You are here

Local COVID-19 News

Coronavirus Disease 2019 updates from Ballad Health and the Appalachian Highlands region

For Ballad Health visitation restrictions and other COVID-19 information, please visit our COVID-19 page.

Stay-at-home orders in Tenn. and Va.

Effective April 1, Governors Lee and Northam issued statewide stay-at-home orders for Tennessee and Virginia. The order in Tennessee remains in place until April 30, Virginia until June 10.

Learn more about these stay-at-home orders.

Physical distancing scorecard for our region

Ballad Health is now producing a regular report on the effectiveness of physical distancing efforts in the Appalachian Highlands.

Learn more about the physical distancing scorecard.

Local updates

June 22, 2020

Ballad Health urges caution in COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizes the continued risks

Alan Levine, Ballad Health’s chairman and CEO, said caution is especially warranted now, during vacation season and as the Fourth of July holiday approaches. More than half of the new COVID-19 cases at Ballad Health have been related to travel, and popular vacation spots such as Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Florida are reporting enormous spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Large gatherings, including family events, parties and community functions, have an inherently higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. Ballad Health leaders emphasize an increased need for masking, hand hygiene and physical distancing in these instances. Read more about these continued COVID-19 risks.

Apr. 30, 2020

Expanded COVID-19 testing

Following Ballad Health’s rapid testing capabilities for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we have now expanded our testing options even further. Beginning today, April 30, we are making COVID-19 testing available to anyone who feels they need it, regardless of symptoms or potential exposure.

Community members who would like to be tested will need to call our Nurse Connect hotline at 833-822-5523.

Please note: There is a $52 charge for the tests and tests might become limited, due to increased testing we will begin on patients who are scheduled for elective surgeries.

Elective surgeries to resume

Ballad Health’s surgery sub-committee – a group comprised of physicians and leaders from throughout our system, representing a depth of specialties, markets and expertise – in conjunction with the state Economic Recovery Group, has made recommendations to begin resuming elective surgeries, with some procedures able to be scheduled for Monday, May 4.

We will take a careful, phased-in approach that was developed by our physician-led elective procedures taskforce, remaining remain mindful of our staffing, supplies and triage levels.

Apr. 22, 2020

Barbara Humphreys Birthing Center relocates to new Women’s and Newborn Center of Excellence at Indian Path

This move will help with near-term efforts to enhance capacity for responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, while also leading towards the establishment of a dedicated women’s and newborn hospital linked with regional high-acuity children’s services. Learn more about the new Humphreys Birthing Center.

Apr. 16, 2020

Ballad Health partners with Mayo Clinic for COVID-19 research

Ballad Health has announced a partnership with Mayo Clinic to conduct a national coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) research study, which will examine convalescent plasma as an experimental treatment. Read more about this plasma study.

Apr. 15, 2020

Virginia and Tennessee extend statewide Stay-at-Home orders

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam extended the order requiring non-essential businesses to stay closed until May 8. The stay-at-home order will remain in place until June 10.

Similarly, Gov. Bill Lee extended the executive order in Tennessee to April 30.

Read more about these orders and their implications for individuals and businesses.

Apr. 13, 2020

Kingsport COVID-19 surge plan implemented in line with recommendations to create a Women’s and Newborn Center of Excellence

Building on preliminary recommendations from a local Visioning Committee, Ballad Health announced changes that will lead to a dedicated women’s and newborn facility, in Kingsport – the first of its kind in the region. The changes will help with near term efforts to enhance capacity for responding to COVID-19. Learn more about the surge plan and the Women’s and Newborn Center of Excellence.

Apr. 10, 2020

Ballad Health announces major expansion of its virtual health program

Expanding on what was already the region’s most expansive network of telehealth technology, Ballad Health today launched a region-wide virtual urgent care center for on-demand care to patients from the comfort of their homes. Leave more about the Virtual Urgent Care Clinic and expanded telehealth capabilities.

Apr. 8, 2020

Ballad Health announces added investment for direct care team to ensure availability during possible COVID-19 surge

Other steps are being taken and funds invested to help temporarily furloughed team members access enhanced federal benefit while containing cost during significant destruction to service volumes. Read more about these updates.

Apr. 7, 2020

ER and outpatient clinic visitation restriction update

Visitors will not be allowed in Ballad Health emergency departments / ERs and outpatient clinics, effective 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8. Read more about these visitation restrictions.

Apr. 1, 2020

Ballad Health to deploy rapid testing for COVID-19

Ballad Health will be among the first healthcare systems in the nation to deploy rapid testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Read more about rapid testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Mar. 31, 2020

Ballad Health identifies cluster of positive COVID-19 cases in Hawkins County

We have identified a cluster of positive COVID-19 tests in Hawkins County, including three Hawkins County Memorial Hospital team members. Read about these Hawkins Co. cases.

Ballad Health reports first COVID-19 death

Unfortunately, we have reported the first death related to COVID-19 to the state department of health today. As COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities, we do expect more deaths, which is why physical distancing efforts and work being done to flatten the curve are so crucial.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the patient’s family and loved ones, and our sincere thanks goes out to the team who cared for this family.

Mar. 30, 2020

Virginia issues statewide Stay-at-Home order

Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a Stay-at-Home order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia. The executive order will remain in place until June 10. Read the executive order on the governor’s website.

Tennessee issues statewide Stay-at-Home order

Similarly, Gov. Bill Lee issued Executive Order 22, implementing Safer-at-Home guidelines to further mitigate the COVID-19 spread across Tennessee counites. This order extends to April 30. Read Gov. Lee’s order on

Local governments issue Safer at Home public orders

In response to rising coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) numbers, local governments have issued orders to direct all residents to remain at their places of residence unless they’re engaged in essential activities (such as going to grocery stores or pharmacies) or reporting for work at essential businesses like Ballad Health.

Local law enforcement will conduct “spot checks” for compliance to this order.

Mar. 24, 2020

Ballad Health proactively designates Lonesome Pine Hospital as Wise Co. regional COVID-19 Hospital

Ballad Health is designating Lonesome Pine Hospital as the Wise County COVID-19 treatment and quarantine facility. Read about this COVID-19 designation in Wise Co.

Ballad Health welcomes handmade mask donations from community

To help preserve its supplies, Ballad Health is accepting donations of handmade face masks for patients. Read more about handmade face masks.

Mar. 22, 2020

Ballad Health confirms additional COVID-19 cases

Ballad Health has confirmed new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Greene and Sullivan Counties. Read more about these cases here.

Mar. 20, 2020

COVID-19 case confirmed in Washington Co.

A case of COVID-19 in Washington County, TN, has been confirmed, prompting Ballad Health to take additional steps. Read about the COVID-19 case in Washington County.

Mar. 18, 2020

COVID-19 affects blood supply; Marsh Regional issues urgent call for donations

The continued spread of COVID-19 and social distancing efforts are impacting blood donation supplies. Read about how the local blood supply have been affected.

Mar. 17, 2020

Dr. Jonathan Moorman joins Ballad Health Emergency Operations Center

Ballad Health and ETSU announced Dr. Jonathan Moorman is joining the Ballad Health Corporate Emergency Operations Center. Read about Dr. Moorman.

Mar. 10, 2020

Ballad Health expands COVID-19 response

Following announcement of the region’s first confirmed COVID-19 case, Ballad Health has expanded its response and preparedness efforts, including opening a hotline for potential cases. Read about Ballad Health’s coronavirus response efforts.