Get a free COVID-19 antibody tests at local blood drive

Blood Assurance will offer a free COVID-19 antibody test with a blood donation at their mobile blood drive at Jack Daniel Employee Credit Union on August 20. {File Photo}

LYNCHBURG — Donate blood locally and get a free COVID-19 antibody test starts a Blood Assurance mobile blood drive at Jack Daniel Employee Credit Union (JDECU) on Thursday, August 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The test is not meant for diagnostic purposes but rather to test for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. Your results will be mailed to you within 10 business days.

Currently, the area blood bank is accepting donors through appointment only. You will need to answer a few health screening questions prior to your donation. You can schedule a donation by visiting bloodassurance.org/jackdaniels820 or calling 800-962-0628 or texting BAGIVE to 999777.

Blood Assurance officials say potential donors should eat a good meal and drink plenty of water prior to their donation appointment. They also advise donors to avoid energy drinks.

JDECU is located at 488 Majors Boulevard in Lynchburg. •

{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.}

Motlow medical lab tech program earns accreditation

Motlow officials say Dr. Kim-Sue Tudor has been instrumental in developing their new Medical Lab Technology Program. It recently earned national accreditation. {Photo Provided}

MOORE COUNTY — Interested in a high-wage, high-demand medical or health-related career? Good news … you can attend a nationally accredited program right here in Moore County.

The Motlow State Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program cleared a significant hurdle in April when it earned full accreditation with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). 

“We encourage anyone who has an interest in a medical or health-related career to explore the Medical Laboratory Technology program,” said MLT Program Director Dr. Kim-Sue Tudor. “Motlow’s MLAB 1301 pre-requisite course is an excellent way for students to find out more about this exciting and fulfilling career opportunity.”

Dr. Tutor spearheaded the development of the high-wage, high-demand program, which officially began in the fall 2018 semester with the seven graduates.  Every member of the class earned national certification through either the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) or American Medical Technologists (AMT).  Both certifications are recognized by the Tennessee State Medical Laboratory Board for applicants seeking an MLT license. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Statistics website, the forecasted growth nationally in MLT employment over the next ten years is almost 14 percent.

Many employers require certification because they know that certified allied health professionals are committed to their profession and patient care. Certified individuals also tend to enjoy higher wages and more significant promotional opportunities.

For more information on the MLT program at Motlow, click here or go to or contact Dr. Kim-Sue Tudor at ktudor@mscc.edu, or 615-220-7912. •

{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 not quite ready to open

This week, Governor Lee gave the green light to open Tennessee’s nursing homes to visitors on June 15 but the Lynchburg Nursing Center says they are still waiting on state guidance. {File Photo)

MOORE COUNTY Soon but not yet … that’s the update from the Lynchburg Nursing Center (LNC) when we recently asked about re-opening the facility to visitors.

This week, Governor Bill Lee gave the green light to Tennessee nursing homes to re-open to visitor on Monday, June 15 … but with a new set of guidelines. It is the meeting of those guidelines that will determine the eventual LNC opening date, according to Executive Director Cheryl Pendergrass.

Some of those are controlled by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) guidance, she said.

Prerequisites to re-open include testing of all staff and residents and no new COVID-19 cases in the previous 28 days. In these cases, LNC meets the criteria of those two but an additional benchmark, the overall stability of the disease burden present in the community, is a THD call.

Pendergrass says she and her staff are working with THD officials to determine if and when the Governor’s guidelines are met. One of those guidelines is based on the recent number of COVID-19 cases in the county, Pendergrass says.

Even when the local nursing center opens, they will still limit visitation based on state guidelines. Visitors must make an appointment and limit the duration of the visits. Visitors will be asked to wear masks and maintain appropriate social distance. All visitors will also be screened for temperature upon entering.

“We, at Lynchburg Nursing Center, will continue to work diligently to ensure that the safety and health of our residents is maintained while doing all we can to enable our residents to enjoy visits with their loved ones,” Pendergrass added. “Here at Lynchburg Nursing Center, we feel like family, and the residents and staff alike are excited about seeing loved ones again soon.”

