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NET sets record for daily COVID-19 cases

Northeast Tennessee saw its COVID-19 daily case total set a new pandemic record of nearly 500 Monday as the region’s pandemic total topped 19,000.

Two new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the region, bringing the region’s total to 341.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health’s COVID-19 website (https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html), 30 new deaths and 7,951 new cases brought Tennessee’s pandemic totals to 3,923 deaths (3,645 confirmed as COVID-19 and 278 probable) and 318,888 cases (296,654 confirmed as COVID-19 and 22,234 probable). Of the pandemic total statewide cases 271,864 (85%) were listed as “inactive/recovered.”

The new case numbers were based on 60,862 new test results statewide, since the day before, with a positive rate of 13.06%.

Ballad Health’s Monday daily COVID-19 scorecard (www.balladhealth.org/medical-services/infectious-disease) reported a seven-day test positivity rate of 18.3% for the system’s 21-county coverage area. Ballad officials, in Monday’s release, said the rate superseded Sunday’s scorecard of 18.1% as the pandemic high point.

Other numbers from Ballad on Monday included:

• 58 COVID-19 deaths in the system’s service area over the past seven days

• 247 COVID-19 patients hospitalized; 47 in intensive care; 27 on ventilators

• 31,083 total cases and 563 total deaths in the system’s service area since March 1

Northeast Tennessee’s eight counties reported 496 cases for a pandemic total of 19,142, according to TDH. The region’s new cases, by county: 129 in Sullivan; 147 in Washington; 76 in Greene; 54 in Carter; 51 in Hawkins; 26 in Unicoi; 11 in Johnson; and two in Hancock.

Total cases in Northeast Tennessee, by county: 5,382 in Sullivan; 5,077 in Washington; 2,572 in Greene; 2,294 in Carter; 1,662 in Hawkins; 1,335 in Johnson; 687 in Unicoi; and 133 in Hancock.

Active cases in Northeast Tennessee, by county: 830 in Sullivan; 733 in Washington; 371 in Carter; 383 in Greene; 258 in Hawkins; 139 in Unicoi; 74 in Johnson; and six in Hancock.

While 30 deaths were reported statewide on the TDH COVID-19 dashboard, 31 cases were listed in the age group breakdown: 13 in the 71-80 group, eight in the 81+ group; six in the 61-70 group; four in the 51-60 group.

What's in store for Kingsport's parks and recreation offerings?

KINGSPORT — If the sudden change in weather from sunny skies to crunchy leaves has you missing long walks in the park, come help Kingsport Parks and Recreation make a plan for the future.

The Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department is now in the process of developing a master plan that will create both short- and long-term goals for the facilities, programs and recreational experiences available to both residents and visitors.

The department is hosting an “open house” showcase to provide an overview of the master plan draft and to receive feedback from members of the community on its various components.

The public is invited to come by and share their ideas on how to continue to make Kingsport’s recreational facilities optimal for lifelong play, recreation, health and learning.

The open house will take place on Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex in the Douglass Room.

Due to social distancing requirements, in-person attendance will be limited.

If you’re unable to attend in person, you’re invited to join the meeting through zoom for an online presentation overviewing the plan at 4:45 pm and 5:30 p.m. via this link: bit.ly/open445.

If you want to attend the meeting in person you will be required to wear a mask and limit crowd sizes at each station within the room. A staff member will explain specific COVID-19 protocolsat the meeting and will provide attendees with a feedback flyer to be collected at the end of the meeting.

You can also submit your feedback online via a survey, which will be active for two weeks after the open house meeting. Online participants will have the ability to fill out the same feedback flyer from the Parks & Recreation Department website, www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

COVID-19 in SWVA: Region sees slowdown in daily cases

Far Southwest Virginia saw a slowdown in COVID-19 cases, according to Monday’s state data report.

The Virginia Department of Health (www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus) reported that the state had 2,677 new cases and six additional deaths in the prior 24 hours for pandemic totals of 204,637 cases and 3,806 deaths.

The LENOWISCO Health District saw 29 cases for totals of 2,462 and 36 deaths during the pandemic. Wise County had 22 cases for totals of 1,028 and 14 deaths. Lee County saw five cases for 744 and 11 deaths.

