From the IRS, March 30, Economic Impact Payment

Check IRS.gov for the latest information: No action needed by most people at this time

IR-2020-61, March 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?

The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?

Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment?

IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?

Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?

For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?

The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on IRS.gov/coronavirus rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.

Blackburn Releases COVID-19 Resource Guide for Tennesseans

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has released the following COVID-19 resource guide for Tennesseans.

Our Tennessee Workforce

Have you recently been laid off, or has a reduction in compensation made it difficult to make ends meet?

ØVisit the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website to file for Unemployment Insurance and other forms of assistance:https://www.tn.gov/workforce/unemployment/apply-for-benefits.html.

Are you worried about making payroll?

ØThe Paycheck Protection Program provides eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to small employers who keep paying their employees during this emergency.

Do you have questions about new federal paid leave requirements related to the Coronavirus?

ØThe U.S. Labor Department’s Fact Sheet for Employees:https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave.

ØQuestions and Answers: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions.

Tennessee Employers and Small Businesses

Need help to make payroll or to keep the lights on?

ØThe U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.

ØThe IRS is extending payroll tax credits to eligible small and midsize businesses: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan-to-implement-coronavirus-related-paid-leave-for-workers-and-tax-credits-for-small-and-midsize-businesses-to-swiftly-recover-the-cost-of-providing-coronavirus.

Questions about unemployment benefits?

ØVisit the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website:

https://www.tn.gov/workforce/unemployment/apply-for-benefits.html.

Questions about new federal paid leave requirements related to COVID-19?

ØThe U.S. Labor Department’s Fact Sheet for Employers:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave.

ØQuestions and Answers: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions.

ØField Assistance Bulletin on the Labor Department’s 30-day non-enforcement policy:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/field-assistance-bulletins/2020-1.

ØRequired Poster for Employers to Fulfill Notice Requirement:

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf.

Additional information for businesses is available through the Small Business Administration.

ØVisit their website: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.

Our Health Care Workers

Are you a volunteer health care worker?

ØThe CARES Act includes Senator Blackburn’s Good Samaritan clause to protect you from frivolous lawsuits as you volunteer during this public health emergency.

Federal Taxes and Rebate Checks

Questions about how COVID-19 affects your federal incomes taxes?

ØThe IRS has delayed Tax Day until July 15. Visit the IRS resource page for more information:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

Questions about the immediate cash relief Tennesseans will receive?

ØThe IRS will send recovery rebate checks to eligible Americans: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

Competitive Federal Grants

How will this pandemic affect federal grant applications and awards?

ØCheck the awarding agency website for announcements and reach out to the agency regarding extensions and other inquires.

ØVisit our grants website to request support for your competitive federal grant application:

https://www.blackburn.senate.gov/grant-requests.

Education

What resources are available to help Tennessee students, graduates and schools?

ØVisit the Department of Education’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus.

Living or Traveling Abroad

Are you abroad and need assistance from the U.S. State Department?

ØEnroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP): https://step.state.gov/.

ØContact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, or call 1-888-407-4747 (U.S. & Canada) or 1- 202-501-4444 (from overseas)

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html.

Are you considering traveling internationally?

ØThe U.S. State Department has issued its highest level advisory, urging all U.S. citizens to avoid international travel: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html.

Are you considering traveling in the United States?

ØThe CDC has issued guidance to consider before domestic travel:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

The Volunteer Spirit

Looking to help your fellow Tennesseans during the COVID-19 pandemic?

ØTennessee Emergency Management Agency is seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) donations from the private sector: https://www.tn.gov/tema/news/2020/3/23/private-sector-ppe-donations.html.

ØIf you would like to donate, sell, or produce medical supplies and other goods for the federal government visit www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.

ØTennesseans looking for volunteer opportunities and ideas can also visit

https://www.tn.gov/volunteer-tennessee/disaster-services/covid-19.html.

Still have questions? Our offices are ready to help you. Give us a call at (202) 224-3344.

A sharable version of this resource guide is available here.

COVID-19 Bulletin #8


Monday, March 30, 2020 | 05:00pm

Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19 relief.

Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live each day this week at 3 p.m. CDT here. Gov. Lee has also established a website specific to COVID-19 updates which can be found here.

Administration Actions

Executive Order 22 – Statewide Safer at Home Order

Today, Gov. Lee issued Executive Order 22, implementing safer at home guidelines in every Tennessee county to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect Tuesday, March 31 at 12:01 a.m. CDT and will extend to April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. This is not a mandated shelter in place, but instead urges Tennesseans who are in non-essential roles to remain at home.

The executive order restricts businesses that cannot safely operate during COVID-19 including businesses like barber shops, salons, recreational and entertainment outfits. It also provides for the continuation of essential businesses throughout every county to protect the economy.

