Moore County COVID-19 Update: 6 Things to Know This Week

This map represents cases by county as of Friday at 2 p.m. {Graphic Provided}

With the announcement of Friday’s numbers at 2 p.m., Tennessee reported 189,454 total confirmed COVID-19 cases. Our state experienced 136 new deaths this week but the deceased rate remains at around one percent. According to the state, 172,618 total COVID-19 patients have recovered or have inactive cases. Here’s the top six things you need to know for this week:

1| Moore experiences it’s largest one week increase. According to today’s numbers, Moore County gained 24 new COVID cases in the past seven days – from 145 on September 19 to 169 today. This is the largest weekly increase since the state began tracking numbers in March. There were more recoveries (17) than new active cases (11) in the past seven days. Moore County has experienced one COVID-related death.

2| Coffee County replaces Bedford as regional hotspot. Regionally, Coffee County experienced that greatest seven day increase with 141 followed by Franklin County (88), and Lincoln County (35). Previous regional hotspot Bedford County experienced the smallest increase this week with 33.

3 | More new state cases than recoveries reported this week. In state numbers, there were more new COVID cases (8015) in the past seven days than recovered/inactive cases (7636). Tennessee had 136 new COVID deaths this past week for a total of 2,352. Nearly three percent of Tennessee residents have reported confirmed cases.

4 | Regional testing moves from Manchester to Tullahoma. This week regional testing moved from the Old Southern Family Market in Manchester to Waggoner Park in Tullahoma. Free COVID-19 testing will take place at 1208 East Carroll Street in the pavilion closest to Industrial Boulevard. Locals may remain in their cars for testing.

5 | Nashville names hotspots. If you are headed to Nashville this weekend, it’s best to avoid COVID hotspot identified by the Metro Health Department this week including 49 sites and six downtown bars. These location have been linked to more than 2,600 cases of coronavirus and include Loser’s, Tootsie’s, Dogwood, Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk, Dawghouse Saloon, and Winners.

6 | Flu vaccinations are especially important this year. Health officials say in the midst of the COVID 19 health situation it’s now more important that ever to get a flu shot. According to the CDC, the flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this year and recommends that all people six months and older get a yearly flu vaccine. It’s best to get your flu vaccine before the end of October. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Local blood supplies are critically low

Low blood supplies are low due to multiple recent traumas. Several area mobile blood drives are planned. {File Photo}

Multiple traumas in southern, middle Tennessee over the past several days have nearly exhausted local blood supplies and local blood banks are asking for donations … especially from O-positive, A-positive, A-negative, O-negative, and platelets donors.

“Multiple traumas used over 100 blood products a few nights ago and have exacerbated the already struggling blood supply,” Blood Assurance officials stated.

Regionally, local blood banks plan several area blood drives:

SUNDAY – Mobile blood drive at First United Methodist Church located at 100 South Jefferson Street in Winchester from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

THURSDAY – Mobile drive at Walmart located 1224 Huntsville Highway in Fayetteville from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

THURSDAY – Mobile drive at Advantage Realty Partners located 861 McArthur Street in Manchester from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition, the Blood Assurance Donor Center is located at 604 North Jackson Street and they schedule donation Monday through Friday and each third Saturday (September 19) and third Sunday (September 20) of the month. For more information visit their website or call them at 931-461-5773.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

As number of dumped pets rises, local shelter needs donations and fosters

COVID-19 is causing a spike in dumped and abandoned pets in Moore County. Lynchburg Friends of Animals Rescue and Adoption Center needs your help to keep them safe and get them the medical care they need. {File Photo}

During the COVID-19 pandemic, local shelters across the country report a spike in dumped and abandoned pets.

One needs to only read Moore County social media posts from the past week to know it’s true. On August 31, a local found a boxer mix on Turkey Creek Run. Four days later, a litter of eight puppies was found in a ditch on Goosebranch Road. Later that same day, a mother and her four puppies were found less than a mile away. A day later, a local found two more pups on Nolen Road. Just yesterday, another set of dogs were discovered around Pleasant Hill Methodist Church.

What do they all have in common? The Lynchburg Friends of Animals and Rescue and Adoption Center will try to care for all of them. It’s an tough job during “precedented” times but one that’s becoming overwhelming during the pandemic. Four of the puppies found last week require treatment for PARVO.

“We have to hospitalize them with a veterinary hospital leaving us with an estimated $2400 for vet care and hospitalization of all four pups,” said LFoA Director Brandi Harrell. “That was the cheapest I found in such short notice. These babies need our help.”

Moore County does not offer animal control as a county service. Without intervention from a caring, local shelter animals like these are destined for heartbreak, trauma, and often death. That’s where Lynchburg Friends of Animals Rescue and Adoption Center comes in. And you can help. Supplies like dog food, cat food, litter, and puppy pads can be dropped off at the shelter located at 1980 Fayetteville Highway. A full wish list of needs can be found by clicking this link.

Harrell also says that the shelter desperately needs fosters to give vulnerable animals off local roads. Without fosters and with a full shelter, LFoA might need to turn animals away. She says the more fosters, the more lives they can save. LFoA pays for all vet bills, food, as well as related supplies.

