Coronavirus (COVID-19) Message to Funeral and Cemetery Professionals Regarding Executive Order No. 30

https://www.tn.gov/commerce/news/2020/4/30/coronav...

UPDATE: April 30, 2020
Thursday, April 30, 2020 | 04:38pm

As you are aware, we all find ourselves in extraordinary circumstances, coming together to ensure the health and safety of our families, neighbors, and communities as we continue to battle the spread of COVID-19. There is a collective need for the funeral and cemetery profession to take steps to keep families, guests, staff, and others safe to enable families to participate in memorial events that are of utmost importance to them.

In response to public health concerns, Governor Bill Lee has issued several executive orders to contain the spread of COVID-19, including, on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, issuing Executive Order No. 30, which allows many Tennesseans to return to work safely while encouraging adherence to health and business operation guidelines. The Order prohibits social gatherings of ten (10) or more people, but expressly states that religious services, rites, funerals and related gatherings are not “social” and thus are not categorically prohibited. This includes memorial events and burial of deceased humans, whether held at a funeral establishment, church, cemetery, or other facility.

While not prohibited as a matter of law, the Governor’s Order strongly encourages that the public celebration component of funerals be postponed or attended only by close family members, and further urges adherence to the Centers for Disease Control health guidelines to the greatest extent practicable, including social distancing, wearing facemasks, and frequent handwashing. Vulnerable populations should take particular precaution, including staying at home as much as practicable, and those who are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and contact their health care provider or county health department to receive a COVID-19 test, as appropriate. Governor Lee’s Economic Recovery Group has also issued general business guidelines to promote the safety of employees, customers, and guests, which may be found here. We encourage you to follow these guidelines where applicable to your operations.

It is the civic responsibility of all persons and businesses to protect themselves, their customers, and their communities by following health guidelines, so please seek out and implement alternative and innovative business practices to address health issues during this disruption. In hearing from funeral and cemetery professionals, we have been made aware of great concepts and thoughtful ways to serve families. We, as funeral service professionals, have an obligation and duty to provide meaningful funeral services to those families who have lost a loved one, while continuing to ensure the health and safety of our communities.

Finally, please continue checking these resources for information and updates related to COVID-19:


Economic Recovery Group Releases Guidance for Close Contact Businesses for May 6 Reopen

https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2020/4/30/economi...

Thursday, April 30, 2020 | 02:30pm

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group released guidance for close contact services today, enabling over 38,000 workers to resume business in 89 of the state’s 95 counties on May 6. Six counties – Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – will create individual plans in consultation with their locally-run health departments.

“As we continue a measured reopening of the economy, it’s critical we provide evidence-based guidance to businesses so they can keep their employees and customers safe,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “The very nature of close contact businesses calls for strong solutions and we’re inspired by the willingness of these small business owners to take the Tennessee Pledge. These guidelines will allow thousands of businesses to reopen, put their employees back to work, and serve customers in a thoughtful and safe manner.”

In addition to the recommendations included within the Tennessee Pledge, the State recommends strict adherence to CDC guidelines. The State’s guidance applies to personal services including barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, nail spas, massage therapy services and substantially similar businesses that require prolonged close contact with customers.

The full guidelines are posted online at TNPledge.com and include:

Business Process Adaptations

  • Limit the number of customers to 50% of fire code capacity, and practice strict social distancing between customers
  • Services will be offered by appointment only; no walk-ins
  • Make appropriate physical modifications to accommodate social distancing. Workstations should be at least 6 feet apart, with additional measures taken as necessary to ensure that all people stay 6 feet apart at all times except for the staff providing a service to their client; physical barriers to be used where necessary
  • Prohibit use of waiting areas (e.g., could adopt such practices as notifying customers by call or text message) or serenity lounges; limit use of other common areas by multiple people at one time (e.g., elevators, breakrooms, etc.)
  • Ensure thorough workstation and equipment disinfection after each customer (i.e. sanitize all equipment, instruments, capes, smocks, linens, chairs and work area); alternatively, utilize single-use or disposable items
  • Implement enhanced sanitization of commonly touched surfaces and equipment (i.e., at least every two hours and when visibly soiled), using CDC recommended sanitizers and disinfecting protocols
  • Discard any single-use tools (e.g., files, buffers, neck strips) immediately after use
  • Daily deep cleaning and sanitization to be completed for high-touch areas (tanning beds, massage tables, salon chairs, etc.
  • Use appropriate temperatures for washers and dryers to ensure thorough sanitization of towels, linens, etc
  • Do not allow non-customer companions to accompany customer during a service
  • Do not allow group or communal settings for close contact personal services (e.g., couples’ massages, salt rooms, saunas, pools)