Scott County added two cases for 627 and 11 deaths, while Norton remained at 63 cases and no deaths.

The statewide testing rate for people with nasal swab and antigen tests in Monday’s VDH report was 3,180,853 of 8.63 million residents, or 36.86%. For nasal swab testing only, 2,938,133 people have been tested to date, or 34.04%. In the LENOWISCO district, 21,909 of the region’s 86,471 residents have been tested via nasal swab sample for COVID-19, or 25.34%.

testing rates by locality:

• Lee County, 6,828 of 23,423, or 29.15%

• Norton, 2,085 of 3,981, or 52.37%

• Wise County, 8,245 of 37,383, or 22.1%

• Scott County, 4,751 of 21,566, or 22.03%

Red Onion State Prison remained at 20 inmate cases and no active staff/contractor cases, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections COVID-19 webpage (https://vadoc.virginia.gov/news-press-releases/2020/covid-19-updates/).

Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap remained at no inmate cases and dropped from two to one active staff/contractor case. Wise Correctional Center near Coeburn remained at 16 inmate cases and dropped from one to no active staff cases.

The seven-day average rate of positive PCR test results in the LENOWISCO district in Monday’s report rose from 13.5% to 15%. The statewide positivity rate rose from 7% to 7.3%

According to Monday’s VDH pandemic measures dashboard, cases in the far southwest region of Virginia — including the LENOWISCO Health District — were ranked as rising after a 56-day increase in cases. The far southwest region ranking for percent positivity of COVID-19 testing results remained increasing based on a 36-day increase in that measure.

All four school systems in the LENOWISCO district — Wise, Lee and Scott counties and Norton — were ranked as highest- risk based on the 14-day case incidence rate in the district. Norton City and Scott County Schools were ranked highest-risk for percent change in seven- day case incidences. Wise County schools were ranked lower-risk, and Lee County Schools ranked lowest-risk.

Where to be tested

Do you think you might have COVID-19? Local health departments provide free testing.

The LENOWISCO Health Department, which covers Norton and Lee, Wise and Scott counties, posts regular updates on testing sites across the district and offers free COVID-19 tests at its county offices. Those seeking a test must call in advance for an appointment. Contact numbers for the county offices are:

• Lee County (Jonesville) — (276) 346-2011

• Scott County (Gate City) — (276) 386-1312

• Wise County and Norton (Wise) — (276) 328-8000

Additional testing and COVID-19 precaution information can be found at the LENOWISCO Health District’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Lenowisco.

The Health Wagon will partner with the Virginia Department of Health to offer 17 sessions of free drive-thru testing at Food City in St. Paul through Dec. 31. Call (276) 328-8850 for an appointment.

In Southwest Virginia, online resources are available to help evaluate whether residents might be infected and where to get a COVID-19 test. The Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDCHECK (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covidcheck/) can walk a user through symptoms they may be experiencing and help direct them to their local health department office or other available testing sites.

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Sunday shooting in Kingsport prompts homicide investigation

KINGSPORT — A 26-year-old Kingsport man died early Sunday morning from a gunshot wound.

The Kingsport Police Department found Eduardo Oviedo-Velazco dead from an apparent gunshot wound inside a residence in the 1600 block of Osage Drive at approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday.

The KPD is treating the shooting as a homicide investigation.

Based upon the findings of Kingsport detectives thus far, this appears to be an isolated incident with no known immediate danger to the public at large.

With the investigation active and ongoing, no further details are available for release at this time.

Additional information will be released as it develops, but only at an appropriate point in the investigation, the KPD reports.

If you have any information about this incident, you’re asked to contact detectives at (423) 229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at (423) 246-9111.

If you wish to make an anonymous tip about the incident, or any other case, you can do so by going to the city’s website and filling out the “Citizen Feedback” form at the following link — www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/police-department/contact-us.

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, Nurse Kathe Olmstead, right, gives volunteer Melissa Harting, of Harpersville, N.Y., an injection as a study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna said Monday, Nov. 16, its COVID-19 vaccine is proving to be highly effective in a major trial.