Video #12 Transcript 04/06/2020

Good evening.  Today is April 6, 2020.  Please review the following information and contact Kellie Smith if you have any questions or concerns for the Coronavirus Task Force.



1.         The Hamblen County Department of Health is conducting clinically appropriate testing for COVID-19.  However, the Health Department is requesting that you call before coming in for a test.  You will be asked to discuss your condition with a nurse over the phone.  You will be given an appointment if you meet the criteria for testing. You will be asked to drive to the Health Department at a designated time.  Please contact the Health Department at 423-586-6431 and press 0 when you arrive. You will not be allowed to enter the building.  A representative from the Health Department will come to your vehicle to conduct the testing.  A National Guardsman, who has medical training, may be the individual conducting the testing.  These Guardsman have been assigned by the Governor to help test for COVID 19.   The Health Department is attempting to schedule as many people around the same time in order to conserve protective personal equipment. The Guardsman have an elaborate process they must adhere to when testing.  It is much easier and more efficient  for them to have a set schedule to test. The Health Department will conduct a COVID 19 test for individuals with specific criteria even if they don’t call first but it helps tremendously if patients call before arriving at the Health Department.  Contacting the Health Department before arriving, will help you and the Health Department be more efficient and effective.   


2.         During a time of crisis, we often see the very best in people.  Conversely, we also see the worse in some.  Throughout our community, we are beginning to see a number of scams and phishing attempts to secure personal and financial information from individuals.  Please consider all emails, phone calls, and other contacts with significant thought before responding. Hamblen County or state officials would not contact you to ask for personal or financial information.  We strongly encourage all citizens to carefully vet every request presented to you and never give out financial information before you are certain the source is legitimate.  In addition, never send money to any of these sources until you are confident they are legitimate. Many of these scams are presented with formal looking letterhead and they seem to be from an official source.  Be careful with your personal information and money.


3.         The City has closed all playgrounds and parks during the stay at home order.  This closure will include all activities including walking, jogging or biking.  This would also include all tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic shelters, and playgrounds.  It is virtually impossible to keep all of this equipment disinfected and we should be at home with the exception of attending essential activities.  This is a temporary closure and all parks will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. 


4.         The school district will also close all playgrounds and outdoor basketball courts during the stay at home order.  We understand individuals are becoming bored at home and want to gather at the parks and playgrounds to enjoy the outdoors.  However, this equipment will be touched by many different people during the course of the day and it is impossible to keep this equipment disinfected.  In addition, the playgrounds and basketball courts tend to encourage individuals to gather together will inhibits social distancing.  This is a temporary closure and we will reopen as soon as we can.  We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.  


5.         The CDC has indicated the virus may peak in many parts of the nation over the next two weeks.  It is critical we take the virus seriously and remain at home during this time.  It is extremely difficult to predict the patterns associated with the virus but there appears to be indications it may be peaking soon.  Let us all be committed to doing all we can to flatten the curve by staying home and maintain social distancing.