You can also make a donation via PayPal through a link on their website.

If you’d like to help with the medical care for the four puppies battling PARVO, donations can be made at the vet clinics currently providing care: All Creature Veterinary Clinics in Tullahoma (931-455-6723) or Manchester (931-723-0551). •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

State announces new COVID mental health helpline for Moore County

The state recently announced a COVID-19 Crisis Helpline for Moore and 20 other Middle Tennessee counties. Call 888-460-4351 if you need to talk to someone. It’s free and confidential. {File Photo}

A COVID-related illness or death of a loved one, the isolation of social distancing, unemployment, the stress of working from home, remote learning … it’s a lot. According to a recent East Tennessee State University poll more than half of Tennesseans reported feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge in the week before the poll.  More than two in five respondents reported feeling depressed (43.4%) and lonely (42.8%).

But help is available for those who reach out.

The Tennessee Department of Health recently announced a new mental health tool for those suffering from mental health stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moore County will be one of 21 counties in Middle Tennessee supported by the Tennessee Recovery Project’s COVID-19 helpline at 888-460-4351.

The new helpline will also serve Bedford, Cheatham, Coffee, Davidson, Dickson, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Perry, Robertson, Stewart, and Wayne counties.

A volunteer staff will answer the new helpline Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. It’s available to anyone struggling with emotional stressors due to the pandemic. Staff will connect callers with local resource that can help.

“There are a lot of people out there, dealing with stress, anxiety, fear, and depression, who are hurting right now.  We want people to know that it’s OK to not feel OK right now and that help is available, and thanks to this grant, the department and our community providers will be able to help more people,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.  “We are grateful to our federal partners for this funding, and the department is committed to leveraging all available resources to support the needs of Tennesseans and the community providers who serve them.”

Federal grant dollars fund the new helpline through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and in partnership with Centerstone, the Tennessee Recovery Project, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. It’s part of a larger grant that seeks to offer crisis counseling in all 95 Tennessee counties.

For more information, visit the Tennessee Recovery Project Disaster Crisis Counseling Program’s Facebook page by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Local Public Safety official explains change in COVID numbers reporting

Thanks to Moore County Public Safety Director Jason Deal, we now understand a little more about the confusing COVID-19 numbers reported by the state last Thursday. On Friday morning, he shared information supplied by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) about the changes.

In it, state health official explain that they are “improving” the data to reflect the evolving knowledge of the pandemic in our state.

Two major changes

The reports now reflect two major changes. One, active cases are now calculated differently — shortening the active period from 21 days to 10 days. This is resulting in a huge difference in the active case count. Before the change, the TDH numbers reflected 36 active cases in Moore County. After the change, there were just 15.

According to TDH, the case count reports will now include figures for “Inactive/Recovered” cases and will no longer include data for “Recovered” cases. “Inactive/Recovered” cases will include people who are 14 days or more beyond their illness onset date (or, for asymptomatic cases, their specimen collection date). This will more closely align with what is now understood about the infectious period of COVID-19, as recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show most patients with COVID-19 are no longer infectious after 10 days. Previously, TDH considered a case recovered after a 21-day period.

Also, the 18 new cases that showed up last Thursday were in part a data correction. According to the state around 1,700 Tennessee cases were incorrectly assigned to the wrong counties based on patient-provide information. This could for example happen with someone living inside Moore County has a Tullahoma or Mulberry zip code, which is common.

“These cases will be corrected all at once, which will result in case counts changes for some counties,” the state said.

It’s a statement that tracks. On September 3, Moore County’s new COVID cases jumped 18 from 97 to 115. Since then, Moore County gained no new cases on September 4 and September 7, and one new case on September 5, September 6, and September 8.

The state now also provides county snapshots that show total cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and inactive or recovered cases on a county level. To view that daily report by county, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Reporting changes cause COVID data confusion

{Graphic Provided by the TN Department of Health}

STATE NEWS — Today the Tennessee Department of Health released new numbers based on changed modeling and it’s causing confusion with both state and county leaders as well as media across the state. The TDH is reminding residents to consider case trends over several days and not just the daily COVID counts as it makes adjustments to the way it monitors cases counts in the state.

On Thursday, the afternoon COVID numbers supplied by the state showed Moore County’s COVID-19 case count jumped by 18 from 97 to 115. That large fluctuation is just a correction to the numbers, state officials explain.

The Tennessee Department of Health made changes to the way COVID-19 data is reported today. For example, the state will no longer provide numbers for “recovered” cases and instead TDH will report the number of “Inactive/Recovered” cases. This will include cases who are 14 days or more beyond their illness onset date (or for asymptomatic individuals, their specimen collection date) and who are not deceased.

The state also reported the there are an approximate 1,700 cases for whom the county of residence needs to be corrected and that correction will happen all at once.

They also explained that occasionally a commercial laboratory will experience issues with sending results electronically. When this occurs and then gets resolved, TDH uploads a batch correction as quickly as possible but those corrections sometimes result in a large fluctuation in the daily numbers.

