The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths in the region pushed past a weekly record set Friday, followed by a similarly grim figure from the state.
The Tennessee Department of Health reported five new deaths Saturday in Northeast Tennessee’s eight counties, increasing the death toll since Monday to 68, 10 higher than the previous record set during the week of Dec. 14 to 20. Since March, 725 deaths in the region have been attributed to the virus.
Statewide, Tennessee also set a new record for weekly deaths Saturday, hitting 679 with one day left in the week. That total is already 70 higher than the previous record.
Patients decrease at Ballad hospitals
Ballad Health reported 336 COVID-19 patients in its facilities on Saturday, down 10 from the day before.
Five fewer patients were in intensive care compared to Friday, and the same number of people were on ventilators.
There were 53 COVID-designated beds still available Saturday, an increase from Friday’s report, but down from 62 on Thursday.
Active cases continue rise
Northeast Tennessee’s active case count rose again Saturday by 305, reaching 5,157. The reported active cases are the highest they have been since Christmas.
Sullivan County led the active case increase with 121. It was also the county with the most new cases reported, 136.
All counties in the region reported new active cases. Washington County’s was the second-highest in the region with 61. Greene (44), Hawkins (34) and Carter (31) followed.