Consumer Protection

  • Services that require removing face coverings (e.g., beard shaving/trimming, facials, etc.) are not permitted in Phase 1
  • Do not offer any self-serve food or beverages. Temporarily close water fountains. Encourage users to provide their own water
  • Prohibit congregating in break rooms, check-in counters
  • Customers should wear a cloth face covering at all times while in the premises (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and as recommended by the CDC and executive order of the governor. Use other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC
  • For massage, prone positions could be uncomfortable or dangerous for clients who are wearing face coverings. Accordingly, massage professionals may consider other appropriate precautions such as draping a client’s head and face cradle cover with a thin cotton pillowcase. Otherwise, a face covering should be worn during portions of treatment in which the client is not prone or facedown
  • Screen customers for illness upon their entry into the premises

Employee Protection

  • Screen and temperature-check all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Employees should increase hygiene practices—wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, practice good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing. Change any protective garments on a regular basis and sanitize reusable garments such as aprons or smocks at least once per day
  • Employees should wear a cloth face covering (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC; if masks become wet or visibly dirty, the mask should be replaced
  • All employees should wash hands between serving each customer, and more frequently as necessary. If appropriate for the service provided, gloves are recommended and should be discarded after each customer. The use of gloves should not be considered a replacement for frequent handwashing
  • Perform regular disinfection of high-touch surface areas (e.g., door handles, counter space, light switches, tools and instruments) at least every two hours and when visibly dirty

View the full guidance here.

The Economic Recovery Group (ERG), composed of 30 leaders from the public and private sector, is crafting guidance to assist businesses in a safe reopening. The industry representatives participating in the ERG collectively represent over 140,000 Tennessee businesses that employ over 2.5M Tennesseans. More information about ERG is available here.

​Neighbors Feeding Neighbors

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer

Before the rise of COVID-19, 135 million Americans were struggling with food insecurity. That translated to about one in every nine people, and that was before the disruptions in supply chains and grocery store shortages.

Now, with thousands of workers furloughed across the state, 135 million is just the tip of the iceberg.

At the beginning of April, more than 120,000 people had filed for unemployment in the state of Tennessee, and recent data from the United Nations shows that once-stable families have become food-insecure.

However, thanks to several local churches and the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary, Franklin County’s food-insecure families can trade the worry on their plate for a family meal.

Kenny Green serves as lead pastor at New Beginnings Church in Monteagle, and he said when the pandemic first began, he and his congregation knew they had a role to play as helpers.

“At the beginning, we could foresee it getting worse, so we connected with Feed America First and Second Harvest,” he said. “That was 6 weeks ago. We picked up our first load and purchased 6,000 pounds of dry food and frozen meat.”

Green said after they started, Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum and Mayor Michael Brady got involved. Shrum, Living Water Church, South Cumberland Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Highland Community Church donated funds for Green and his staff to purchase additional food supplies, and thanks to a $4,200 grant from the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary, more than 320 families have received assistance over the last six weeks. The Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary sponsors the annual Hunger Walk, which aims to raise money to combat food insecurity on the Mountain.

“We’ve distributed more than 25,000 pounds of food in six weeks,” Green said.

Food insecurity on its own is highly stressful, and coupled with the heightened anxiety that is unavoidable during a pandemic, tensions are high.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity is a health risk linked to chronic diseases like high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, hepatitis, stroke and cancer. In addition, COVID-19 does not discriminate. In fact, those who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness are at higher risk of contracting the virus. Because of this, access to regular, healthy meals is crucial to keeping the virus at bay.

Green said that is why he and the staff at New Beginnings wanted to do something to help.

“We count it a privilege and honor to love, serve and give to the people that Jesus died for — there wasn’t a second thought. This was an incredible opportunity to be the hands and the feet of Jesus,” Green said.

For those needing assistance, the Community Action Committee at Otey Memorial Parish and the food bank at Morton Memorial United Methodist Church can also provide help. To support the 6th annual Hunger Walk, visit the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary website and donate to the cause.


​COVID-19 Sewanee Community Funding Project Request 2020

The Sewanee Community Funding Project Committee, in conjunction with the Sewanee Community Council, is seeking proposals for COVID-19 related community needs on the Domain using funds previously allocated for improvements and projects on the Domain. Only existing organizations serving local residents of Sewanee, TN, may apply; we are unable to accept applications from individuals. The total funding available is $15,700. To apply, please complete all required fields and email supporting documents; complete applications include supporting documents emailed to sewaneecfproject@gmail.com and specific detailed information. Applications will be reviewed weekly. Go to https://new.sewanee.edu/offices/university-offices...



​Sewanee Community Chest: Behind the Scenes Need

The Sewanee Community Chest has raised 85 percent towards it $105,140 goal, said Sewanee Civic Association President Brandon Barry. The SCA annual fundraiser provides financial assistance to organizations and programs, providing for behind the scenes needs to ensure the Sewanee area continues to be the rich and vibrant place it is. This year’s campaign has pledged support to 25 local initiatives, among them scouts, recreation opportunities, animal welfare, food and nutrition assistance, and help for the elderly. The greater Sewanee community needs the help and support provided by the Community Chest more than ever during these difficult times. To make a contribution go to or mail a check to P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375. One hundred percent of donations go to the programs awarded funding. Go to www.sewaneecivic.org



​Grant Awarded for MGT Extension

The Town of Monteagle has been awarded a TDOT Multimodal Access Grant in the amount of $947,737. With this grant, the Mountain Goat Trail will be extended from Tower Community Bank westward across the former railroad bridge to Waffle House. The $50,000 match for this grant will be funded by the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance.

