Three Coffee County Jail employees test positive for COVID-19

MANCHESTER — According to a press release, three Coffee County Jail employees have tested positive for COVID-19 but there are no confirmed cases within the prison population. The three employees live together in the same apartment, according to the release.

Coffee County Sheriff Chad Partin stated in the release that all remaining staff have been notified and given information about being tested. He also stated that the jail is following and will continue to follow all national, state, and local social distancing practices.

The Coffee County Jail is located at 76 Hillsboro Highway in Manchester. For more information, contact the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department at 931-728-3591. •

{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.}

Chattanooga becomes National COVID hotspot

According to a recent published report by The New York Times, Chattanooga (Hamilton County) reported 186 new cases and two additional deaths since Friday, making them a national Coronavirus hotspot. Their report is based on a recent Dataminr study that identified 22 small metropolitan and rural counties across eight states. The story also identified Nashville (Davidson County) as a national hotspot among major urban counties.

According to the report, Chattanooga’s rate of new cases per day is the fifth highest in the nation, doubling about every nine days.

On Sunday, the state reported 70 more cases in Chattanooga, which was the largest one-day jump since the global pandemic began. On Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported 642 total Chattanooga cases and 15 deaths.

Local health officials attributed the jump in number to an increase in testing stating that 14,000 more residents (or four percent of the population) have now been tested.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes stated that despite the uptick, Chattanooga still had enough open hospital beds to handle the surge including 52 adult intensive-care unit beds and 361 adult ventilators available. •

{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.}

Lynchburg Nursing Center needs masks, gloves

LOCAL NEWS — On Monday, the staff of the Lynchburg Nursing Center (LNC) put out a call on social media asking the general public for donations of unused personal protective equipment (PPE) like N95 masks, surgical masks, surgical gowns, or exam gloves.

“In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, there has been an increased need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you or anyone you know have extra, unused and unopened N95 masks, isolation/surgical masks, isolation/surgical gowns or exam gloves (vinyl, latex or nitrile), please consider donating them to your local hospital, nursing facility or urgent care facility. Any donations will be put to great use and appreciated by health care’s frontline heroes,” they stated on their Facebook page.

On March 18, LNC made the tough decision to close the facility to visitors, non-essential employees, and vendors. They also stopped all group activities and communal dining temporarily. Despite this decision, the staff is still working hard to connect patients with their friends and families through mail, telephone, video calls, and other technology.

To contact them about a PPE donation, call 759-6000. LNC is located at 40 Nursing Home Road on Highway 55 across from Moore County High School. You can also learn more by visiting their Facebook page or website. •

{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.}

Small Town, Big Coronavirus Rumors: FEMA sets the record straight

Telephone. Telegraph. Tell a friend. In small towns like Lynchburg … and now with the help of social media … word seems to travel fast … especially in these uncertain times.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed a special webpage recently called Coronavirus Rumor Control, so we thought the newspaper might help you separate fact from fiction with their help.

1 | Myth: A national lock down is coming. Truth: According to FEMA, there is no national lockdown.  As with all information online or shared via social media, it is important to verify the source of the information.

2 | Myth: FEMA is deploying military assets. Truth: FEMA doesn’t have military assets. According to the agency, “Like all emergencies, response is most successful when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported.  Each state’s governor is responsible for response activities in their state, to include establishing curfews, deploying the National Guard if needed and any other restrictions or safety measures they deem necessary for the health and welfare of their citizens.”

3 | Myth: I need to stockpile supplies. Truth: It’s better for everyone if you only buy what your family will need for one week at a time. FEMA reminds citizens that, “many families may be unable to buy a supply of food and water for weeks in advance. Consumer demand has recently been exceptionally high – especially for grocery, household cleaning, and some healthcare products. Freight flows are not disrupted, but stores need time to restock.”

4 | Myth: The government will soon be sending each of us $1000 checks. Truth: According to FEMA, the U.S. Government is not mailing checks in response to COVID-19 at this time. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. It’s important that you only trust information coming from official sources. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19 related scams on their website.

5 | Myth: Only those over 60 or with existing health problems are at risk. Truth: It is an unfortunate rumor that only people over 60 years of age are at risk of getting this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe with and may have different complications for each individual. The CDC has a list of COVID-19 symptoms you may experience. Please continue to follow the official information from the CDC. So far in Tennessee, four cases have been under the age of 10 and 20 cases from persons aged 11-20. The highest number of cases in the state are individuals between the age of 21-30 … 122 cases in total as of Saturday.

To stay updated on the latest myths versus facts according to FEMA, visit the Coronavirus Rumor Control 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 small businesses encouraged to apply for Economic Disaster Loans

On Saturday morning, the front gate to the Jack Daniel’s Visitors Center remained locked and the usually bustling parking lot looked completely empty. Temporary closings at the distillery are affecting small businesses in Lynchburg. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

STATE NEWS — As cases in the state continue to increase daily, the Jack Daniel Visitors Center still has no idea when they’ll be able to lift the temporary shut down of public tours and re-open the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store and Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant. Without them, the steady stream of over 300,000 guest to our charming, little hamlet have slowed to a drip and many local business are feeling the crunch.

On Thursday, Governor Bill Lee announced that Tennessee received a declaration for Economic Injury Disaster, which gives Lynchburg small businesses the green light to apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to help with losses from the COVID-19 situation.

“I applaud the efforts of the SBA in swiftly processing and approving Tennessee’s request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance,” Lee said. “Small businesses and nonprofits across the state are suffering greatly in the wake of this pandemic, and these loans will help overcome the temporary loss of revenue companies are experiencing during this difficult time.”

