The Town of Greeneville will re-enter Phase I of its COVID-19 Reopening Plan on July 13, due to a recent increase in positive cases in Greene County, according to a news release.
The biggest change will be the closing of Town Hall and EastView Recreation Center, although services will continue by appointment, online and via phone and email.
Greeneville’s three-phase reopening plan addresses both town government functions and suggestions, subject to state executive orders, for reopening businesses in Greeneville, according to City Administrator Todd Smith.
“Hopefully, this will be short-lived,” Smith said of the town’s return to Phase I. “We knew numbers would drive our outcome, so we hope our numbers will improve quickly, and we can return to Phase II soon.”
The town says its “data-driven approach’ is based on three benchmarks: capacity of local hospital beds, percentage of active COVID-19 cases, and number of consecutive days with no new cases.
Greene County’s confirmed COVID-19 case total increased by five to 122 in Wednesday’s report from the Tennessee Department of Health.
Thirty-eight of those cases are active, according to the state agency.
Statewide, there were 55,986 total cases confirmed as of the Wednesday afternoon report. That’s an increase of 2,472 cases, the state’s largest single-day increase since the pandemic began, surpassing the previous high set Jun 29 by 347 cases.
The virus has caused at least 685 deaths in Tennessee, including two in Greene County, since the state began tracking the numbers.
Eighty-two people have recovered from COVID-19 in Greene County.
Because of the surging case numbers, counties and municipalities across the state are reassessing their weeks-old measures to reopen businesses and government offices.
Greeneville officials just days ago announced the town was moving from the third phase of its reopening plan back to the more restrictive second phase as local case numbers spiked. Greene County has added nearly 40 new cases since then and on Tuesday town officials discussed going back to the first phase.
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 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.