Unified Command Engaging Entrepreneurs

Unified Command announced a partnership with LaunchTN to work directly with Tennessee businesses and entrepreneurs who are willing to switch production to make lifesaving PPE and medical supplies, as well as other important health care functions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 3/30)

Laboratory Type

Positive Test

Negative Tests

Total

State PH Lab

238

1,562

1,800

Non-State PH Lab

1,596

19,908

21,504

Total

1,834

21,470

23,304

For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.

​Assessment Sites Open in Southeast Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The TN Department of Health will have COVID-19 assessment sites available across the southeast region starting Friday, March 27. Following the CDC testing guidelines, patients with fever, cough, shortness of breath, travel to impacted areas, or contact with a known case should consult their private provider and then call any of these health departments. If, after a phone assessment, testing is found to be appropriate arrangements will then be made.

The Department of Health can test at any county health department should individuals have trouble getting to one of the sites below. Residents are, however, encouraged to utilize these larger sites. They have the most test kits, personnel, and protective equipment.

Bradley County Health Department

201 Dooley Street

Cleveland, TN 3711

423.728.7020

Franklin County Health Department

266 Joyce Lane

Winchester, TN 37398

931.967.3826

McMinn County Health Department

393 County Road 554

Athens, TN 37303

423.745.7431

Rhea County Health Department

344 Eagle Lane

Evensville, TN 37332

423.775.7819

Sequatchie County Health Department

16939 Rankin Avenue

Dunlap, TN 37327

423.949.3619


COVID-19 Bulletin 7 - March 26, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020 | 05:00pm

Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19 relief.

Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live each day this week at 3 p.m. CDT here. Gov. Lee has also established a website specific to COVID-19 updates which can be found here.

Key Updates

COVID-19 Unified Command

On March 23, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee established the COVID-19 Unified Command, a joint effort to be led by Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, to streamline coordination across the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Department of Military. This group launched a website today which includes helpful resources, FAQs, and local and global data related to COVID-19.

Public Service Announcement Campaign

Today, the State of Tennessee launched a public service announcement campaign that urges all Tennesseans to adopt preventive health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. “Do your part, stay apart” features Governor Bill Lee, First Lady Maria Lee and dozens of music artists, athletes and sports organizations who collectively reach millions of Tennesseans. View Governor and First Lady’s video here. Additional information can be found here.

Administration Actions

Unemployment

Tennessee is experiencing an unprecedented number of unemployment claims through the Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Since last week, Tennessee has received 39,096 claims and counting compared to 2,702 the week prior, a 1,300% spike in unemployment.

The state is spearheading a public-private partnership with the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, Tennessee Retail Association, and Hospitality TN to create the Tennessee Talent Exchange powered by Jobs4TN.gov.

The goal of the exchange is to quickly match Tennesseans who are out of work due to COVID-19 with companies currently experiencing a surge in business and making immediate hires. The Department of Labor & Workforce Development has modified the state’s workforce development website to quickly post job openings and match job seekers with employers. Additional information can be found here.

Executive Order 20

Today, Gov. Lee signed Executive Order 20 to ensure Tennessee can further mobilize health care workers to fight COVID-19.

The executive order accomplishes the below actions, among others:

· Loosens restrictions around retired medical professionals to help get qualified individuals back in the workforce.

· Temporarily suspends continuing education requirements so professionals can continue working through the pandemic.

· Calls for the availability of phone assessments for individuals with mental illness or emotional disturbances.

· Expands telemedicine efforts so that all licensed providers may utilize telemedicine during COVID-19 as long as they are practicing within their normal scope of practice.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 3/26)

Laboratory Type

Positive Test

Negative Tests

Total

State PH Lab

111

1,111

1,222

Non-State PH Lab

846

12,841

13,687

Total

957

13,952

14,909


For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.

CAMPSITES CLOSED AT PRENTICE COOPER AND FRANLKIN STATE FORESTS

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is closing the campsites at Prentice Cooper and Franklin State Forests until further notice. A surge in the number of campers is creating safety and health concerns for the public and forestry staff.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are suspending overnight camping at these state forests,” State Forester David Arnold said. “We do not take this decision lightly. Our forests provide passive recreational opportunities like hiking and hunting, and are great places to enjoy the natural world. However, large numbers of people are closely congregating at these campsites, and we want to do our part to minimize potential spread of illness.”

Prentice Cooper and Franklin State Forests remain open for daytime use. The Division of Forestry joins the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health in encouraging residents to avoid discretionary travel and only visit state forests close to home.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture urges all visitors to follow CDC guidelines for good health and to preserve the forest.

