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Extended Hours at Select Locations Bookend Tennessee’s Thanksgiving Holiday to Encourage COVID-19 Testing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Governor Bill Lee’s Unified Command Group is making more COVID-19 testing options available for Tennesseans statewide leading up to and just after Thanksgiving.
The Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee National Guard will extend operating hours at 35 county health departments, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., local time, on Mon., Nov. 23, and Mon., Nov. 30. A list of the county health departments operating with extended hours is below.
Tennessee National Guard personnel will also support testing during extended hours at health departments in the Davidson, Hamilton, and Knox counties.
COVID-19 testing at county health departments is free to those who want to receive a COVID-19 test.
A complete, statewide list of all COVID-19 testing sites is available at https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/health/cedep/ncov/remote-assessment-sites.html.
All 89 rural county health departments will be open Mon., Nov. 23, through Wed., Nov. 25. County health departments will be closed and will not provide COVID-19 testing from Thurs. Nov. 26, through Sat. Nov. 28, 2020.
Participants should receive their test results within 72 hours, depending on test processing volume at laboratories. Information will be provided to participants at the testing locations on what they can expect after being tested. This information is also available at: www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/TestedGuidance.pdf.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention has a guide available with recommendations for making Thanksgiving safer to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among family and friends. The guide is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html.
Governor Lee formed the UCG on March 23, 2020, bringing together the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Military, and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to streamline coordination across key Tennessee departments to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
County Health Department with Expanded Hours 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Local Time – Nov. 23 & Nov. 30, 2020
Northeast:
Carter – Carter County Health Department 403 G St., Elizabethton
Greene – Greene Valley Campus 4850 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy., Greeneville
Hawkins – Rogersville – Hawkins County Health Department 201 Park Blvd., Rogersville
Washington – Washington County Health Department 219 Princeton Road, Johnson City
East
Anderson – Anderson County Health Department 710 N. Main St., Ste. A, Clinton
Blount – Blount County Health Department 301 McGhee St., Maryville
Campbell – Campbell County Health Department 162 Sharp-Perkins Road, Jacksboro
Hamblen – Hamblen County Health Department 331 W. Main St., Morristown
Sevier – Sevier County Health Department 719 Middle Creek Road, Sevierville
Southeast
Bradley – Bradley County Health Department 201 Dooley St., SE, Cleveland
Franklin – Franklin County Health Department 266 Joyce Lane, Winchester
McMinn – McMinn County Health Department 393 County Road 554, Athens
Rhea – Rhea County Health Department 344 Eagle Lane, Evensville
Upper Cumberland
Cumberland – Cumberland County Health Department 1503 S. Main St., Crossville
Dekalb – Dekalb County Health Department 254 Tiger Drive, Smithville
Macon – Macon County Fairgrounds 231 Russell Drive, Lafayette
Overton – Overton County Health Department 5880 Bradford-Hicks Drive, Livingston
Putnam – Putnam County Fairgrounds 155 Fairgound Lane, Cookeville
Warren – Warren County Health Department 1401 Sparta St., McMinnville
Mid-Cumberland
Cheatham – Cheatham County Health Department 162 County Services Drive, Ste. 200, Ashland City
Montgomery – Civitan Park 650 Bellamy Lane, Clarksville
Rutherford – Rutherford County Health Department 100 W. Burton St., Murfreesboro
Sumner – Gallatin – Sumner County Health Department 1005 Union School Road, Gallatin
Williamson – Williamson County Ag Expo Center 4215 Long Lane, Franklin
Wilson – Wilson County Fairgrounds 945 E. Baddour Parkway, Lebanon
South Central
Bedford – Bedford County Health Department 140 Dover St., Shelbyville
Coffee – Coffee County Fairgrounds 99 Lakeview Drive, Manchester
Lawrence – Lawrence County Health Department 2379 Buffalo Road, Lawrenceburg
Maury – Maury County Health Department 1909 Hampshire Pike, Columbia
West
Dyer – Dyer County Health Department 1755 Parr Ave., Dyersburg
Fayette – Fayette County Health Department 90 Yum Yum Road, Somerville
Hardin – Hardin County Health Department 1920 Pickwick St., Savannah
Haywood – Haywood County Health Department 950 E. Main St., Brownsville
Obion – Obion County Health Department 1008 Mt. Zion Road, Union City
Tipton – Tipton County Health Department 4700 Mueller Brass Road, Covington

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Change to Special Called Meeting to appoint Carter County Mayor