It’s unclear which (if any) of these changes caused the big jump in Moore County numbers.

It’s also important to note that Moore County’s active case count, according to the state, went from 36 to just 15 even though the total increase overnight was 18 cases. Clearly THD new reporting parameters is experiencing growing pains. The Lynchburg Times will continue to closely monitor these number over the next several days. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

FEMA: New $300 a week available for Tennessee unemployed

There’s good news for those panicked by the end of the weekly $600 federal post to state unemployment. New money is now available for local unemployed through FEMA Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance. {File Photo}

On Saturday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a grant that would give those unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic an extra $300 a week on top of state-provided unemployment. It’s part of the Lost Wages Assistance Program. FEMA made up to $44 billion available from the Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to Americans.

It’s great news for locals who are struggling to make ends meet after the $600 a week federal boost to state unemployment ended through the CARES Act on July 25.

For more information, visit the FEMA Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance Guidelines page by clicking here. Those who would like to apply may do so through the Grants.gov portal. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Library: Virtual learners welcome on eLearning Wednesdays

Moore County students will experience their first eLearning Wednesday tomorrow and the Moore County Public Library wants locals to know they are here to help. {File Photo}

LYNCHBURG — eLearning Wednesday’s will kick off tomorrow and the Moore County Public Library (MCPL) wants you to know that they are here to help. On Wednesdays, the library will transform into an virtual learning help center.

Last Wednesday, Moore County Schools announced that all students would learn virtually each Wednesday in order to give teachers a mid week opportunity to catch up from the demands of dual teaching both in person and online as well as get students prepared should COVID force school closures. (Read our full coverage of that decision by clicking here. )

Library staff will provide paper, pencils, as well as tech support for those who feel unsure about the elearning process. Students should come with their passwords in hand as the library staff will not have independent access to this information. The MCLP WiFi is an open network that does not require a password. Parents must remain with their children at all times. Snacks will be allowed but not in carpeted areas.

The library will still follow its social distancing guidelines on eLearning Wednesdays and therefore, spots are limited. All seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Parents who wish to utilize the library on these days should call 931-759-7285 to reserve a spot. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Tims Fords State Park, others issue mask requirement

Masks are now required inside any state park facility where employees or the general public might gather. This includes the Visitor’s Center at Tims Ford State Park as well as the park offices, gift shop, and recreation center. {File Artwork}

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors during the COVID-19 health situation but do so safely. That’s the message from Tennessee State Park officials this week as they add a mask requirement to facilities at most parks.

Masks are now required inside any state park facility where employees or the general public might gather. This includes the Visitor’s Center at Tims Ford State Park as well as the park offices, gift shop, and recreation center.

Tennessee State Parks re-opened on April 24 after remaining closed under Governor Lee’s Stay at Home order. Since then, they’ve be a popular weekend spot for lots of locals.

Park officials also remind locals to stay home if your feel sick or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19. While inside parks, only visit areas where it is possible to maintain six feet of social distance at all times and avoid crowded areas.

On weekends, parks tend to fill up quickly, so park officials say it’s best to arrive early in the day. If the parking lot is full when you arrive, it’s probably best to leave and come back at a different time. Park officials also ask that visitors not park along the shoulder of roadways and instead only park ion designated areas.

In most cases, park officials try to keep public restrooms open but say visitors should prepare for limited or no bathroom access.

If you’d like more information about COVID-19 closures as well as social distancing tips for visitors, visit the Tennessee State Parks website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

School Board votes to revise school-closing trigger at Monday’s meeting

The Moore County School Board moved the “school building closure” trigger Monday night at their regular season meeting.

Previously, the board approved a Reopening Framework that stated as long as the active case count remains below 33 (or less than .5% of the population) students can continue to attend in person classes. Once that number reached above 33 (or between .5 % and 1%), local schools will move to a hybrid model where half of students will attend school every other week while those not at school continue to learn remotely.

On Monday, the Board changed that decision-trigger to be based on absenteeism at any given school rather than the amount of community spread. At the time of the meeting there were 26 active COVID-19 cases in Moore County.

After the meeting, Director of School Chad Moorehead said he preferred a plan that allowed parent the most personal choice.

“I felt that it was important that this section of our framework for reopening be changed.  Since our school system is allowing parents to choose between in-person and remote learning, we have a hybrid model now that is responsive to individual homes,” he said. “There may be a point that we have to transition to full remote learning for a period of time but I feel like personal choice is the best option.  If the spread of the virus increases rapidly parents can choose to move to remote learning for their own children.  We are all working hard inside the schools to be as safe as possible and to be able to keep the buildings open.”

The revised plan also stated that community events like the rate of sickness, hospitalization rates, etc will also be considered in addition to school absentee rates. It also states that administration may choose to close individual schools for 3-5 day for thorough disinfecting should smaller outbreaks occur.

To read a complete copy of the Metro School Board Reopening Framework, click this link.

School Board meetings take place the second Monday of each month at the Central Office Building located on the Lynchburg Elementary Campus. Each meeting begins at 6 p.m. and can also be attended virtually. The next meeting takes place on September 14. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}