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Ballad confirms second COVID-19 death

STAFF REPORT • Apr 2, 2020 at 5:09 PM

KINGSPORT — Ballad Health announced Thursday the system’s second death of a patient related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jamie Swift, infection prevention director at Ballad Health, reported the additional death during Thursday’s briefing adding “this was a resident of Sullivan County who was in the age range of 51-60.”

According to Swift, there are currently 77 cases in the region Ballad serves. That’s up 18 in just the past 24 hours, she said.

“That’s been our biggest jump in a 24-hour period since we started our response,” Swift said. “As we see our numbers go up very rapidly, I think we are entering that phase that social distancing is becoming more and more important. We are pleading with our community to please social distance, stay at home, help us protect our community, help us be able to respond as health care workers, and have that curve flattened.”

Swift also reported a fourth team member at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital has tested positive for coronavirus. All four work in direct patient care.

In normal contact tracing, Swift explained individuals usually receive a phone call. Ballad chose to issue the public press release to make everyone aware of the Hawkins County situation, to make sure anyone who might have been affected would not be overlooked. That’s why anyone who was in the hospital between March 20 and March 31 is being asked to be extra vigilant in the monitoring of symptoms and the practice of social distancing. Anyone who develops symptoms should contact the Nurse Connect line (833‑822-5523).

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