TDOT’s Multimodal Access Grant is a state-funded program created to support the transportation needs of transit users, pedestrians and bicyclists through infrastructure projects that address existing gaps along state routes. Multimodal facilities play an important role in providing transportation choices for people across Tennessee. With half of all trips in the United States being three miles or less, good walking, biking and transit facilities are essential to the continued growth and success of our towns and cities.

​Grant for Hannah Pickett Park Playground Equipment


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

On April 21, Monteagle city workers removed the last of the playground equipment from Hannah Pickett Park behind Monteagle City Hall.

“The equipment was condemned five or six years ago,” said Vice Mayor Tony Gilliam. In October, the city’s insurer Public Entity Partners recommended removal of the 20-year-old equipment. At the October meeting, the Monteagle City Council voted unanimously to have the equipment taken down.

“The city could be fined if we let children play on it and someone was injured,” Gilliam stressed. “The equipment was condemned and obsolete.”

According to Gilliam, the more dangerous pieces of playground equipment were removed earlier. “We had to take the rest out because children continued to play on it.”

“The Hannah Pickett Park pavilion is not affected by this [the insurance company’s directive],” said City Recorder Debbie Taylor.

Monteagle has applied for a grant to replace the playground equipment. The Southeast Tennessee Development District is serving as the grant writer. Garrett Haynes, Regional Planner, and Sam Saieed, Setbuilds Assistant Director and Grant Coordinator, are heading up the project.

“The virus has a lot held back,” Gilliam conceded. He hopes to have an update on the progress of the grant soon.

The Monteagle City Council did not meet in March and April due to Governor Lee’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order.

Voting Information

Aug. 6, 2020 is voting day for the State Primary and County General Election. Early voting in Franklin County takes place July 17-Aug. 1. You may request ballots to be mailed from May 8–July 30.

If you are unable to appear at your polling place on Election Day or during the Early Voting period, you may request an absentee ballot.

Voter registration deadline is July 7.

Offices up for the Election State Primary is United States Senate, United Sates House of Representatives, Tennessee State Senate, and Tennessee House of Representatives. Offices up for Election County General in Franklin County include winners from primaries, and School Board Members Districts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

For more information, go to In Franklin County http://franklincotn.us or call (931) 967-1893. In Grundy County grundycountytn.net, phone (931) 692-3551. In Marion County marionvotes.com, phone (423) 942-2108.

Contact information for election offices, samples ballots and more can also be found at https://sos.tn.gov/elections

Tennesseans voting on Election Day should remember to bring valid state or federal photo identification with them to the polls. For information about what types of ID are acceptable, visit GoVoteTN.com or call (877) 850-4959.

Voters can also download the GoVoteTN app. Voters can find early voting and Election Day polling locations, view sample ballots, see names of elected officials and districts, as well as access online election results through the application. Go to GoVoteTN.com


Get Tested

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced free COVID-19 testing will be available for any Tennessean, regardless of traditional symptoms, as the Unified-Command group ramps up an aggressive effort to expand testing capacity across the state.

Rapid improvements to the testing apparatus allowed the Unified-Command Group, comprised of the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Military and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), to develop expanded capacity and offer targeted testing across the state.

The expanded testing effort launched the weekend of April 18-19, 2020, with the Tennessee National Guard popping up 15 drive-through testing sites across the state. Drive-through testing sites will also be available during the weekend of May 2-3.

Tennessee Department of Health Nurses and Tennessee National Guard medics will perform tests at each site and results are projected to be delivered to participants within 72 hours of testing.

A full list of sites can be accessed here. In addition to drive-through sites, all rural county health departments across the state offer free COVID-19 testing 5 days a week.

Assessment Sites Open in Southeast Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has COVID-19 assessment sites available across the southeast region.

A full list of sites can be accessed https://www.tn.gov/health/news/2020/4/15/covid-19-.... In addition to drive-through sites, all rural county health departments across the state offer free COVID-19 testing 5 days a week. Drive-through testing sites will also be available May 2-3. Locations will be added daily.

Currently, there is free drive-through testing available from 9 a.m. until noon local time, Monday through Friday, at the health departments in Bradley, Franklin, Grundy, McMinn, Rhea, and Sequatchie.

Residents in Bledsoe, Marion, Meigs, and Polk counties may also call their local health department during regular business hours for assistance in getting testing.

Tennessee’s Coronavirus Public Information Lines are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., CDT daily at (833) 556-2476 or (877) 857-2945.