Pendergrass says she and her staff are finalizing a re-opening plan and hope to welcome visitors as soon as possible. For more information, contact the Lynchburg Nursing Center at 931-759-6000. •

{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.}

Middle Tennessee in urgent need of blood donations

According to the American Red Cross, there’s currently an urgent need for blood donation in southern, middle Tennessee. So much so, that if you donate blood with them through June 30, you’ll receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

There are no Lynchburg American Red Cross Blood Drive planned in the next two weeks, but there are opportunities in surrounding counties: Heritage South Community Credit Union on June 15, Sir Pizza in Shelbyville on June 19, and the Fayetteville Parks and Rec Building on June 23. For a full list of Red Cross blood drives happening 25 miles from Lynchburg in the next two weeks, click here.

Blood Assurance is also looking for individual who have recovered from COVID-19 to be plasma donors for those currently fighting the disease as well as blood donations. They will be hosting mobile blood drives throughout the month to bolster local supplies including: Home Depot in Decherd on June 17, Franklin County Co-op on June 22, and Tullahoma Utilities on June 18. Click here for a complete list of Blood Assurance donation opportunities. Also donation can always be made at the Blood Assurance Donor Center located at 604 North Jackson Street in Tullahoma.

According to the American Association of Blood Banks, donations by healthy, eligible individuals are perfectly safe and necessary to maintain adequate local supplies. Blood donation locations also practice frequent disinfecting, personal protective gear, and social distancing of donors.

“Individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 through the blood donation process or via a blood transfusion, since respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to report that there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted COVID-19 to date. In addition, no cases of transfusion-transmission were ever reported for the other two coronaviruses that emerged during the past two decades (SARS, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, and MERS-CoV, which causes Mideast Respiratory Syndrome),” according to their website.

{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.}

COVID-19 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week

{Graphic Courtesy of the TN Dept. of Health}

With the announcement of Friday’s numbers at 2 p.m., Tennessee reported 25,520 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last seven days (3,435 more than the previous week). Our state experienced 48 new deaths this week. According to the state, 16,925 total COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 66 percent of reported cases. As of today, 482,172 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1 | COVID cases are on the rise. The seven day period from Saturday to Friday saw an increase of 3,435 cases this week. That’s a 1,545 increase over the previous seven day period.

2 | Judge rules in favor of mail in voting. On Thursday, a Davidson County judge ruled that Tennessee must allow all 4.1 million registered voters to vote by mail due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The decision overrules Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office who’d stated that fear of catching the virus was not a reason to expand absentee voting.

3 | Fairs, festivals, and parades are a go. Also on Thursday, Governor Bill Lee announces that the state would lift restrictions on larger events in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Attendees are still encouraged to social distance and wear a mask.

4 | Tennessee’s Lake County leads U.S. in number of active cases per capita. After an outbreak at an area prison, Lake County — a small town in the northwest corner of the state with a population of just over 7,500 — has reported 352 new cases over the past seven days. Local officials attribute the spike to an outbreak at Northwest Correctional Complex. However, online records for the prison show only 230 inmates as positive for the virus, according to the Associated Press.

5| Tennessee stops distributing free sock masks after discovering that they had been sprayed with the chemical known as Silvadur. According to North Carolina manufacturer who supplied them, Silvadur is an anti-microbial agent commonly applied to fabrics to reduce growth of bacteria that cause odor. The state ordered an independent safety study and asks those who already possess the masks to use them “at their own discretion.”

{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.}

Health Department changes COVID-19 testing hours

The Moore County Health Department recently reduced its COVID-19 testing hours to 8-10 a.m. Monday through Friday. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

MOORE COUNTY — The state reports that demand for COVID-19 testing is waning despite this week’s increase in cases. So far in the first week of June, there have been 1,816 new cases and Tuesday, the state saw its biggest one day increase with 821 cases.

Moore County’s total of confirmed COVID-19 cases also jumped from three to five just this week.

However, following the state’s lead, the Metro Moore County Health Department (MCHD) recently adjusted their hours for free, public COVID-19 testing to 8-10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Previously the MCHD tested from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Tests are free to all Moore County residents whether they are actively showing symptoms or not. Test results are usually available within 72 hours, depending on the volume of tests the state labs receives that day.

