County Mayor’s Notes, COVID-19: March 15th, 2020

COVID-19  The Coronavirus.  It’s not just about you or me.  The fact is that many of us are in an age group or health status that has a very small risk of serious complications.  Does that mean we have nothing to worry about and that we should ignore the advice from our federal and state leaders?  No, it doesn’t. 

What about our parents, grandparents, and other family and friends that are in an age group that is at risk?  What about those that have underlying medical conditions that make them particularly vulnerable?  We may or may not be in one of those groups, but we could be affecting people that are – perhaps even someone we love.  The temporary protective measures that we are being asked to implement could make a difference to many in the more vulnerable groups.  It matters.

COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu and has a higher fatality rate.  In addition to making temporary lifestyle changes to protect those most vulnerable, we also need to help flatten the curve.  What does that mean?  The red curve in the graphic below represents the number of cases without protective measures in place.  The blue curve represents the possible number of cases with protective measures in place.  The key is the healthcare system capacity line.  It represents the healthcare resources available to address COVID-19.  If we have the red spike without the protective measures, we run the risk of not having enough hospital beds, ventilators, medications, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to care for the sick.  Running short of healthcare resources would likely mean a greater loss of life.  The protective measures make a difference.  They matter. 

Are we overreacting or is this the end of civilization?  As with most things, the truth is somewhere in between.  COVID-19 is real, it is serious, and it is in the US.  As of this writing, there has yet to be a confirmed case in Cumberland County.  The Coronavirus was barely a topic for discussion with the public just a couple of weeks ago, but now we are in an environment where things change by the hour, if not sooner.  That can make it hard to determine what we should believe – what is real.

This isn’t about having the bravado to face the virus, but it is also not a time for panic.  It’s about community.  It’s about doing the right thing to help our friends, family, and neighbors.  We don’t have to hide in fear, but we should follow the guidance from our State and Federal leaders and practice the following:

  • Social distancing
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If you feel ill, stay at home
  • Avoid large group gatherings
  • Follow CDC directions for cleaning and read all directions on cleaning solutions

I am in constant contact with City of Crossville Officials, as well as our local Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Health Department and other local agencies.  I have listened in on briefing calls from the White House intended for local governments and I read multiple briefings daily.  Cumberland County has established emergency preparedness plans in place.  Our EMA is in continued communication with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), the lead agency for any emerging health threats in Tennessee.  Cumberland County has a plan and is prepared to follow the lead of our State and Federal agencies.  

For more detailed information and updates, please go to:

https://www.tn.gov/health/news.html or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

You can also go to the County website, www.cumberlandcountytn.gov, to the COVID-19 page under the Resources menu.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor.  If you are interested in following the events of the county, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you,
Allen Foster
Cumberland County Mayor
http://allenfoster.net

Published by allenfoster

Cumberland County Mayor

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