Video #18 Transcript 04/14/2020

Good Evening Hamblen County.  Today is April 14, 2020.  Please review the following and contact Kellie Smith if you have any questions for the Hamblen County Coronavirus Task Force and we will address those concerns in a future broadcast.


1.         The Governor has issued another executive order which extends the stay at home mandate until April 30.  It is extremely important that everyone stays at home during this time to decrease the potential spread of the virus.  Many health officials believe these additional two weeks will be critical to our success and heath.  We know it has been extremely difficult to remain at home for the last couple weeks and it may be even more difficult to extend this self-isolation for an additional two weeks.  However, we are close and these two weeks of limited travel and social distancing will produce significant results.  Remain at home unless you have essential businesses to conduct within the community.  There are some signs that we are beginning to make progress but we must keep committed to the principle of social distancing and stay at home or we will lose all of the progress we have made. 


2.         Many individuals have experienced difficulty contacting the TN Department of Workforce Development or the Unemployment Office because of the high number of calls the department is currently experiencing.  The state has hired an additional 250 people to help respond and process application.  They are also expanding their business hours.  Individuals are encouraged to contact the Workforce Development office before 7:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. to reach a representative.  As you can well imagine, this organization has been inundated with requests and questions over the last several weeks with the large number of individuals who have lost employment due to the virus.  Please be patient and continue to call. 


3.         It is the understanding of the School District that the Governor may make an announcement later in the week on the end of the school year.  However, at this point we are operating under the directive that schools will be closed through April 30.  Many parents and students have called asking if we are coming back to school this year.  We anticipate making an announcement about this soon and we will let you know as soon as we receive some direction from the state.   Nothing has changed about the prom and graduation.  We are still committed to some type of prom and graduation experience for our students.  However, it is still much too earlier and there are too many unknowns to make any viable plans for either of these programs.  


4.         Many individuals and businesses are requesting that the Health Department provide them with a letter indicating that employees are healthy to return to work.  It is important to understand the Health Department will not provide written documentation that an employee is well to return to work.  Individuals should contact your primary care provider for such a note.  However, it is also important to understand that many health providers may be reluctant, or refuse, to provide such documentation because the virus could be present in someone without symptoms.  Employees could be tested and they could inform employers of their test results. 


5.         The county is in the process of sending out reappraisal notices to all Hamblen County residents.  Individuals may contact the Assessor of Property Office at 423-586-1852 f they have questions or concerns.  Please keep in mind that the courthouse is closed and individuals will not be allowed in unless they have made an appointment with a county official.  Again, we encourage citizens to be patient during this process because the call rate would normally be high during this time and you may experience difficulty contacting someone.  Please be patient and keep calling.