PUBLIC NOTICE
Special Called Meeting for Appointment of Carter County Mayor
**Changed to Electronic Meeting – No Public Location**
A special called meeting of the Board of County Commissioners for Carter County will be held on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. for the sole purpose of filling the vacancy in the office of County Mayor for Carter County. Although the meeting was originally scheduled to occur in person at the Hampton High School gymnasium, the meeting will now be conducted electronically based upon the advice of public health officials and due to concerns over the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Carter County. There will be no physical location for the meeting for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Live public access to the meeting will be available by toll-free telephone call in to 1-877-853-5257, on the internet by visiting https://zoom.us/j/4787669850 or through the Zoom mobile app by logging into your Zoom app and entering Meeting ID 478-766-9850.
As previously advertised, individuals who would like to be considered for this position may submit a general county application and/or any other desired documentation to the Carter County Clerk’s Office at 801 E. Elk Avenue, Suite 102, Elizabethton, TN 37643. All materials received by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 will be forwarded to the Board of Commissioners for review in advance of the special called meeting at which the appointment to fill the vacancy will be made. However, any registered voter of Carter County may submit an individual’s name for consideration in writing addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and delivered to the County Clerk’s Office by the deadline referenced above, or via email to Board Chairman Travis Hill at the following address: travis.hill@cartercountytn.gov.
Nominations to fill the vacancy will be made by members of the Board of County Commissioners during the special called meeting, and any qualified candidate may be nominated without the prior submission of materials to the Clerk and regardless of their attendance electronically at the meeting. However, nominees not present electronically at the meeting must submit a written statement to the Clerk or Board Chairman in advance indicating they are willing to serve if appointed.
All nominees will be given the opportunity to address the Board of County Commissioners and may be interviewed by the Board at the discretion of the Chairman, during the special called meeting. The election to fill the vacancy will be held immediately thereafter during the special called meeting, unless it is delayed to a subsequent meeting by vote of the Board of Commissioners. The nominee receiving the majority vote of the Board of County Commissioners will be appointed as County Mayor.
For additional information contact the County Clerk’s Office at 542-1814.

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Mask requirement extended through December 27

ELIZABETHTON – In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic in our region, Carter County Interim Mayor Patty Woodby issued Executive Order No. 9 today extending the requirement for masks to be worn in public places in Carter County until 11:59 p.m. on December 27, 2020.
“As we saw the number of cases begin declining in September and early October, I, like many of you, had hoped we might be nearing the end of this pandemic. Sadly, this was not the case,” Woodby said. “Carter County, like other areas of Tennessee, is seeing a resurgence in cases.”
Woodby said local and regional health officials told her the rise in cases is not due to increased testing because testing numbers have remained fairly stable while the infection rate has increased.
“I know this pandemic has been going on for a long time. I am weary of it, too, but we must not let ourselves become complacent,” Woodby said. “We all need to continue taking what precautions we can to slow the spread of the virus so we can help protect our community.”
“That includes social distancing, avoiding large crowds when we can, practicing good hand hygiene, and wearing our masks when we are out in public,” she added. “And, perhaps most importantly, we need to remember that if we are not feeling well, we should remain at home to avoid the risk of spreading the virus to others.”
Woodby said health officials are also cautioning residents that we are moving into flu season, which could present additional risks. “Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu symptoms according to health experts,” Woodby said. “It is very important that if you begin feeling ill that you get tested so you know what you are facing, and what precautions you need to take.”
As the pandemic continues, it is also important to remember the impact the pandemic can have on a person’s mental health as well as their physical health, Woodby said.
“There are resources available for anyone who finds themselves struggling with mental health or substance abuse,” Woodby said. “It’s okay to not be okay.”
Anyone in need can reach out to the Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line 24 hours a day by calling 1-855-274-7471 or by texting TN to 741741. You can also reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s distress hotline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746.
In addition to extending the mask requirement, Woodby said the Carter County Commission and its committees will continue to hold their meetings electronically through the month of November to help protect the health and welfare of the public. Live public access to these meetings is available for everyone by accessing the Zoom meetings either electronically at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4787669850 or by telephone by calling toll-free to 1-877-853-5257 and entering Meeting ID: 478-766-9850. The meetings are also broadcast live on Carter County’s YouTube channel.
To see copies of Executive Orders issued by the Carter County Mayor as well as the Executive Orders issued by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee along with other COVID-19 information and resources please visit www.cartercountytn.gov/covid-19-resources.

