The weekly number of new COVID-19 cases in Greene County has continued a downward trend over the past seven days. The number of deaths from the virus increased.

There were 335 new COVID-19 cases reported in Greene County during the seven-day period Oct. 7-Oct. 13. There were 359 new COVID-19 cases reported in Greene County during the previous seven-day period.

Of the new cases reported Oct. 7-Oct. 13, 235 were in people younger than 50. Of that number, 97 case were in children ages 18 or younger.

During that period, 12 more Greene County residents died from the virus, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Eight county residents died from the virus during the previous seven-day period.

Greene County’s case total for the pandemic now stands at 13,304, with 234 deaths due to the virus.

Hospitalizations are also decreasing.

Ballad Health officials said the system had 224 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Wednesday. Ballad had 293 COVID-19 patients in its system the previous Wednesday.

Of the COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in the region, about 88% are unvaccinated. 97% percent of COVID-19 in Ballad ICUs are unvaccinated, while 96% of those on ventilators are unvaccinated.

The percentage of residents fully vaccinated in Greene County stands at 41.67%, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Statewide, 47.6% of residents have been fully vaccinated. Nationally, 66.4% of the population aged 12 or older has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Northeast Regional Health Office announced on Oct. 8 that the Regional COVID-19 Information Line is now closed. Individuals with COVID-19 questions or concerns can call their local health department for assistance. Health departments within the public health region include Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins-Church Hill, Hawkins-Rogersville, Johnson, Unicoi and Washington Counties.

There are no changes to COVID-19 vaccinations and testing by the local health departments. Individuals can call the health department in the county in which they live Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Greene County Health Department at 810 W. Church St. is currently offering free COVID-19 vaccines, either drive-up or walk-in. No appointment is necessary. However, those who prefer to make an appointment can go to vaccinatetn.gov or call the Health Department at 423-798-1749 to reserve times for a first or second dose.

Adults aged 18 and older are eligible for all COVID-19 vaccines while children ages 12 and older are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

The Health Department is also offering a third Pfizer booster shot to those who are eligible. Only those who received the Pfizer vaccine are eligible for the FDA-approved Pfizer booster shot. Six months must have passed since receiving the second does of the vaccine before receiving the Pfizer booster. The Pfizer booster is available to all people 65 years of age or older, and people ages 18 and up who have underlying health conditions or who are at high risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their occupation.

The Health Department is open 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Drive-through COVID-19 testing is taking place at Greene Valley Developmental Center, 4850 E. Andrew Johnson Highway, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Self testing kits are available at the Greene County Health Department Monday through Friday.