Video #14 Transcript 04/08/2020

Good evening Hamblen County.  Today is April 8, 2020.  Please take a moment to review the following information and contact Kellie Smith if you have any questions. 



1.         It is apparent that the coronavirus can spread between people interacting in close proximity.  Individuals can spread the virus by speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those individuals are not exhibiting symptoms.  The CDC is now recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.  It is important to note that cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at a very low cost.  These face coverings are effective and it is important to preserve supplies of commercial medical masks for those providing direct patient care.  We have provided a number of websites at the end of this broadcast to explain why they now recommend using a homemade face covering in public places. There is also a page with simple instructions on how to create your own face mask. Of the various options presented, the 3rd option is likely the easiest one to make as it does not require much cutting or sewing and has some added filtration because it uses a coffee filter.


When using your homemade face covering, be sure to follow proper precautions when taking it off:


1. Avoid touching the outside front of mask

2. Avoid touching your face while removing, especially eyes, nose and mouth

3. Wash your hands after removing

4. Make sure to wash your mask before next use. Any of the homemade masks can be washed with your laundry in the washing machine



2.         We are concerned many in our community will struggle with depression, anxiety and separation while we are asked to stay at home.  We have asked several members of the community to prepare inspirational messages and to reach out to our community.  It is our hope these message will provide you with some degree of comfort.  In addition, all of these individuals would want you to contact them if you need someone to talk with during these difficult times.  Please be self-reflective and monitor your mental and spiritual wellbeing.  Don’t attempt to walk this journey alone because there are many within our community willing to help you. 


3.         The school system has open registration for next year.  It is important to note that we have used the term, “registration” to describe a number of important processes.  There are two important registration actions that parents and students must take for the upcoming school year.  First, there is the student demographic information which must be updated each year.  In the past, we have called this process, registration, and it was conducted on the first day of school which was a half day.  This year, our first day of school is committed to beginning the instructional program and we will collect all of the necessary documents and revised parent contact information prior to the start of school.  We need to know if you have changed phone numbers, address, if you child has any new medical conditions we need to be aware of, has any parental rights changed since last year, etc.  We will also ask you to acknowledge that you have read, or understand you have the ability to access, specific documents such as the student code of conduct and the computer use policy.  This process is completed on-line for those who can remember your log-in and passwords.  This process is now open and parents can review their current information and complete all necessary tasks to have your child ready for next year.  The second registration part is actually signing up for specific classes.  Each of the schools are doing something a little different so check your school’s website for how to register for classes next year.  Not all schools have created the logistics for registration at this point so don’t become alarmed if your school has not posted information yet.  This information will be posted soon.  This registration process is more focused on middle and high school students.


4.         As of April 7, there has been a total of 4,138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state of Tennessee.  Of those cases, approximately 408 have been hospitalized and 466 are considered recovered at this point.  We have seen 72 deaths associated with the virus in Tennessee.  As of April 7, there were 4 confirmed cases of the virus in Hamblen County.  To this point, we have done well as a community with a relatively low number of cases.  However, the CDC is predicting the virus may peak within the next two weeks and we need to be dedicated to the concept of staying at home.  It is also important to understand that our medical facilities are not stressed at this time and they are constantly building capacity to respond to a surge if necessary.  We can help to prevent this surge and the potential stressing of our medical facilities if we adopt basic health habits such as washing our hands, coughing/sneezing into a tissue, not touching our face or mouth with unwashed hands, if we maintain social distancing, and if we stay at home.  Help everyone remain safe by being conscientious and doing all you can to prevent contracting the virus and being social responsible by not placing others in danger by our own actions.


5.         The School District will be closed on April 10 for Good Friday.  All school sites and transportation routes will be cancelled on Friday.  We will prepare two lunches and breakfasts for all students on Thursday to ensure children have food on Friday. 



6.         The Hamblen County Health Department will be open on Friday, April 10, Saturday April 11, and Saturday April 18, from the hours of 9:00AM-12:00 PM to offer COVID-19 testing services.  Also, beginning on Monday, April 13, the health department will be doing COVID-19 testing each week day during the hours of 8:30 AM-11:30 AM and 1:00 PM-4:00 PM.  Before coming for testing, please call the health department at 423-586-6431 and press “0” for a suggested time to arrive.