TDH is posting updated COVID-19 case numbers by 2 p.m. CDT each day at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html. Find additional information at additional information at <www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19.htm

Franklin County Health Department, 266 Joyce Lane, Winchester, TN 37398, (931) 967-3826

Grundy County Health Department, 1372 Main Street, Altamont, TN 37301, (931) 692-3641

Marion County Health Department, 24 East 7th Street, Jasper, TN 37347, (423) 942-2238

COVID-19 Bulletin #28 - April 29, 2020


Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 05:20pm

Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19. Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT here. Visit tn.gov/covid19 for up-to-date administrative action.

Key Updates

Widespread COVID-19 Testing Efforts

President Trump announced this week that states should move to test 2% of their population each month. With almost 170,000 residents tested already, Tennessee has met this goal for April and is looking to continue that progress through May.

Unified-Command Group is increasing testing of vulnerable populations in the coming weeks, including widespread testing of all long-term care facilities in Tennessee (more than 700 facilities and 70,000 residents) and additional testing sites in minority communities. The State of Tennessee has partnered with National Health Care Corporation to test all residents and staff within their 38 Tennessee facilities.

Expanded testing continues this weekend (May 2-3) for all Tennesseans regardless of symptoms with new drive-through sites available across each Grand Division. Sites for this can be found here.

Tennesseans can get a test five days a week at county health departments -- a full list of sites is available here, and additional information on Tennessee’s aggressive testing push is available here.

Executive Order No. 31

Today, Gov. Lee issued Executive Order 31 to extend the prohibition of non-emergency dental services to Wednesday, May 6, to allow more needed time for the Tennessee Dental Association, the Tennessee Dental Hygienist Association, and the Tennessee Board of Dentistry to continue their work on guidance for safe reopening and practice.

The full text of Executive Order No. 31 can be found here.

Tennessee Pledge: Next Steps for Close Contact Services

Gov. Lee announced that close contact services, such as salons and barbershops, in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties will be able to reopen at limited capacity on May 6. Our Economic Recovery Group will release industry-specific guidance for those businesses before the end of this week.

Access up-to-date guidance from the Tennessee Economic Recovery Group:

  • Universal Guidance for Tennessee Businesses can be accessed here.
  • Restaurant Industry Guidance can be accessed here.
  • Retail Industry Guidance can be accessed here.
  • Exercise Facility Guidance can be accessed here.

Additional information on Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group is available here.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 3 p.m. 4/29)

Confirmed Cases

Hospitalizations

Fatalities

Recovered

Total Tests

10,366

1,013

195

5,140

168,549

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


https://www.tn.gov

COVID-19 Bulletin #27 - April 28, 2020


Tuesday, April 28, 2020 | 05:43pm

Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19. Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT here. Visit tn.gov/covid19 for up-to-date administrative actions.

Key Updates

Executive Order 30

Executive Order 30 supersedes and repeals Executive Order Nos. 17, 21, 22, 23, 27, and 29, effective Wednesday, April 29, but does not affect Executive Order No. 25 concerning dental and medical procedures, which is currently effective until April 30.

  • The order allows Tennesseans and businesses to return to work in all industries where that can be safely accomplished by following health guidelines, while urging employers to allow or require remote work/telework if possible.
  • Tennesseans are urged to continue limiting activity and staying home as much as possible to preserve and build on the health progress we’ve made.
  • All employers and businesses that choose to open are expected to comply with the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group (ERG) Guidelines for operating safely, as well as general health guidelines from the CDC and other government entities.
  • Social and recreational gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited, including but not limited to festivals, fairs, parades, youth and adult sporting events, and overnight summer youth camps.
  • This does not cover places of worship, for which there will be guidelines for safe operation of worship services and gatherings if in-person services are conducted, but the order strongly encourages places of worship to continue virtual or online services where possible.
  • This does not prohibit weddings and funerals, but encourages postponement of large-gathering components of such events.
  • Entertainment and recreational gathering venues must remain closed to the public for now, including, but not limited to, bars, night clubs, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, concert and sporting event venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, racetracks, indoor children’s play areas, adult entertainment venues, amusement parks, senior centers, and skating rinks.
  • Limited service restaurants can serve food to customers seated at tables but must follow the ERG Guidelines for restaurants in doing so.
  • Close-contact personal service businesses must remain closed to the public for now, including, but not limited to, barber shops, salons, spas, body-art/tattoo services, tanning salons, and massage facilities.
  • Nursing homes and similar retirement and long-term-care facilities must remain closed to visitors, except for critical assistance and in end-of-life situations.
  • Persons and businesses are urged to take special care to protect and provide for the well-being of vulnerable populations, including by offering delivery or special shopping hours if possible.
  • Persons with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay at home, and employers may not require or allow employees with COVID-19 to work.
  • Persons are urged to wear a cloth face covering in places where in close proximity to others, especially where social distancing is difficult.
  • Take-out and delivery alcohol sales by restaurants will continue to be allowed to encourage customers to utilize take-out or delivery options.
  • Local orders regarding medical or dental procedures are prohibited because preserving PPE is a question that is statewide in scale and shouldn’t be addressed differently in each county.
  • For the 89 counties without a locally run county health department (all but Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, and Sullivan), this order supersedes any contrary orders or measures, meaning that the counties cannot issue independent orders regarding the opening, closure, or operation of businesses, organizations, or venues covered by this order, though counties may continue issuing or enforcing orders or measures on other matters related to COVID-19, such as opening or closure of their governmental buildings, governing their employees, or dealing with the operation of their local government.
  • The county health departments in the 6 counties with locally run county health departments (Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, and Sullivan) shall have authority to issue orders or measures that permit or restrict to a different degree than this order the opening, closure, or operation of businesses, organizations, or venues, except for places of worship. Otherwise, this order governs on the topics it covers.