  • Unlike many parks, state forests do not have restroom facilities or running water. Plan accordingly. Clean hands with liquid sanitizer or wipes with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Don’t congregate in a group. Maintain distance of at least 6 feet between you and others while walking, hiking, or biking.
  • Instead of visiting the most popular locations, like Snooper’s Rock at Prentice Cooper State Forest, try a path less traveled.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Take everything out that you bring in to protect the forest and forestry staff.
  • If you feel sick, do not visit a state forest.

You can access the latest information on Tennessee’s response to COVID-19 online at www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19.html. Follow @TNAgriculture on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

​DREMC confirms relief, reassures members

Duck River Electric Membership Corporation stopped disconnections of electric service for non-payment on March 19 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These actions were taken in recognition of the financial hardships some members may face due to the coronavirus outbreak. We understand electricity is essential for the health and safety of you and your family during these difficult times.” said Duck River Electric Membership Corporation President & CEO Scott Spence.

All members will still receive regular monthly electric bills, and payment is appreciated by the due date as Duck River Electric must continue to pay the wholesale power bill for the power consumed. Payment by the regular due date will help keep future rates as low as possible.

“We cannot solve many of today’s national or international problems, but we want to do what we can to help you,” Spence said. If you have questions, please call our office for more information.


www.dremc.com

​Alexander: President Signs Into Law Bill to Keep Paychecks Coming For Workers and Relieve Financial Burdens For Americans Hurt By COVID-19


Unprecedented legislation will provide $1,200 checks for individuals, increase unemployment compensation, defer tax and student loan payments, generate trillions in economic support to keep businesses open and billions to help hospitals buy medical supplies and speed development of tests, treatments and vaccines

This is an unprecedented action because this is an unprecedented circumstance. Never before in our history has our government literally shut down our economy in order to contain a disease. And so, if the government's going to do that, the government has to help to pay for it.” – Senator Lamar Alexander

MARYVILLE, Tenn., March 27, 2020 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said legislation the president signed into law today provides “sweeping relief to keep paychecks coming for workers, to relieve financial burdens for Americans hurt by COVID-19, and especially, to contain the disease.” Alexander voted for and the Senate passed the legislation Thursday by a vote of 96-0.

The senator said that this unprecedented legislation will provide $1,200 checks for individuals, increase unemployment compensation, defer tax and student loan payments, generate trillions in economic support to keep businesses open and billions to help hospitals buy medical supplies and speed development of tests, treatments and vaccines.

“This is an unprecedented action because this is an unprecedented circumstance. Never before in our history has our government literally shut down our economy in order to contain a disease. And so, if the government's going to do that, the government has to help to pay for it,” Alexander said. “The legislation the president signed today provides sweeping relief to keep paychecks coming to workers, to relieve financial burdens for Americans hurt by COVID-19, and especially, to contain the disease. The most important thing we can do to get the economy back is to make sure everyone can get a test as soon as possible, that the hospitals are fully equipped, that we identify those relatively few people who were sick and isolate them and care for them, and then the rest of us can go back to work and out to eat.”

Alexander, chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said the legislation has three goals: One, keep payroll checks coming to workers during the crisis; two, relieve financial burdens on Americans during the crisis; and, three, contain the disease.

Keep Payroll Checks Coming to Workers:

  • $350 billion to support loans to small businesses, and if they use the loan to pay wages and employee benefits the loan will be forgiven (Paycheck Protection Program)
  • Authorizes the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department to create trillions more in financial support for states, cities, and large businesses so they will be able to stay in business.
  • Expands the emergency paid sick and family leave to workers who were laid off and later rehired by their employers

Relieve Burden:

  • Checks to individuals and families:
    • $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for a couple
    • $500 for each eligible child
  • Federal income taxes don’t have to be filed until July 15, estimated taxes can be delayed until October 15, and will make it easier to use retirement savings without penalty
  • Student loan payments delayed for 6 months for 95% of students
  • Gives states the ability to provide unemployed workers an additional $600 per week in Unemployment Insurance benefits, waives the waiting week, and expands eligibility to self-employed and independent contractors
  • $339.8 billion for programs that will go to state and local governments, including:
    • $274 billion for states and local communities to respond to COVID-19
    • $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant to states
    • $13 billion for K-12 education
    • $14 billion for higher education
    • $5.3 billion to help children and families, including $3.5 billion for Child Care Development Block Grants, which will provide immediate assistance to child care centers

Contain the Disease:

  • Make all COVID-19 tests free
  • Nearly $127 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund:
    • $100 billion for hospitals
    • $11 billion for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines
    • $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile
  • $4.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    • $1.5 billion for state and local preparedness and response grants
    • $500 million to improve public health surveillance
  • $80 million for the Food and Drug Administration for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines
  • $1.32 billion for Community Health Centers (1,400 centers with 12,000 sites) for COVID-19
  • $20 billion for veterans health care

