Only one new COVID-19 case in region

Mike Still • May 15, 2020 at 10:30 PM

One new COVID-19 case was reported across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Friday.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health’s tracking webpage (www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov), the new confirmed case was in Sullivan County, bringing the pandemic total there to 57 cases and two deaths.

Hawkins County remained at 32 cases and two deaths Friday, while Carter County stayed at 19 cases and one death and Greene County at 46 cases and two deaths.

Washington County held steady at 66 cases, with Johnson County at 15 and Unicoi County at three.

In Tennessee, the statewide case total rose by 271 to 16,970, while deaths rose by three to 290. The statewide testing rate was 309,756 of 6.83 million residents, or 4.54%.

Testing rates by county in Northeast Tennessee were:

— Hawkins, 1,228 people or 2.16%

— Sullivan, 2.760 people or 1.74%

— Washington, 2,613 people or 2%

— Johnson, 1,840 or 10.34%

— Carter, 1,117 or 1.98%

— Greene, 1,514 or 2.19%

— Unicoi, 370 or 2.07%

In the LENOWISCO Health District, according to the Virginia Department of Health tracking webpage (www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus), the case and death totals remained at 42 and four respectively. Lee County had 10 cases, Norton two, Wise County 23 cases and two deaths, and Scott County seven cases and two deaths.

Statewide, Virginia reported 28,672 total COVID-19 cases and 977 deaths — increases of 859 and 22, respectively. The statewide testing rate was 176,635 of 8.63 million state residents, or 2.05%.

Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday said that total numbers of people tested had been based on totals of two types of tests: serological tests to detect the presence of antibodies against COVID-19 in subjects’ blood and PCR nasal swab tests that detect the presence of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Northam said serological tests are not as accurate as nasal swab tests, and he found out Monday that the two sets of test results had been reported in one total.

“I took issue with the way they were being reported,” Northam said. “I take ownership of that, and that’s what leaders do.”

State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said the two types of test results will now be listed separately on the VDH tracking webpage. The above test rates were calculated with the total number of both tests.

Northam said that, even when the positive result rates for both types of tests were analyzed, they showed similar declining rates of positive results.

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