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.}

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.}

Flu cases increase; Vaccine still available locally

LOCAL NEWS — If you’re sick … stay home. This is the take away this week from the recent uptick in confirmed flu cases … especially in the student population here in Moore County.

On Tuesday, Metro Director of Schools Chad Moorehead decided to close all Moore County schools for the remainder of the week due to illness. Previously scheduled athletic events remain scheduled at this time but Moorehead cautioned any sick fans to “stay home and get well.” Following suit, the organizers of the annual Miss Lynchburg Pageant decided to postpone their event until February 8 for similar reason. The event was originally scheduled for this Saturday.

It seems to be a prudent move. Also on Tuesday, the State Department of Health confirmed the eighth pediatric death in Tennessee related to the current flu season. Three of those deaths took place in Middle Tennessee. As of last week, 45 of Tennessee’s 95 counties had at least one confirmed flu case. According to the CDC, Tennessee continues to rank high in flu activity.

Lori Neal Russel of the Lynchburg Medical Clinic says her office did see a slight spike in cases last week.

“I think it’s been bad in kids,” she told The Times. “But not too bad in adults.”

Flu symptoms include a fever of over 100 degrees plus aches, fatigue, weakness, cough, and a headache. Symptoms usually happen abruptly. Medical professional say it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re feeling sick, stay at home as patients remain contagious for three to four days.

Flu vaccines are still available at the Metro Moore Health Department as well as Lynchburg Medical Clinic. LMC also has high dose vaccines recommended for patients 65 years and older. To make an appointment with the Health Department, call 931-759-4251. To make an appointment with the Lynchburg Medical Clinic, call 931-759-4197. •

{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.}

General Assembly considers legalizing, decriminalizing recreational marijuana

STATE NEWS — On Friday, State Sentor Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) introduced a bill (SB 1849) that would legalize recreational marijuana in Tennessee. If approved, the legislation would create a 12 percent tax on the sale of regulated weed up to half an ounce. According to the bill, 20 percent of that money would go to the General Fund, 30 percent would fund state infrastructure, and the remaining 50 percent would go toward public education. To read that bill, click here.

Under the bill, sellers would need a registered business and a license from the state to legally sell weed. Additionally the bill would apply to the growing, processing, manufacturing, delivery and sale of marijuana. Those licensed would also be able to sell only at locations zoned for sale.

A corresponding House Bill (HB 1610) sponsored by Representative Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) would allow each county governments to hold a referendum vote to decide whether the legal marijuana industry is right for their county. That bill would also decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession statewide. To read that bill, click here.

Proponents of the bills say they could reduce Tennessee’s opioid epidemic, create jobs, free up law enforcement resources, and add billions to state coffers. Opponents claim legalization will lead to increased teen use, more pot-related traffic accidents, and harm the environment.

According to state figures, more that 2,600 farmers are already licensed to grow hemp in Tennessee. It’s similar to marijuana but does not contain THC, the chemical that causes individuals to feel high. Hemp can be used to make cloth, rope, construction materials, and produce cannabidiol or CBD.

If approved, the new proposed bills would be scheduled to go into affect on July 1, 2020. To let your representative know how you feel, contact Representative Iris Rudder at 615-741-8695 or Senator Shane Reeves at 615-741-1066. •

{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.}

Breaking: Coronavirus not confirmed in Tennessee

{Editor’s Note: This is a developing story that will be updated as more facts become available.}

STATE NEWS | Cookeville — Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) officials released Friday that the Tennessee Tech student currently being tested for Coronavirus in Cookeville was not confirmed.

“His recent travel history met the criteria for testing for possible infection with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV),” a statement from Tennessee Tech read. “Health providers quickly recognized that the patient met the criteria for Coronavirus testing, but nothing has been confirmed.”

In addition to the one case in Tennessee, one person in Texas and 10 people in California were been held in isolation and tested.

So what does this mean for folks in Lynchburg?

Not much yet though based on the number of visitors we receive from other states and countries, Lynchburg folks should be on higher alert than most Tennessee small towns.

Coronavirus refers to a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from a simple common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. It’s transmitted through the air and via human contact. It can also be transmitted from animals to people. There is no available vaccine.

The Tech student exhibited very mild symptoms. They’d also had a recent travel history that met the criteria to test for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, according to university officials.

The TDH is not yet issuing any related health advisories and no specific actions are required by Tennesseans at this time. Anyone with health concerns should contact their local health provider. •

{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.}

New bill seeks to cap insulin prices in Tennessee

STATE NEWS — Tennessee exists as part of the Diabetes Belt. We enjoy the fifth highest rate of the disease in the U.S. Doctors diagnose 36,000 Tennesseans with diabetes each day. Over 650,000 adults live with the disease in the Volunteer State. That’s nearly 13 percent of all Tennesseans as compared to 10 percent nationally. In Moore County, around 14 percent of the population lives with diabetes.

Many of those patients suffers with Type 1 (or insulin-dependent) diabetes. This means most must take daily injections in order to avoid life-threatening negative health effects. But the cost of the that life-saving drug keeps skyrocketing. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), insulin costs haven risen over 500 percent in the last 14 years. It’s nearly tripled since 2002 and risen as much as 14 percent in just the past five years.