Click HEREfor full text of the legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Come Together: Music Live from Sewanee

From Stephen Miller
Join via this link: URL: vimeo.com/event/30727

During a time of crisis and fear, the Music Department announces that our faculty violin virtuoso Peter Povey and indefatigable accompanist Zach Zwahlen will stream quasi-live on Sunday night, 6 p.m. performing from the Guerry stage. Selections will be drawn from--

  • Paganini Caprice no. 24 (with Auer version accompaniment)
  • Fauré, Après un Rêve
  • Drigo, Valse Bluette (Heifetz version)
  • Shostakovich (arr. Fortunatow), Three Selections from the Ballet Music and Jazz Suites
  • Sarasate, Zigeunerweisen

Selections not heard Sunday may feature in a soon-to-follow next installment in the recital series we're calling, Come Together: Music Live from Sewanee. I hope you can join us virtually at this link.


Few employees are on campus, and still fewer students, but on Sunday evening we can join in solidarity to celebrate the power of music still made on the Domain.


Come Together: Music Live from Sewanee
Sunday, March 29, 6 p.m. (Central Time)
Teaching Asst. Prof. Dr. Peter J. Povey, violin, accompanied on piano by Asst. Univ. Organist, Mr. Zachary Zwahlen

URL: vimeo.com/event/30727


Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19: RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES, WORKERS

Amid all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, TNECD is working closely with other state agencies and federal partners to confront the ongoing economic challenges.

We have a comprehensive list of resources on TNECD.com for Tennessee employers and workers. We encourage everyone, especially local officials, to please share these resources with businesses, citizens and stakeholders. We will be making updates to the resource page on a regular basis.

This week's newsletter provides additional information about new programs announced in the last week and existing resources workers and companies can access.

TNECD continues to operate without disruption, so if you have any questions or need assistance, please use our team as a resource.

'DO YOUR PART, STAY APART'

Governor Lee urges all Tennesseans to adopt preventive health measures.
First and foremost, Governor Bill Lee is urging all Tennesseans to adopt preventive health measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The "Do Your Part, Stay Apart" campaign urges all Tennesseans to practice safe social distancing, stay at home as much as possible, avoid gatherings with friends, and maintain a six-foot distance from others if you do travel outside the home.

Governor Lee has also established a website specific to COVID-19 updates that can be found here.

SBA RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Last week, we told you Governor Lee was requesting SBA Disaster Loan Assistance for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Those loans are now available to Tennessee small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury from the fallout of the novel coronavirus.

Small businesses can apply online for loans up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information. Additional COVID-19 guidance from the SBA can be found here.

Beginning Monday, March 30, TNECD will host twice daily webinars for SBA-loan related inquiries.

The morning calls from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. CDT are for businesses impacted by the Middle Tennessee tornadoes earlier this month and also COVID-19. WebEx login information is available here. Password: 1234.

The afternoon calls from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. CDT will exclusively assist Tennessee businesses with COVID-19 disaster loans inquiries. WebEx login information is available here. Password: 1234.

Additionally, Congress is expected to finalize a $2 trillion package this week that includes major provisions for small business relief. We will provide updates on those federal resources as they become available. Check back on our resource page.

UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS AND EMERGENCY CASH ASSISTANCE

For employers and employees, there's a series of state programs available to help those who have lost a job and are temporarily out of work.

The fastest and most efficient way to file an unemployment claim is at www.Jobs4TN.gov. Businesses that have reduced hours or closed due to COVID-19 can expedite the unemployment claim process for employees by submitting an employer-filed mass claim. Additional resources can be found on the Department of Labor & Workforce Development's website.

The Department of Human Services is also making essential financial resources available to certain families that have been significantly impacted economically by COVID-19. More information can be found here on the TDHS website.

TENNESSEE TALENT EXCHANGE TO CONNECT WORKERS WITH JOBS

Alongside unemployment benefits, the State is also spearheading a new initiative, the Tennessee Talent Exchange, which will quickly match Tennesseans who are out of work because of COVID-19 with businesses that are currently experiencing a surge in job openings.

The Tennessee Talent Exchange is designed to connect job seekers with companies hiring in the grocery, retail and logistics industry. Workers can enter their information here.

TENNESSEANS STEP UP

Even with all this turmoil, countless Tennesseans have stepped up to meet the challenges from COVID-19.

TNECD has been sharing some of these stories on our social media pages, including the efforts by Pigeon Forge distilleries to produce hand sanitizer and Oak Ridge National Lab's use of its supercomputer to identify potential drug compounds to combat the novel coronavirus.

In the days and weeks ahead, we are going to continue to highlight the resilient response by Tennesseans.