Read the full text of the order here.

The Tennessee Pledge: Exercise Facility Guidance

Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group announced guidance today for gyms and exercise facilities on how to reopen safely. Gyms will be allowed to reopen in 89 of the state’s 95 counties beginning Friday, May 1. The counties excluded are those with locally-run health departments: Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan.

In addition to strict adherence to CDC guidelines, the State recommends gyms, fitness/exercise facilities, or substantially similar facilities and activities put into place an assortment of measures to protect consumers and employees, including:

Business Process Adaptations

  • Restrict facility access to staffed hours only (i.e., any unmanned facilities must be manned) and limit facility occupancy to 50 percent of capacity as dictated by fire code (as such capacity is adjusted in consideration of closed areas of the facility pursuant to these guidelines);
  • Mitigate exposure in the workplace by implementing social distancing guidelines and modify scheduling;
  • Staff to conduct regular (i.e., every 2 hours) disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, equipment and common areas of the facility using disinfectant cleaning supplies according to CDC guidelines;
  • Close showers, locker rooms, and lockers until further notice. Ask customers to instead use small gym bags to store personal belongings;
  • Close all swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas and other recreational water or spa facilities;
  • Close all basketball courts, racquetball courts, and other places where formal and informal group or team sports may occur;
  • Any youth or adult team leagues or sports should remain closed;
  • Only allow group fitness classes if classes can be completed in accordance with social distancing recommendations (including but not limited to: less than 50% capacity and with more than 6 feet of distance maintained between participants at all times; no shared equipment during the class; sufficiently adjusted class schedules to allow for deep cleaning between classes; martial arts and other contact activities should be completed without any person-to-person contact);
  • Encourage all employees and customers to wear PPE where applicable, and recommend that customers wear a face covering (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers);
  • Adjust equipment layout and close or restrict access to equipment to maintain at least six feet of distance between equipment;
  • Temporarily close water fountains, common areas, break rooms, check-in counters, where customers or employees may congregate. Encourage users to provide their own water;
  • No self-service options (coffee bars, smoothie stations and other forms of communal food in facilities). Food retail should follow restaurant guidelines;
  • Ensure that staffing of facilities is sufficient to enable enhanced sanitization and cleaning measures;

Consumer Protection

  • Screen customers for illness upon entry to the gym:
  • Best practice: Temperature checks for every customer. Persons with temperatures above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should not be permitted on premise;
  • Minimum: Question customers regarding COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
  • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
  • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
  • Keep doors and windows open where possible to improve ventilation;
  • Post signs encouraging social distancing (visible to customers);
  • Require that customers wash or sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the facility;
  • Require customers to clean equipment they come in contact with using disinfecting wipes before and after each use;
  • Encourage customers to use only one piece of equipment at a time (i.e., no circuits or “super setting”) so that machines are cleaned after use;
  • Consider limiting workout length to avoid unnecessary exposure, decrease congestion, and allow for additional sanitization;
  • Recommend that persons more vulnerable or at-risk for COVID-19 as identified by the CDC—including those who are over the age of 65 or those who have chronic medical conditions—take extra precaution or refrain from use of the facility during Phase 1 of re-opening.

Employee Protection

  • Allow employees to work from home as much as possible;
  • Screen all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Staff should wear face coverings (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC;
  • Provide training on personal protective equipment based on CDC guidelines;
  • Provide a sanitizing station such as a wash basin with soap and/or bottle of hand sanitizer;
  • Practice recommended social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

The full guidelines are posted online here.

  • Universal Guidance for Tennessee Businesses can be accessed here.
  • Restaurant Industry Guidance can be accessed here.
  • Retail Industry Guidance can be accessed here.
  • Additional information on Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group is available here.

Stimulus Accountability

With over $2 billion in one-time federal relief funds from the CARES Act coming to Tennessee, Gov. Lee is engaging directly with the White House and the federal delegation to reduce the strain on our state and local budgets.