With all of this in mind, on Wednesday State Senator Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis) introduced SB 1718, which caps the price of the 30-day supply of insulin for insured Tennesseans at just $100. To read the complete bill, click here.

So why is the cost of insulin out of control?

Some posit that drug manufactures continue to block a generic with incremental patent changes. Discovered in 1921, the drug’s nearly 100 years old but no generic exists because manufactures keep tweaking the the recipe to extend exclusivity rights.

A secondary reason revolves around America’s complicated healthcare system and a complex supply chain controlled by a system of stakeholders including drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefits managers, pharmacies, health plans, and employers who act as middlemen between patient and doctor.

To let your representative know how you feel, contact Representative Iris Rudder at 615-741-8695 or Senator Shane Reeves at 615-741-1066. •

{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.}

Area church sponsors Free Dental Day

TULLAHOMA — Tullahoma Cares will sponsor a Free Dental Day on Saturday, February 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at an area dental center. Area dentist will donate their time to perform extractions only. In most cases individuals will be limited to two extractions that day due to time constraints.

Participating dentists include Dr. Joshua Puckett, Dr. Janette Gardner, and Dr. John Petty of Southern Tennessee Endodontics. Health screenings will also be completed that day by Partners for Healing.

There will be limited spots so those interested should plan to arrive early. Registration begins promptly at 7 a.m. and will continue until noon. Patients should park in the Lowe’s parking lot to take a free shuttle to the Breakfree Worship Center. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

{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.}

Critical Need: Motlow plans blood drive today

LOCAL NEWS — Blood supplies across Tennessee, and much of the U.S., are at dangerously low levels due to recent severe weather and the holidays. (Click here to read that story).

You can help at a American Red Cross blood drive being hosted today at Motlow State Community College. Their mobile blood unit will be onsite at 6015 Ledford Mill Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can make an appointment by clicking here. Blood donations usually take about an hour.

According to the Heart of Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross, there is a critical need to blood donations at this time, especially type O donors. Donors are encouraged to eat a healthy, iron-rich meal before donating and to drink plenty of water and get extra rest the day before. If you plan to donate platelets, avoid taking aspirin for two days prior to your donation. For more information, visit the American Red Cross 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.}

Give blood at the Moore County Battle of the Badges

EVENTS — Blood supplies across Tennessee, and much of the U.S., are at dangerously low levels due to recent severe weather and the holidays. (Click here to read that story). With that in mind, Lynchburg Mayor Bonnie Lewis issued a challenge to our local fire department and sheriff’s department to see which department can recruit the most eligible blood donors in the community during the annual Blood Assurance Moore County Battle of the Badges.

Metro Moore Volunteer Fire Department and Metro Moore County Sheriff’s Department will co-host a blood drive on Monday, January 20 from 1-5 p.m. at the Moore County Volunteer Fire Department located at 301 Majors Boulevard.

Fire Chief Mark Neal reminds locals that a single blood donation can support three or more medical needs in an area hospital.

“We challenge our emergency services to step up and donate as well as our great citizens here in Moore County,” Neal said.

So, whether you are Team Sheriff’s Department or Team Fire Department, roll up you sleeves and help area blood banks. Blood Assurance encourages all donors to eat a good meal, drink plenty of water, and avoid energy drinks prior to making a donation.

All donors must be 18 years or older. Chielf Neal says those who are short on time can visit the website to make an appointment for quicker turn around. For more information, visit the blood drive’s 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.}

State issues water warnings for parts of Little Duck and Woods Reservoir

REGIONAL NEWS — The state released their annual report on Posted Streams, Rivers, and Reservoirs in Tennessee on Monday, and several southern, middle Tennessee water bodies appear on it. In addition to the Normandy Reservoir mercury warning that we reported on yesterday (click here for that link) parts of the Little Duck River in Coffee County and Woods Reservoir in Franklin County appear on the annual water contamination list. No water body in Moore County is listed.

Collection issue causing bacteriological contamination on Little Duck

Parts of the Little Duck River that runs through Old Stone Fort State Park are listed for bacteriological contamination caused by “Manchester collection system issues,” according to the port. This means the state found “pathogens, disease-causing organisms, affects the public’s ability to safely swim, wade, and fish in streams and reservoirs.”

Septic tanks, collection system failure, failing animal waste system and urban runoff can all serve as a pathogen source. According to the report, about 122 river miles are posted due to bacterial contamination.

Don’t eat catfish from Woods Reservoir

Also according to the report, the public should avoid eating catfish caught from Woods Reservoir in Franklin County due to PCB contamination. These organic pesticides tend to accumulate in the fat tissue of fish. According to the report, approximately 193,000 reservoir acres and 520 river miles are currently posted due to contaminated fish. The contaminants most frequently found at dangerous levels in fish tissue are PCBs, mercury, chlordane, and other organics.

Regardless of the type of water issue, state officials will post signs warning the general public at all affected state water bodies. For a link to the complete report, 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.}