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Special Called Workshop Session

PUBLIC NOTICE: Special Called Workshop Meeting: Members of the Carter County Commission will meet with local and regional health officials in a special workshop session on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. to discuss health and safety concerns regarding holding in-person government meetings. This will be an electronic meeting and there will be no physical location for the meeting for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Live public access to the meeting will be available by toll-free telephone call in to Call 1-877-853-5257 and entering Meeting ID 478-766-9850, on the internet by visiting https://zoom.us/j/4787669850 or through the Zoom mobile app by logging into your Zoom app and entering Meeting ID 478-766-9850.

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Free virtual Car Seat 101 classes

Join Child Passenger Safety Technicians virtually to learn more about car seat installation, selection, and more.
Click Here to see the program flier: NsCH_Oct2020_CRC_Car_Seat_101_flier

Space is limited. These classes are open to parents, grandparents, and organizations interested in finding out more about Child Passenger Safety.
This class is funded through a grant provided by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.

Forward Facing Seats:
October 13, 2020 – from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (Ages 1-4) – https://eventbrite.com/e/122106709455

Booster Seats:
October 20, 2020 – from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (Ages 4+) – https://eventbrite.com/e/122108556981

Rear Facing SEats:
October 22, 2020 – from 5-6 p.m. (Ages 0-3) – https://eventbrite.com/e/120084380615

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Carter County Interim Mayor extends local mask mandate

ELIZABETHTON – In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic in our region, Carter County Interim Mayor Patty Woodby issued Executive Order No. 8 today extending the requirement for masks to be worn in public places in Carter County until 11:59 p.m. on October 30, 2020.

“While the number of active cases of COVID-19 is trending down, it is imperative that we continue to take the proper safety measures to keep our community headed in the right direction,” Woodby said. “This includes wearing a mask or other facial covering when in public to help slow the spread of the disease, along with practicing proper handwashing and maintaining social distance whenever possible.”

Woodby said prior to making her decision to extend the requirement for face masks to be worn she spoke with other local county mayors, several of whom said they felt extending the mandates was the right move for the community, especially with many schools beginning to bring students back into the classrooms.

“With our children returning to school it is vital that we take all the precautions we can to help insure not only the students’ safety but the safety of their families as well,” Woodby said.

In addition to extending the mask requirement, Woodby said the Carter County Commission and its committees will continue to hold their meetings electronically through the month of October to help protect the health and welfare of the public. Live public access to these meetings is available for everyone by accessing the Zoom meetings either electronically at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4787669850 or by telephone by calling toll-free to 1-877-853-5257 and entering Meeting ID: 478-766-9850. The meetings are also broadcast live on Carter County’s YouTube channel.

To see copies of Executive Orders issued by the Carter County Mayor as well as the Executive Orders issued by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee along with other COVID-19 information and resources please visit www.cartercountytn.gov/covid-19-resources.

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New Fund Announced to Support Local Businesses Impacted by COVID Crisis in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia

(Northeast TN/Southwest VA) – Regional business organizations and companies have united to support local businesses severely impacted by the COVID Crisis. The group has established the Local Business Recovery Fund that will share monies received through a fundraising effort with grants to small businesses that are found to be in the greatest need.

“Organizations across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are doing what they can in a united effort to help save jobs and local businesses in the region,” explains Andy Dietrich who helped organize the fund. “For local businesses that may not qualify for government loans, we want to provide another option to help them get through the crisis and hopefully survive.” “This is a great testament to the effort to bring a regional focus to our area,” says Ken Heath, Executive Director of the Town of Marion, VA’s community development organization.

Grants are intended for local businesses involved in arts, entertainment or recreation, accommodation and food services, retail trade, or the manufacturing sectors.

Businesses can apply for the grants by going to RegionAHEAD.com and submit their applications. An allocation committee made up of regional economic development representatives, educators, healthcare professionals, a banker and a Certified Public Accountant will review the applications and disburse the funds as quickly as funding and applications can be received through the effort.

“The amount that we will be able to give to small businesses relies on how much consumers and other businesses are willing to give,” say Beth Rhinehart, President and CEO of the Bristol Tennessee-Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “We know that local businesses here have always supported key fundraising charities, such as the Niswonger Children’s Radiothon or Speedway Children’s Charities,” says Claudia Byrd, Director of the Bristol Chapter. “Many of those great donors are now in a crisis at no fault of their own, and I hope consumers and other businesses who have not been impacted so deeply will donate enthusiastically for this important cause.”

