It was the worst weekend yet for Greene County since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The highest two-day increase in new cases was recorded locally on Saturday and Sunday as 36 new cases were reported, according to each day’s coronavirus update from the Tennessee Department of Health. The previous two-day high was 28 recorded earlier this month.
Sunday’s number of new cases, 23, was the highest jump for a single day for the county since the pandemic began. The previous daily high was 15. On Saturday, 13 new cases were recorded.
The weekend also brought an increase of 35 in the number of active cases as an additional person was listed as recovered in Saturday’s report from the state. The report for both days listed 114 Greene Countians as recovered from the virus. There are now 165 active cases locally.
A popular local business also announced the temporary closing of its Greeneville and Johnson City locations due to an employee testing positive for the virus. Peggy Ann’s Bakery announced on its Facebook page Sunday that it would be closing its two locations temporarily “out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our team and guests” after an employee received a positive test result.
The post from the bakery stated that the business is in in contact with the state Departments of Health and Agriculture and is following their recommended guidelines in order to move forward as safely as possible.
There were no additional hospitalizations of local individuals from the illness over the weekend, according to data from the state. Two people were hospitalized on Friday with the coronavirus, bringing Greene County’s total up to 18 since the pandemic began. No deaths locally were reported by the state over the weekend.
The age group in the county currently with the highest number of cases is those from 21-30 who account for 63 of the local total, according to data from the state updated Sunday.
Sixty cases have been recorded in the 41-50 age group, 32 in ages 11-20, 31 in 61-70, 29 in 51-60, 27 in 31-40, 17 in 0-10 and seven in those 81 and older.
The weekend also brought significant increases for counties surrounding Greene. Washington County had the highest increase of new cases with 117 for the two-day period, according to the state report.
Fifty-nine new cases were reported in Sullivan County, 56 in Hamblen, 36 in Hawkins, 35 in Carter, 31 in Cocke and 13 in Unicoi. For those counties, new hospitalizations totaled 13 for the weekend period.
The number of active cases for those counties with Greene added jumped by 225 between the two days with 1,601 reported on Saturday and 1,826 on Sunday.
Washington County also has the largest number of active cases among the surrounding counties with 509, followed by 342 in Hamblen, 252 in Sullivan counties and Greene County’s current cases fourth.
On Saturday, the state topped the 90,000 mark for total cases reported since the pandemic began, which jumped to 93,936 on Sunday. The total of new cases almost doubled over the two days from 1,716 on Saturday statewide to 3,140 on Sunday.
There are 38,239 active cases of the illness in the state. Twenty-nine more people died from the virus over the weekend in Tennessee, bringing the total to 967.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and even be fatal.
Tests are administered from 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday at the Greene County Health Department. No appointment is necessary, but it is recommended that individual call 423-979-4689 to register to speed up the testing process on site.
Anyone concerned they may have the virus can call Ballad Health’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. 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.