  • Public Health: Gov. Lee and the state’s Unified-Command Group are working to ensure we have a medical and public health response that gets treatment to those who need it, testing to those who want it, and robust contact tracing for those who may have been infected.
  • Recovery Efforts: Gov. Lee and our Economic Recovery Group are working to ensure that Tennesseans have the resources they need to adapt to a new normal by making sure we get reliable information and guidance out to businesses to operate safely.
  • Fiscal Stability: This health crisis has placed new demands on our state and local governments, and we have to make sure our taxpayer dollars are used wisely. Tennessee’s bi-partisan Stimulus Accountability Group is working to ensure proper stewardship that serves Tennesseans well.

A portion of these federal funds will be utilized to address the costs for COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured. Tennessee will utilize $30 million in state funding through the Division of TennCare to supplement federal dollars if needed. Health care providers treating the uninsured may file claims with the federal government and be reimbursed for treatment provided on or after February 4.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 4/28)

Confirmed Cases

Hospitalizations

Fatalities

Recovered

Total Tests

10,052

894

188

4,921

161,928

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

Economic Recovery Group Releases Reopening Guidance for Gyms


Tuesday, April 28, 2020 | 02:30pm

Nashville, Tenn. -- Today, Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group announced guidance for gyms and exercise facilities on how to reopen safely. Gyms will be allowed to reopen in 89 of the state’s 95 counties beginning Friday, May 1. The counties excluded are those with locally-run health departments: Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan.

“Exercise is incredibly important for the physical and mental health of our population, and we want Tennesseans to have access to safe environments where they can exercise as appropriate,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “These guidelines outline best practices in keeping with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and health experts for gyms to reopen in a way that will keep their employees and customers safe.”

In addition to strict adherence to CDC guidelines, the State recommends gyms, fitness/exercise facilities, or substantially similar facilities and activities put into place an assortment of measures to protect consumers and employees. The full guidelines are posted online here and include:

Business Process Adaptations

· Restrict facility access to staffed hours only (i.e., any unmanned facilities must be manned) and limit facility occupancy to 50 percent of capacity as dictated by fire code (as such capacity is adjusted in consideration of closed areas of the facility pursuant to these guidelines)

· Mitigate exposure in the workplace by implementing social distancing guidelines and modify the scheduling

· Staff to conduct regular (i.e., every 2 hours) disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, equipment and common areas of the facility using disinfectant cleaning supplies according to CDC guidelines

· Close showers, locker rooms, and lockers until further notice. Ask customers to instead use small gym bags to store personal belongings; remind customers to appropriately monitor or secure such personal belongs or provide a secure area monitored by staff

· Close all swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas and other recreational water or spa facilities

· Close all basketball courts, racquetball courts, and other places where formal and informal group or team sports may occur

· Any youth or adult team leagues or sports should remain closed

· Only allow group fitness classes if classes can be completed in accordance with social distancing recommendations (including but not limited to: less than 50% capacity and with more than 6 feet of distance maintained between participants at all times; no shared equipment during the class; sufficiently adjusted class schedules to allow for deep cleaning between classes; martial arts and other contact activities should be completed without any person-to-person contact)

· Encourage all employees and customers to wear PPE where applicable, and recommend that customers wear a face covering (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers)

· Adjust equipment layout and close or restrict access to equipment to maintain at least six feet of distance between equipment

· Temporarily close water fountains, common areas, break rooms, check-in counters, where customers or employees may congregate. Encourage users to provide their own water

· No self-service options (coffee bars, smoothie stations and other forms of communal food in facilities). Food retail should follow restaurant guidelines.

· Ensure that staffing of facilities is sufficient to enable enhanced sanitization and cleaning measures

Consumer Protection

· Screen customers for illness upon entry to the gym:

o Best practice: Temperature checks for every customer. Persons with temperatures above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should not be permitted on premise

o Minimum: Question customers regarding COVID-19 symptoms

§ Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?

§ Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?

§ Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?

· Keep doors and windows open where possible to improve ventilation

· Post signs encouraging social distancing (visible to customers)

· Require that customers wash or sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the facility

· Require customers to clean equipment they come in contact with using disinfecting wipes before and after each use

· Encourage customers to use only one piece of equipment at a time (i.e., no circuits or “super setting”) so that machines are cleaned after use

· Consider limiting workout length to avoid unnecessary exposure, decrease congestion, and allow for additional sanitization

· Recommend that persons more vulnerable or at-risk for COVID-19 as identified by the CDC—including those who are over the age of 65 or those who have chronic medical conditions—take extra precaution or refrain from use of the facility during Phase 1 of re-opening

Employee Protection

· Allow employees to work from home as much as possible;

· Screen all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms;

· Staff should wear face coverings (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC;

· Provide training on personal protective equipment based on CDC guidelines;

· Provide a sanitizing station such as a wash basin with soap and/or bottle of hand sanitizer;

· Practice recommended social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

View the full guidance here.

The Economic Recovery Group (ERG), composed of 30 leaders from the public and private sector, is crafting guidance to assist businesses in a safe reopening. The industry representatives participating in the ERG collectively represent over 140,000 Tennessee businesses that employ over 2.5M Tennesseans. More information about ERG is available here.


https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2020/4/28/economi...