If you know of any businesses or individuals providing essential services in your community during this time, please email our communications team at ECD.Communications.Office@tn.gov. We want to share their stories, whether it's companies donating or producing personal protective equipment or the work of first responders and health care providers.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Survey for the Sewanee Community

March 27, 2020

Dear friends and neighbors,

In a message to the Sewanee community last Saturday, University Vice-Chancellor John McCardell announced the formation of a working team (the Community Team) focused on community integration and support–including providing regular communication. This message includes a few important reminders as part of that effort.
  • Sewanee has joined communities across the state and the country in following a Safer at Home protocol to combat the spread of COVID-19. This directs all Sewanee residents to limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs. You can find more information about that directive, as well as facilities information, other resources and helpful links, on the covid19.sewanee.edu website. We must each do our part to reduce the likelihood of spreading within our community the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • The COVID-19 Community Team has prepared a survey for the Sewanee community to help identify both community volunteers and community needs. Please complete the brief form found here.
  • If you have a question, submit it via this form, and we will do our best to respond promptly. Commonly asked questions will be integrated into the FAQs, which will be located at covid19.sewanee.edu.
The University and the Community Team encourage every member of the Sewanee community to take care of yourself and one another, following the guidelines from the CDC. Look for another update soon.



Stay well,

The COVID-19 Community Team
Kiki Beavers
Woody Deutsch
Carey Fulmer
Frank Gladu
Sallie Green
Nicky Hamilton
Eric Hartman
Troy Huffines
Rachel Petropoulos
Kate Reed
Laurie Saxton
John Solomon

​Legal Aid Society to Offer Free Legal Advice by Telephone in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 27, 2020 – Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tennessee’s largest nonprofit law firm, announced today that it will be offering free legal advice over the phone in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a challenging time for many in Middle Tennessee who are facing unexpected changes to their lives, such as the sudden loss of a job or overwhelming debts,” said DarKenya W. Waller, executive director of Legal Aid Society. “In addition to our regular legal services, which have continued uninterrupted through this period, we are providing a convenient new way for residents to get free, qualified legal advice without having to leave their homes.”
Middle Tennessee residents facing a civil legal issue, such as questions about housing and renters’ rights, bankruptcy, medical bills, debt collection, domestic violence, applying for SNAP benefits and applying for unemployment benefits can call a dedicated phone number during any of the following times:
  • Saturday, March 28, 2020, 8:30–11 a.m. (call 615-780-7131)
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 4–6 p.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Thursday, April 2, 2020, 4–6 p.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Thursday, April 9, 2020, 3–4:30 p.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Saturday, April 11, 2020, 8:30–11 a.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 4:30–6:30 p.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Saturday, April 18, 2020, 8:30–11 a.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 4–6 p.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Thursday, April 23, 2020, 3–4:30 p.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Saturday, April 25, 2020, 8:30–11 a.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
  • Monday, April 27, 2020, 4–6:30 p.m. (call 1-800-238-1443)
Additional times will be open to veterans only, through a partnership with Operation Stand Down, on April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Call 1-800-238-1443.)
After a short eligibility screening, callers will receive a call from a volunteer attorney within 30 minutes who will be able to offer assistance for their specific questions.
Attorneys interested in signing up for the clinics can contact Kendra Cheek at Legal Aid Society with the times they are available (kcheek@las.org), the types of cases about which they feel comfortable providing counsel and the phone number at which clinic patrons can reach them. Additionally, attorneys can visit Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Matters website (las.org/volunteer/pro-bono-matters) at any time to find Middle Tennesseans in need of a volunteer attorney.
The Legal Aid Society staff is currently working remotely and is also available to accept client calls Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, call Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands at 615-244-6610 or visit www.las.org.
About Legal Aid Society
Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands advocates for fairness and justice under the law. The nonprofit law firm, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020, offers free civil legal representation and educational programs to help people in its region receive justice, protect their well-being and support opportunities to overcome poverty. It serves 48 counties from offices in Clarksville, Columbia, Cookeville, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Oak Ridge and Tullahoma. Legal Aid Society is funded in part by United Way. Learn more at www.las.org or by following the firm on Facebook.

​Tennessee State Parks Announces Temporary Operational Changes

Tennessee State Parks, in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 while continuing to serve Tennesseans, is joining the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health by encouraging residents not to travel, but to visit only their nearby parks. The park system is also announcing a series of operational changes effective March 26.

Our state parks are part of the fabric of Tennessee communities and have been an important place of renewal during this crisis,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “The measures announced today will continue to provide healthy outdoor spaces for Tennesseans while providing more protection for our neighbors and our staff. We can do our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19 while continuing to provide open spaces when our neighbors need it most.”