The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable or other bills that can’t be paid due to the disaster’s impact. Interest rates for the loans are 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations.

To apply online, visit the Disaster Assistance page on the U.S. Small Business Administration website, click here for a link. Lynchburg small businesses may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. •

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.}

Harton Hospital alters visitation in response to COVID-19

Tennova Healthcare Harton in Tullahoma recently reduced visting hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. {Graphic Provided}

TULLAHOMA — Having a family member or friend face an uncertain medical situation is stressful under any condition. The need for social distancing to protect others only complicates that.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Harton Hospital (Tennova Healthcare) will alter their visitation guidelines until further notice. Visiting hours will be limited and all visitors must pass a health screen before entering the hospital. Also, all visitor must be over the age of 16.

Hospital officials will lock the main entrance at 7 p.m. each weekday. On weekends, the only entry into the building will be through the Emergency Department entrance.

Additionally, all patients are being screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors. If a physician determines any patient meets the criteria, they will order testing, according to the hospital’s website.

They also remind the public that should you develop mild symptoms, the best course of action is to stay quarantines inside your home. Only patients with severe symptoms and difficulty breathing should seek care. Elderly patients and those who are immunocompromised should also seek care as soon as possible.

As of Thursday at 2 p.m., there were no confirmed cases in Coffee County. •

{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.}

Positive COVID-19 case in Sewanee

COVID-19 update

SEWANEE — A Grundy County pre-school announced Thursday through a public statement that the parents of one of it’s students recently tested positive for COVID-19. This is the closest confirmed case to Moore County since the global pandemic began.

Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady also confirmed the cases in a video announcement on the GRUNDY 1st public Facebook page.

Both parents of a student at Sewanee Children’s Center tested positive. The couple own residences in both Davidson County (where there are 75 confirmed cases) and Grundy County. According to Mayor Brady all person suspected to have contact with the parents are now being tested or are in self-quarantine. He went on to state that the couple has not been back to their Sewanee home since March 5. •

{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.}

Air Force flies 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from Italy to Memphis

MEMPHIS — The United States Air Force quietly flew in 500,000 swabs used to test for Coronavirus from Italy to Memphis International Airport this week, according to the website Defense One, who originally reported the story.

“There’s multiple parts to testing,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Dr. Paul Friedrichs, the Joint Staff surgeon, said at a briefing. “The first is the swabs that are used to collect the sample from the individual who’s being tested, then there’s a liquid … that you put the swab into. That’s what we brought over from Italy.”

Memphis exists as a major Fed Ex hub and flying them there will help the tests more quickly arrive at their final destination. The Pentagon said that it’s just one example of the cooperation happening between countries to stop the spread of the COVID-19. To read the complete Defense One article, click here. •

{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.}

Lynchburg DREMC offices closed to the general public

LOCAL NEWS — As of this morning, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation will close its Lynchburg office and seven other regional office lobbies to the general public as a safety measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“This decision to temporarily close the lobbies is based on the growing risk of exposure and the caution recommended by local, state and national government to help contain the spread of the virus,” says DREMC President and CEO Scott Spence. “DREMC employees are working to ensure that we provide as many essential services possible. With the lobbies closed to the public, we ask that DREMC members and vendors contact employees by phone or email when possible and continue to use the drive-through at each office for your convenience as most of them have extended hours to assist members .”

You can still contact the Lynchburg office by calling 931.759.7344, or email employees directly. Customers may also use the cooperative’s company email, corpinfo@dremc.com if you don’t know who to direct your communications to. They also have an after hours emergency number, 931.759.7371.

To establish, transfer or disconnect electric service, call the Lynchburg office for assistance. Another option for establishing electric service is to click the APPLY FOR SERVICE tab found on DREMC’s website homepage, download the membership application, and follow instructions. To transfer or disconnect service, please call the Lynchburg office or email corpinfo@dremc.com.

To make bill payments, DREMC encourages members to use one of the free, fast and remote payment options, including the mobile app, website payment portal at http://www.dremc or by calling the office. No extra fees apply when using debit or credit cards for payments. If members choose to pay by check via phone, please speak with a DREMC member service representative and have your routing number ready.

Spence reminds DREMC members that scammers may use the current situation to attempt to take advantage of people. He reminds members that DREMC will not call and demand payment with a pre-paid card or ask for sensitive banking information over the phone. If you receive such a call, please hang up and call the Lynchburg DREMC office to discuss any concerns regarding your account.

“We regret any inconvenience the temporary lobby closings may cause, but in efforts to aid in reducing the risk of exposure to the virus, we believe this precaution is in the best interests of our members and employees,” adds Spence. “With health and safety at the forefront, DREMC employees will continue working behind the scenes to maintain the quality of service you expect and deserve from your electric cooperative.”

You can learn more at the DREMC website. •

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.}

Bonnaroo rescheduled for September 24-27

Bonnaroo festival couple
Bonnaroo announced today that their 2020 festival will be rescheduled to September due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. {Photo Credit: Alive Coverage for Bonnaroo}

MANCHESTER — The Bonnaroo Music & Art Festival that usually takes place in June has decided to ere on the side of caution and reschedule the event to September 24-24, according to their website.

All current tickets will be honored for the new date. Festival organizers say they will be reaching out to fans who purchases off-site accommodations and shuttle service through the festival directly in the coming days.

Headliner for this year’s event include Tool, Miley Cyrus, Lizzo, and Lana Del Ray. No word yet if there will be any changes to the festival line up. For more updates, visit the festival website by clicking here. •

{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.}