Cases will increase as testing increases for COVID-19

Published 7:44 am Friday, March 27, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee will continue to increase with more testing.
It has now been determined that cases of the coronavirus are not only contracted from being directly around an infected individual or by traveling to affecting areas, but also by the community itself.
According to Dr. David Kirschke, Medical Director for the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Department, the number of community spread cases has increased.
“Because of the possibility of community spread, we are trying to increase testing for persons with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but no travel history or obvious exposure to a confirmed case,” he said. “Our testing numbers will likely continue to increase as we have more contacts to cases and increase testing among sick persons with no known exposure.”
It has been previously predicted that with more tests will come more cases showing. As community spread has become a reality, more people will soon be tested, in addition to those who have traveled or been exposed from already known cases.
According to Ballad Health, individuals can call their Ballad Health Nurse Connect Hotline, 833-822-5523, to discuss symptoms. If nurses believe the symptoms are possibly COVID-19, people then speak with physicians who decide if tests are necessary. This is done to rule out other possible respiratory illnesses like the flu. They are currently following guidelines set by the CDC.
Additionally, the virus does affect people of all ages. Of the confirmed cases at Ballad Health, eight have been individuals between 21-40 years of age. Those of older ages are more at risk of severity as are those with weakened immune systems.
While many businesses are making efforts to social distance, whether by closing or implementing new procedures for health precautions, officials are still stressing that if you do not need to leave your home, don’t.
“The number of cases of COVID-19 is increasing in Northeast Tennessee and across the country,” said Kirschke. “We urge everyone to increase their efforts to remain healthy, if not for their own sake, for the sake of those most vulnerable to COVID-19 in our communities. Most importantly, stay home if you are sick and call your healthcare provider if needed. To avoid getting sick: limit unnecessary trips to public places; maintain social distance; wash your hands frequently; avoid touching your face; and take care of your mental and physical health.”

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