Tennessee State Parks will transition to day-use schedules for all 56 state parks, opening daily from 7 a.m.–6 p.m. The new schedule goes into effect on March 26 and will be in place until at least April 10.

During this period, all public gathering spaces such as visitor centers, shelters and playgrounds at state parks will be closed. Additionally, parks cabins, lodges and campgrounds close. Future reservations with arrival dates between now and April 9 will be canceled. The parks will waive cancellation fees during this time.

Camps catering to large groups will be closed during the same period. Golf courses and clubhouses in the parks will also be closed. Parks events of greater than 10 people will be canceled or postponed, in accordance with Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 17. All park-hosted events have been canceled through April 15. Restaurants, cafes and bars will remain closed until at least April 10.

Along with the new schedules and closures, Tennessee State Parks strongly encourage guests to practice social distancing and follow guidelines for hygiene while visiting the parks. Limited restrooms and bath houses remain open that will be cleaned based on established cleaning protocols in the parks.

Tennessee State Parks will continue to assess the implications of COVID-19 and will alert the public when dates are determined for the reopening of public facilities and overnight accommodations. For up to date information about Tennessee State Parks or your local park, Tennesseans are encouraged to visit the Tennessee State Parks website at tnstateparks.com and visit https://tnstateparks.com/about/keeping-visitors-healthy


​Hospital Supporting Efforts to Keep Our Community Healthy


by Cliff Wilson, chief executive officer of Southern Tennessee Regional Health System- Winchester/Sewanee

Our community – along with communities around the world – is navigating unprecedented challenges as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread. The cycle of our lives and neighborhoods has been altered, and we are all working to accommodate an ever-changing new normal. Fear and uncertainty complicate our collective abilities to do this.

Southern Tennessee Regional Health System is dedicated to helping everyone in our region navigate the COVID-19 environment in which we are all living right now. We have received many questions from our patients, partners and neighbors about how people can assist our efforts to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible.

Here are some important actions everyone can take:

Stay home. In times of trouble, our first instinct is to reach out – to come together and help one another. That’s why so many people are struggling with the best and most crucial advice healthcare experts are giving: stay at home and keep your distance from friends, neighbors, and even family. But we all must listen to and follow this advice. People’s lives depend on it – especially our healthcare workers and those who are over 60 or already live with underlying health conditions.

We encourage everyone to stay in your own home as much as possible. Only go out if you have to, and choose a time to go to the grocery or pharmacy when it’s not crowded. If you see other people, try to stay at least six feet away from them, and don’t touch them. No handshakes, hug, or kisses. Remember: a lot of people who are carrying this virus won’t show any symptoms. So, the surest way to avoid catching it is to maintain social distance and cancel all gatherings, even small ones.

Follow medical guidance. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, we recommend that you self-monitor for fever or symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation.

Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Donate medical and protective equipment and supplies. Hospitals across our nation are bracing for shortages of medical and protective equipment and supplies such as disposable masks, gowns, gloves and shoe covers. These are essential in protecting our staff on the front lines of caring for patients. If you have supplies and equipment such as these, please consider donating them to regional hospitals. Those with unused supplies and equipment to donate may contact the STRHS Winchester/Sewanee Incident Command Center at (931) 967-8208 to arrange delivery.

Donate blood. In addition to potential supply shortages, healthcare providers are preparing for blood shortages. Many communities have had to cancel blood drives due to COVID-19, so blood in many regions is in short supply. Donating blood is a safe process, and you can help out by visiting redcrossblood.org to find a donation location near you.

Southern Tennessee Regional Health System is grateful for our community’s ongoing support and cooperation as we work to protect local families from the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate all that you do and will continue to provide information on what we know about the virus and how you can help us keep our region healthy. Visit SouthernTNWinchester.com for more information or call (931) 967-8200 with any questions you may have.

​Community Response

Community Response

As we move towards less social interaction, the Messenger is putting together lists of businesses and organizations open or closed status. The information in this issue is current as of Thursday, March 26, at noon, which is the time we send the newspaper to the printer. If there are any major updates, we will post those on our website http://sewaneemessenger.com and our Facebook page. Understanding that many do not have reliable internet service or even email, those updates will also be printed in the next regular issue.

In this issue, for meeting cancelations, go to page 3. For Church News, go to page 4. For community and school news, please start on page 5.

If your organization, business or church is operating on a different schedule and is not listed in this issue, please get in touch by phone (931) 598-9949 or via email news@sewaneemessenger.com We need to work together to keep our community up-to-date and informed.

Please follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov.

1866 Revival will be open by appointment. We will still be selling via Instagam and Facebook @1866revival. We are starting an online auction on Sundays at 7 p.m. http://1866revival.com

American Legion Hall will not be available for general use or rental. We will resume normal operations as soon as possible.