COVID-19 Bulletin #26 - April 27, 2020


Monday, April 27, 2020 | 07:00pm

Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19. Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT here. Visit tn.gov/covid19 for up-to-date administrative action.

Key Updates

The Tennessee Pledge: Reopening Tennessee

Universal Guidance for Tennessee Businesses can be accessed here.

Restaurant Industry Guidance can be accessed here.

Retail Industry Guidance can be accessed here.

Additional information on Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group is available here.

Weekend Testing Update

This weekend, with the help of the National Guard and Department of Health personnel, we conducted 7,000 free COVID-19 tests to Tennesseans, regardless of traditional symptoms. Unified-Command Group has conducted more than 18,000 tests in a two-week period and contributed to the more than 150,000 tests that have been processed in our state to date.

Aggressive testing is key to the state’s reopen strategy, and we urge more Tennesseans to take advantage of this service, especially those who begin returning to work during our phased re-open. As a reminder, Tennesseans can receive a free COVID-19 test 5 days a week at their local health department.

Drive-through testing sites will also be available during the weekend of May 2-3. A full list of sites is available here, and additional information on Tennessee’s aggressive testing push is available here.

Antibody Testing

As Gov. Lee focuses on expanding COVID-19 testing, the Unified Command Group is working to provide information to help the Tennesseans understand how serology, or antibody, can, and cannot, inform the State’s re-opening strategy.

Although the research is still ongoing, this will give us a first estimate of the number of Tennesseans with COVID-19 antibodies, which will assist us in developing our strategy for more widespread antibody test of the general population. The Tennessee Department of Health will be distributing a technical brief to health care providers in Tennessee with details about antibody testing and its limitations. TDH is also working on a plan to test of up 10,000 health care workers in Tennessee’s public teaching hospitals.

Q: How is a COVID-19 antibody test different than the nasal swab test I received at the health department?

A: An antibody test involves taking a blood sample to detect cells in the body that have previously been exposed to, and fought off, a virus. A nasal swab test only detects whether a patient currently has a viral infection.

Q: It seems there are many antibody tests already available, doesn’t that mean the tests have been approved and proven to be effective?

A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved six COVID-19 antibody tests for clinical use, and most of these have not been widely distributed. There are many antibody tests in the FDA’s pipeline and may ultimately receive approval. However, most of the antibody tests ready for use have not been validated.

Q: Isn’t it better to know whether or not I’ve had COVID-19 by getting an antibody test?

A: The primary issue with these unproven antibody tests is they can give patients false-positive results by detecting other types of coronaviruses, usually the kind that cause the common cold. A false-positive result may lead to a conclusion that a patient has immunity to COVID-19, when what the test really shows is, at some point in time, the patient was exposed to another type of coronavirus and its antibodies are present, not the antibodies for COVID-19.

Q: If I have antibodies in my blood, doesn’t it mean I’m immune to COVID-19?

A: There is not enough data yet on COVID-19 antibody testing to prove having the antibodies will prevent a person from being re-infected with COVID-19. There are some indications most, maybe not all, people who have been infected with COVID-19 will develop antibodies in their blood that can be detected for a period of time. There isn’t enough data to confirm this is true, or if it happens to be true how long the immunity will last.

Elective Procedures Resume

On Friday, elective medical procedures will be allowed to resume so Tennessee nurses and other hospital workers can get back to work. It’s important to get hospitals back online with elective procedures so Tennesseans can safely resume more routine services, including scheduling quality of life procedures. Procedures like routine screenings and joint replacements are included in this first wave.

Tennessee State Workforce Update

The State of Tennessee will continue to weigh appropriate measures to ensure we are fiscally conservative through this pandemic. Gov. Lee has directed the Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration to temporarily freeze any new non-mission critical hires to our state’s workforce.

At the state level, we will continue to keep employees working from home until May 26th. This means that state services can continue without disruption as we work towards the gradual return of working in office.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 4/27)

Confirmed Cases

Hospitalizations

Fatalities

Recovered

Total Tests

9,918

837

184

4,720

154,402

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


https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/covid-19-dail...

Unified-Command Group Tests More Than 7,000 Tennesseans at Weekend Drive-Through Sites

https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2020/4/27/unified...