The MCHD is located at 251 Majors Boulevard across from the Lynchburg Dollar General Store. To make an appointment or confirm testing availability call them at 931-759-4251. For general information, Moore County residents may also dial the South Central Regional Hotline between the hours of 8 a.m. at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 931-490-8312. The state also mans public information lines at 877-857-2945 or 833-556-2476 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Monday – Friday and 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday. •

{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 resident tests positive for COVID-19

LYNCHBURG — According to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, a resident at Lynchburg Nursing Center (LNC) has tested positive for COVID-19. That will raise Moore County’s total case count to four. Due to HIPPA privacy laws, no other patient details were available.

Life Care Centers of America owns Lynchburg Nursing Center as well as 200 other skilled nursing centers across 28 states. In early March, they announced that they’d be limiting visitors significantly due to the COVID-19 situation.

LNC removed the COVID-19 positive patient and transferred them to an area hospital for advanced medical care. All staff, residents, and their families were immediately notified.

According to Mayor Lewis, should the patient return to LNC they will stay in a prepared isolation area away from other patients for at least 14 days.

Free COVID-19 testing is available weekdays at the Moore County Health Department. To make at appointment, call 931-759-4251. The state also announced this weekend’s drive thru testing locations which include the Lincoln County Senior Citizens Center on Saturday and the Giles County Agripark on Sunday. For a full list of weekend testing sites, 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.}

April 28 COVID-19 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know Today

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Tuesday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 10,052 (a 134 more than the previous day). Our state has now experienced 188 deaths (four more since yesterday). According to the state, 4,921 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 49 percent of reported cases. As of today, 161,928 of Tennessee’s 6.8 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1 | Moore County continues to hold steady with just three cases. Regionally, Bedford County has the most cases with 167 – a two case increase since yesterday. Coffee County has 33 cases. Franklin County has 32 cases and Lincoln County reports 12 cases.

2 | Today COVID-19 cases in the state exceeded 10,000. Part of that increase is likely due to an East Tennessee hotspot. Over 50 residents and nine staff members at an Athens nursing home have tested positive for the virus.

3 | Tennessee will begin antibody testing soon in two phases. According to Governor Bill Lee’s office, the state will test 10,000 healthcare workers first. Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey stressed that the tests will be used “disease monitoring” only since the presence of antibodies does not necessarily correlate with immunity.

4 | In his press conference today, Governor Lee state that he will offer guidance of re-opening gyms and churches later in the week.

5 | According to the mobility data clearinghouse, Unacast, Tennessee now gets a D in social distancing, on their most recent Social Distancing Scrorecard report, which is based on citizen cell phone data. Earlier in April, our state had earned a C. Moore County earned a B overall, with just three confirmed cases and a 40-55 percent reduction in mobility. Click here to see that data. •

{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.}

April 23 COVID-19 Update: Four Things You Should Know

{Graphic Credit: TN Dept. of Health}

The Tennessee Department of Health released new COVID-19 case counts on Thursday at 2 p.m. and Tennessee now reports 8,266 cases and 170 deaths. According to the state, 4,193 COVID-19 patients have recovered. That’s around 51 percent of reported cases. As of today, 123,100 of Tennessee’s 6.6 million residents have been tested. Here’s the top five things you need to know for today:

1| State numbers jumped by over 400 for the second day straight. Yesterday’s number increased by 448 cases and today’s number jumped by another 424 cases. Since April 21, the state’s been reporting about 7,000 new tests each day.

2| Moore County’s confirmed COVID-19 remains at three. On April 15, Moore County reported it’s first official COVID-19 case. Three days later, the state confirmed our second case and a third case appeared in the April 22 numbers. According to the report, as of today, 93 people from Moore County have been tested.

3 | Bedford County’s numbers jumped significantly this week. On Monday, Bedford County reported just 76 cases. By Tuesday that number skyrocketed to 105. Thursday’s count was 128. According to multiple news reports, the spike comes from a large number of positive cases at the Tyson Chicken plant in Shelbyville. The plant employees around 1,000 people.

4 | Governor Bill Lee plans to reopen 89 of 95 counties on May 1. On Tuesday, Governor Lee announced his plan to let his Stay at Home order expire on April 30 and re-open large portions of the state on May 1. Some business will be allowed to re-open as early as Monday, April 27 but the governors office has yet to release guidance for which businesses. Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan counties – where there are the largest concentration of cases – will re-open on their own timelines.

To view the state’s 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.}