Beauty by Tabitha in Sewanee is closing until further notice, 598-5800.

Big A Marketing is operating with regular busines hours remotely, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. His shop is closed to visitors at this time. http://bigamarketing.com

Bodyworks Youniversity will be holding all regularly scheduled classes in Angel Park in Sewanee. I will be using Zoom so that you can see and participate in the class virtually. Call (423) 322-1443. kim_butters59@hotmail.com

Community Action Committee will distribute food to anyone who needs it. Betty Carpenter will be in the office Monday–Friday, 9–11 a.m. as usual, but no volunteers will be coming.

CVS offers online shopping, drive-thru services, and delivery. Go to http://cvs.com

If you know of folks visiting the mountain, there are rooms available at the DeRosset House. Follow them on Facebook.

DuBose Conference Center Taking the advice of the CDC and United States government, groups hosted at DuBose Conference Center have begun canceling or postponing previously scheduled events from now through the middle of April. Call (931) 924-2453. https://www.duboseconferencecenter.org.

Fine Arts on the Mountain in Sewanee will be continuing lessons at the store. On-line classes are available. Store hours are Monday–Friday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. http://fineartsatthemountain.com

Food Delivery News from Bill Harper: There has been a generous response by students and community members, particularly by the University athletic department, to volunteer for the effort to deliver food to the elderly and medically fragile in our community. Our volunteers have been instructed on CDC recommended hygiene procedures. Our services are being directed by Geoff Badgley, who has extensive disaster relief experience both as a member of the National Guard and as a volunteer. We suggest those needing food delivery check first with http://instacart.com, which sources food from Kroger in Decherd. We have identified other food sources, should they be required. For those outside Instacart’s delivery area, Folks at Home can take delivery and then bring food to your home. If you want our help, call Folks at Home (931) 598-0303.

Folks at Home Though working from home, staff will be available as usual by telephone (931) 598-0303 and by email folksathomesewanee@gmail.com All regularly scheduled activities are canceled at this time. Folks at Home can help with getting set up for food and prescription online services.

Frame Gallery in Sewanee will be open by appointment only. I will continue to work on orders that I have in my shop and customers will still be able to pick up their finished work. With social distancing, I am happy to assist you with new framing projects. You can make appointments via framegallerysewanee@gmail.com or you can call me on my cell at (919) 260-2021. http://framegallerysewanee.com

Franklin County Chamber of Commerce events are currently canceled. https://www.franklincountychamber.com Downtown Winchester program events are currently canceled.

Franklin County Senior Center in Winchester will be closed until March 31.

Hair Depot in Sewanee is closed until further notice.

Hallelujah Pottery/Full Circle Candles is open during the week, as is the little food pantry/library out front. There are online options for candle gifts and free local pick up for the community. Hours are Wednesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. http://fullcirclecandles.com

The Hospitality Shop has made the decision to close temporarily. The safety and well being of our volunteers and dedicated customers are our first and foremost concern. We are asking the public to refrain from dropping off donations during this time. We look forward to your future donations.

Joseph’s Remodeling Solutions is in business to serve our clients and team. They have implemented many new safety precautions. Call them at 598-5565. http://josephsremodelingsolutions.com

Kroger offers curbside delivery, shipping, and in-store services are still available. Special instore shopping hours are 7–8 a.m. for seniors, first responders, expectant mothers, and those who have compromised immune systems. Go to http://kroger.com

Midtown Veterinary is offering drive-thru services for your scheduled appointments. Call 962-3411.

Monteagle Inn Order your quiches, cheese platters, fruit platters, etc. Curbside service. Call us at (931) 924-3869 to order.

Monteagle Sewanee Realtors will be open 9–noon, and by appointments. Call (931) 924-7253. http://monteaglerealtors.com

Mooney’s Market & Emporium will be offering curbside pickup at the store. Hours are Monday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mooney’s is now only allowing two people in the store at one time. They will start deliveries very soon. Cresent Cafe is closed. Call them at (931) 924-7400. http://mooneysmarketandemporium.com

Natural Bridge Events We are booking events here at https://www.naturalbridgeevents.com/. Call (931) 598-5566. Kitchen phone/leave voice mail. Calling/text Michael (423) 243-7566.

OctoPi Pizza and Wine Bar CLOSED

Piggly Wiggly in Monteagle is not offering delivery, but is stocked with a variety of food and products. Hours are 8 a.m.–8 p.m.

St. Mary’s Sewanee is closed to the public. For information about St. Mary’s Sewanee’s policies for rescheduling or cancelling reservations or retreats, please go online to http://stmaryssewanee.org, email reservations@stmaryssewanee.org or call (931) 598-5342.

