Video #10 Transcript 04/02/2020

Good evening Hamblen County.  Today is April 2, 2020.  We will continue to broadcast to keep our community informed of important events.  Please contact Kellie Smith if you have questions or concerns. 


1.         The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service recently announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically.  There will be no action required for most people to receive these payments. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. The following groups will be eligible for the economic impact payment. This is a little complicated so individuals can visit the websites listed at the end of this broadcast for additional information.  


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 tax filers with income above those amounts, the payment 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.


The vast majority of people do not need to take any action to receive these payments. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those who are 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 understands that some tax payers don’t have direct deposit accounts. In the coming weeks, the Treasury Departments 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.


Some individuals are not typically required to file a tax return but they will still receive their payment.  These individuals 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 a tax.          


The IRS 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 enabling you to receive your payment.


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.  The IRS realizes that some citizens may be concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return.  For this reason, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.  The IRS strong recommends you visit the website for information and don’t attempt to call.  They are in the process of helping individuals file returns at this point. 


2.         The City of Morristown Parks & Recreation Department is currently closing all park restrooms, shelters, playgrounds, and athletics fields/courts effective immediately. We are taking these measures to help slow the potential spread of COVID-19 in public areas. However, our City Parks will remain open for passive leisure activities such as walking or jogging. Paved trails and disc golf courses are open as well as open green spaces to enjoy a picnic or family time. If you have any questions, please contact Parks & Recreation at (423)586-0260 


3.         The Hamblen County Health Department has modified patient/customer service for  all regular programs in order to encourage further community protection from Coronavirus.  Currently, program services such as WIC, Family Planning, Immunizations, Vital Records (birth and death certificates), and others can be provided either over the phone or curbside at the health department building.  Everyone is encouraged to call before coming to the health department for instruction on the safest, best way to receive the requested service.  Phone number for the Hamblen County Health Department:  423-586-6431, then please press 0. Hours of operation are:  Mon.-Fri., 7:00 AM-4:30 PM


4.         The Hamblen County Health Department is offering assessments for COVID-19.  People who have concerns they may have symptoms of COVID-19 can contact the health department at 423-586-6431 and press 0, for consultation and to talk through potential options for testing in their area.   If you are ill and experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 (fever and cough, shortness of breath or breathing problems) it is recommended you call either your health care provider or the health department first so they can arrange for your arrival to minimize the risk of exposing others to an illness.  There are many things the public can do to help flatten the curve and reduce the impact of COVID-19:


Wash your hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand rub) for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

Stay home when you are sick

Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue

Clean and disinfect objects (e.g., cell phone, computer) and high touch surfaces regularly

Practice social/physical distancing from others, be safer at home


The East Regional Health Office has an information line for local residents and healthcare providers to call with questions or concerns related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.  The information line is 865-549-5343, and is designed to provide callers with trusted information related to COVID-19.   Residents with medical questions will be referred to their health care provider or a public health nurse.  The information line is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.