday was the second day in a row that the region served by Ballad Health reached record highs for new COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, 650 new cases were recorded in the 10 counties in Northeast Tennessee and 11 in Southwest Virginia served by the health system.
On Monday, there were 755 new cases reported in the 21 counties served by Ballad Health. The new cases in the Northeast Tennessee counties totaled 589, according to the state Department of Health. The Virginia Department of Health reported 166 new cases in the 11 counties served by Ballad Health.
In Northeast Tennessee, Washington and Sullivan counties both had more than 100 new cases reported on Monday, 147 and 129, respectively. Greene County had the third highest new case count
Active cases in the 10 Northeast Tennessee counties totaled 3,401 on Monday, according to the state Department of Health report. That is an increase of 823 over the past four days. Sullivan County has the most active cases with 830 while Washington County has 733. Hamblen County has the third highest count with 411, and Greene has the fourth highest.
The two additional local deaths were among 30 reported for the state on Monday by the Tennessee Department of Health. Since the pandemic began, 3,923 people have died from the virus.
Across the state, 7,951 new cases were reported Monday, bringing the total number of people who have contracted the virus in Tennessee to 318,888.
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.
In addition to the testing by 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.