Sewanee Holitic Health For hours and other availability please contact your practitioner directly. http://sewaneeholistichealth.com

Sewanee Inn is offering take-out https://sewanee-inn.com

Sewanee Realty will assist with real estate needs remotely when possible. To safeguard our agents and the public we will assist by: being available by phone or email with information or to schedule appointments; drive to scheduled showings in separate vehicles; maintain a safe distance from customers; wear gloves to prevent the spread of germs; wear masks when deemed warranted; sign documents remotely with electronic signatures. Our goal is to move forward with the business of our clients and customers with as little interruption as possible, but to do so safely. Call (931) 952-2468 if you would like to make an appointment. http://sewaneerealty.com

Shenanigans in Sewanee will currently remain open for takeout, curbside delivery and some home delivery options only. Modified hours are Monday–Sunday, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., and 5–7 p.m. Dining room will be closed. Call (931) 598-5774. http://www.shenanigans1974.square.site/.

Signature HealthCARE in Monteagle has canceled all volunteers and visitors until further notice.

Smoke House in Monteagle is offering take-out and delivery options. Call (931) 924-2091. https://thesmokehouse.com/menus.

South Cumberland Farmers’ Market is offering Tuesday market pickup at curbside, at the Sewanee Community Center. Ordering takes place each week from Friday at 9 p.m. to Monday at 10 a.m. at https://sewanee.locallygrown.net. There is also an option for home delivery.

Taylor’s Mercantile is closed to the public at this time. Call 598-5893. http://taylorsmercantile.com

Tea on the Mountain in Tracy City is offering carryout, Thursday–Saturday, 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Call (931) 592-4832.

The Blue Chair in Sewanee is currently operating with a new schedule. The deli is open 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday–Friday. The tavern is open 4–8 p.m., Monday–Friday, and 1–8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call ahead for takeout, 598-5434. http://www.thebluechair.com

The Lemon Fair is closed for in-person shopping. Call 598-5248. There is an option to shop online http://thelemonfair.com

The Sewanee Community Center is suspending all activities until April.

The Sewanee Mountain Messenger will still be delivered to area post offices and businesses as open, and available online, on Fridays. The office is currently closed to visitors. Call us at 598-9949, or send an email to news@sewaneemessenger.com http://sewaneemessenger.com

The Sewanee Senior Center will be serving meals until further notice, only offering takeout and delivery to shut-ins until April 3. Please call 598-0771 by 9 a.m. to order lunch, Monday–Friday. Until the end of April, the following activities will not meet: Exercise Class, Bingo, and Game Day.

Thurmond Library currently has a no admittance sign on the door and the building in which the library is located is closed to the public. So this time of sheltering at home is a good time to explore reading e-books online. There are many options, some completely free without giving even your names. Two I am enjoying are overdrive.com and guttenburg.org with 61,570 books available, some in different languages. If as you sort through your own books and read, you want to set aside a bag or box full to recycle, Thurmond will be happy to have them after the coast is clear. Questions can be sent to tcunning@sewanee.edu or (931) 636-4637.

University Realty in Sewanee is open regular hours and is offering virtual tours for clients who do not want to walk into multiple houses. Call (931) 598-9244. http://sewaneehouses.com

Woody’s Bicycles in Sewanee will remain open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. We are curbside only, with no one allowed into the shop. No cash or physical credit card. Venmo or credit card by phone. Call 598-9793. https://www.woodysbicycles.com

OTHER



Area restaurants offering to-go options

Altamont Coffee & Cafe: (931) 692-6781

Brown’s Dairy Bar (Gruetli-Laager): (931) 779-5168

The Blue Chair Cafe, Bakery & Tavern (Sewanee): (931) 598-5434

The Depot Cafe (Monteagle): (931) 924-2233

Dutch Maid Bakery & Cafe (Tracy City): (931) 592-3171

Fat Chunks and Dave’s (Coalmont): (931) 779-4080

Gallery 41 (Pelham) see Facebook

Hank’s Corner Grille (Tracy City): (931) 592-4499

Hardee’s, Monteagle: (931) 924-2175

High Point Restaurant (Monteagle): (931) 924-4600

Mountain Goat Market (Monteagle): (931) 924-2727

Northcutt’s Family Market (Pelham): (931) 467-2888

Papa Ron’s (Monteagle): (931) 924-3355

Shenanigans (Sewanee): (931) 598-5774

Simply Southern Cafe (Pelham): (931) 467-2600

The Lunch Box (Tracy City): (931) 592-4663

The Southern Oven (Palmer): (931) 779-6836

Jim Olivers Smokehouse Restaurant (Monteagle): (931) 924-2091

Up In Smoke BBQ Cafe & Gifts (Monteagle): (931) 212-4506

Show more posts