Any donor can learn more about the fund and can donate online at RegionAHEAD.com. Those wishing to donate by check can do so by submitting to the Local Business Recovery Fund, 603 East Market Street, Johnson City, Tennessee 37601. “The support of our local media outlets has been extraordinary and appreciated in support of this effort,” says Mitch Miller, Executive Director of the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership. “Every media company that we have contacted has wanted to play a role in this important undertaking,” explains Clay Walker, CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership.

“Greene County businesses are hurting,” explains Jeff Taylor, President and CEO of the Greene County Partnership in Tennessee. “Citizens and businesses who are less affected by the COVID crisis can do something important for these hurting businesses across the region now with their donations.”

Local businesses and sole proprietorships that are locally operated are eligible to apply for a grant in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties in Tennessee and Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise Counties along with the independent cities of Bristol and Norton in Virginia.

“We hope that this crisis will end very soon so that we can begin the recovery,” says Bob Cantler, President and CEO of the Johnson City, Jonesborough, Washington County Chamber of Commerce. “Till then, and long after, your donations can help to preserve jobs tied to local businesses that we know and love.”

Miles Burdine, President and CEO of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce sums it up. “The government loans can’t serve all of the needs of small businesses in our region. We want to help businesses across the region that might fall through the cracks of government loans. Our focus is on not just the Tri-Cities but the region to help businesses in smaller rural counties as well as our cities.”

Learn more about the fundraising effort at RegionAHEAD.com.   

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COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing events scheduled for Northeast Region April 18-19

JOHNSON CITY – The Northeast Regional Health Office is hosting COVID-19 drive-through testing events for the community April 18-19,2020. Nurses and/or National Guard medics at each site will collect nasal swabs from those who want to be tested, and test results may be available within 72 hours after the samples arrive at the lab, depending on lab volume.

“Anyone with health concerns, or who has concerns about the health of a family member, is invited to come to one of these locations this weekend to receive testing for COVID-19,” said Northeast Regional Health Director Rebekah English. “This testing will be provided at no cost to participants, and those who come for testing can remain in their vehicles throughout the process.”

Sample collection for testing will be offered at the following locations and times:

  • Saturday, April 18, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Volunteer High School, located at 1050 Volunteer Street, Church Hill, TN
  • Sunday, April 19, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at East Tennessee State University in the parking lot across from the soccer fields located at 1276 Gilbreath Drive, Johnson City, TN.

The Northeast Region’s Coronavirus Public Information Line is open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 423-979-4689. Tennessee’s Coronavirus Public Information Lines are open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily by calling 833-556-2476 or 877-857-2945.

The Tennessee Department of Health is posting updated COVID-19 case numbers by 3 p.m. EST each day at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html. Find additional information at www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19.html and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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Carter County to receive grant funds for COVID-19 response, government support

ELIZABETHTON – Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett and State Sen. Rusty Crowe announced Thursday that Carter County will be receiving more than $900,000 in grant funds from the state in response to local government needs and the impact of COVID-19.

Barnett said the grant funding was welcome news to Carter County as the county is looking at decreased revenue in the upcoming fiscal year due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. “The state has cautioned local governments that revenues could be significantly down due to the virus outbreak,” Barnett said. “With residents being asked to stay at home whenever possible, revenue the county receives from sales tax along with money that comes in from the fuel tax are expected to be below normal levels.”

“We are very grateful to Gov. Lee and our officials in the General Assembly, especially Sen. Rusty Crowe, for their support our community during this difficult and uncertain time,” Barnett added.

With the anticipation of decreased revenue, Barnett said the county is looking to tighten the budget, and that could put some necessary projects on hold. He hopes that the grant funds the county will receive through the Local Government Support Grants approved by the Tennessee General Assembly and Gov. Bill Lee will allow some of those needed projects to continue.

Carter County’s share of the grant funding from the state is $936,990, with that money being earmarked by the state for very specific types of expenditures. According to information Barnett received from the state, permitted spending categories for the grant funds include: COVID-19 response, IT hardware upgrades, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades for existing water and sewer infrastructure, road projects, and public safety.

Barnett said he will be working with Carter County’s other elected officials to prioritize the projects that could benefit from the grant funding.

Crowe said he was pleased to be part of the effort to help Carter County and the other communities across the state as they try to recover from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I am pleased the General Assembly and our Governor worked together to make these funds available to local communities in our state to help them get through these difficult times,” Crowe said, adding he has high praise for how the local communities in Northeast Tennessee have responded to the virus outbreak. “I am very proud of Mayor Barnett for being so proactive in this crisis. When we stand together, we are stronger, and I am proud to stand with Mayor Barnett for the citizens of Carter County.”

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