Monday, April 27, 2020 | 10:45am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced more than 7,000 Tennesseans received free COVID-19 tests, regardless of symptoms, during Unified-Command Group’s second weekend of expanded testing efforts at 18 sites across the state.“We expanded testing availability to any Tennessean who believes they need a test because testing remains one of our most important tools in tracking and mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Lee. “We’re grateful to the thousands of Tennesseans who came out to get tested, and we’re incredibly thankful for the efforts of our Department of Health and National Guard personnel for making these testing sites a reality.” Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee National Guard personnel tested 4,247 individuals on Saturday at 10 sites across all three grand divisions. Two metropolitan areas, Hamilton and Shelby counties, were added from the previous weekend with the Hamilton site operating Saturday and Sunday.Eight sites were operational on Sunday with 2,856 individuals tested. On both days lanes at certain sites were opened early to accommodate large lines and some sites offered “walk-up” testing to alleviate potential delays.“We’re pleased with the number of Tennesseans who came out to get tested, and our capacity could have handled twice as many tests if needed,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. “As Tennesseans begin the process of returning to work, we strongly encourage them to take advantage of these opportunities to get a test and help us mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”Unified-Command will continue expanded testing throughout the weekend of May 2-3. An updated list of available sites will be posted on the Department of Health’s website. All rural county health departments across the state offer free COVID-19 testing 5 days a week, in addition to drive-through sites.A joint partnership between the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Military and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Unified-Command was established on March 23 by Gov. Lee and serves as the state’s coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic.WEEKEND SNAPSHOT – EXPANDED TESTING





Samples Collected
REGIONCOUNTYDATESTIMESaturdaySunday
NEGreene25-Apr

9:00 - 3:00 382

EastJefferson25-Apr

9:00 - 4:00682

KnoxKnox25-Apr

10:00 - 2:00520

SEBledsoe25-Apr

9:00 - 1:00364

HamiltonHamilton25-Apr

8:30 - 12:30738

UCSmith25-Apr

12:00 - 4:0091

SCMaury25-Apr

9:00 - 12:00 242

MCWilliamson25-Apr

9:00 - 12:00 542

WGibson25-Apr

12:00 - 3:00221

ShelbyShelby25-Apr

12:00 - 3:00465








NEHawkins

26-Apr9:00 - 3:00

172
EastAnderson

26-Apr9:00 - 4:00

974
SEFranklin

26-Apr11:00 - 2:00

135
HamiltonHamilton

26-Apr8:30 - 12:30

639
UCPutnam

26-Apr12:00 - 4:00

233
SCLawrence

26-Apr12:00 - 3:00

126
MCMontgomery

26-Apr 9:00 - 12:00

338
WHenderson

26-Apr12:00 - 3:00

239

Totals

42472856

Grand Total


7103

COVID-19 Bulletin #25 - April 24, 2020


Friday, April 24, 2020 | 03:45pm

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 this week Monday through Thursday 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

The Tennessee Pledge: Reopening Tennessee Responsibly

Today, Gov. Bill Lee and the Economic Recovery Group issued first steps from the “Tennessee Pledge,” the state’s rollout of guidance and best practices for Tennessee businesses in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to keep employees and customers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first industries to receive guidance through the plan include the restaurant and retail industries.

Restaurant Industry Guidance can be downloaded here, Retail Industry Guidance can be downloaded here, and General Guidance for Tennessee Businesses can be downloaded here.

Additionally, a comprehensive summary of this guidance can be downloaded here.

Gov. Lee and the Economic Recovery Group will provide specific guidance for additional Tennessee industries in the coming weeks. More information on the Tennessee Pledge is available here and more information on Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group is available here.

Executive Order 29

Executive Order 29 amends Executive Order 17 to reopen dining in restaurants beginning at 12:01 CDT Monday, April 27. Subject to the expectation that restaurants will operate within ERG Guidelines, on-site dining at restaurants will no longer be prohibited in Tennessee, unless a locally run county health department in Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, or Sullivan Counties independently prohibits or otherwise regulates the opening, closing, or operation of restaurants within its respective county.

If a restaurant does not operate in a safe manner, or if health outcomes demonstrate that a particular business or industry sector is unable to be operated in a sufficiently safe manner, the Governor and/or other applicable state official(s) may issue additional orders concerning that business or industry.

Bars, nightclubs, and limited service restaurants shall continue to be closed to persons for the purposes of eating or drinking on-site. Take-out and delivery alcohol sales by restaurants remain permitted.

For the full text of the order click here.

Expanded Testing Continues This Weekend

Tennessee’s expanded COVID-19 testing continues this weekend, with the Department of Health and the Tennessee National Guard opening 18 additional drive-through sites across the state (April 25-26). We encourage every Tennessean who isn’t feeling well or has been in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19, to visit a free testing site in their community. This weekend’s pop-up locations are available here.

Tennessee Department of Health nurses and Tennessee National Guard medics will perform tests at these drive-through sites and results are projected to be delivered to participants within 72 hours of testing. In addition to drive-through testing sites, Tennesseans can get a test free of charge, five days a week at every rural county health department in the state.

On Saturday, Gov. Lee will travel to Memphis to visit a Tennessee National Guard drive-through testing site and tour an alternative care site.

Drive-through testing sites will also be available during the weekend of May 2-3. A full list of sites is available here, and additional information on Tennessee’s aggressive testing push is available here.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 4/24)

Confirmed Cases

Hospitalizations

Fatalities

Recovered

Total Tests

8,726

808

168

4,370

131,298

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


https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/covid-19-dail...

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