Greene County recorded another double-digit increase in COVID-19 cases on Friday with 20.

The 20 new cases bring the number of cases recorded in Greene County to 1,288 since the pandemic began, according to the daily coronavirus update from the Tennessee Department of Health. Eight of the new cases were people between the ages of 5 and 18, according to state data.

The number of local active cases on Friday increased by 12 to reach 118, according to the state report. Eight more individuals in the county were moved to the inactive/recovered cases category.

The state defines inactive/recovered cases as individuals who are 14 days past the onset of symptoms or the day of their test if they are asymptomatic. Thus far in the pandemic, 1,122 people in Greene County are in that category.

No new deaths were reported locally for Friday, but two more Greene Countians have been hospitalized for the virus. A total of 88 people have required hospital care due to the virus.

On Friday, 99 people were hospitalized in Ballad Health facilities with the coronavirus and five people were admitted with virus symptoms awaiting test results, according to the health system’s COVID-19 Daily Scorecard.

Twenty-one of those individuals are in intensive care units, with 11 on ventilators. The health system has 24 beds open that are designated for COVID-19 patients.

On Fridays, the state updates its data about coronavirus cases within nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The outbreaks at Signature Healthcare of Greeneville and Life Care Center of Greeneville appear to be under control as neither has had a new positive case in over two weeks, according to the latest update.

The state data reflects that a total of 20 residents have died from COVID-19 at Signature Healthcare. Ninety-eight of the 108 residents tested positive for the virus and there were 70 staff cases. It has been 15 days since its last new positive case.

At Life Care Center, 10 residents have died form the virus. Of the 106 residents, 75 tested positive for the virus. Forty-three of its employees tested positive for the virus. Its last positive test was 18 days ago.

In Greene County, an average of 180.9 COVID-19 tests have been conducted per day for the past seven days. The average percent of positive results among those tests was 6.9% locally. In the region served by Ballad Health, the positive rate for the last seven days is 10.3%.

Greene County had the third highest number of new cases in the Northeast Tennessee region Friday. Sullivan County had the most with 59 and Washington had 33.

Sullivan County also has the highest number of active cases at 336. Greene County has the fifth highest number of active cases in the 10-county region.

On Friday, 1,556 new cases were recorded across Tennessee, according to the Department of Health report. Twenty-seven new deaths were recorded statewide. Since the pandemic began, 211,003 people have contracted the virus in Tennessee and 2,732 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.

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