County Mayor’s Notes – May 1st, 2020

COVID-19 Update
28 active cases (down 1)
74 tested positive (no change)
45 recovered (up 1)
1 death officially reported
1,616 negative tests
1,690 total tested

Contact tracing is completed by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH).  Once a patient is contacted about a positive test result by the health department or their local primary care physician, they are immediately contacted by the TDH contact tracing team who investigates their movements and persons that they may have come in close contact with.  TDH considers close contact to be within six feet for more than 10 minutes.  TDH employees will identify themselves when calling. Contact tracing is done out of the regional office. If you are contacted and have questions or concerns about authenticity, etc., feel free to call 931-646-7586.

These numbers are intended to be a brief summary of the information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health.  More detailed information can be found here:

https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html

Governor Lee’s Plan to Reopen
Today, the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives released guidance for faith communities on gathering together in houses of worship.

The full guidelines can be found here and include:

  • A phased approach to resuming in-person gatherings is recommended.  Vulnerable populations (everyone 65 years and older, people with disabilities, people with serious respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, people who are immunocompromised, and others) and children’s activities/nursery programs should not gather in person until a later time.
  • Consider solutions to minimize close personal contact that may be part of your services, such as handshakes or sharing food and drink.
  • As the phased approach begins, limit the size of attendance in your sanctuary and other confined spaces to create seating arrangements that provide at least 6-foot distancing between families. It is recommended not to exceed 50% of maximum capacity of the room and should enable full compliance with CDC recommendations for social distancing and hygiene.  
  • Wear face coverings.
  • Encourage members of the community to stay at home if they are symptomatic, have a fever, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or have traveled internationally or to a domestic hot spot in the past two weeks. 
  • If a member of the congregation has tested positive for COVID-19, consult CDC guidelines and local health department recommendations to determine whether in-person gatherings should cease immediately, the building should close for additional cleaning, or other protocol changes are required.

View the full guidelines here.

Yesterday, Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group released guidance for close contact services, enabling over 38,000 workers to resume business in 89 of the state’s 95 counties on May 6, 2020. Six counties – Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – will create individual plans in consultation with their locally-run health departments.

In addition to the recommendations included within the Tennessee Pledge, the State recommends strict adherence to CDC guidelines. The State’s guidance applies to personal services including barbershops, hair salons, waxing salons, nail spas, massage therapy services and substantially similar businesses that require prolonged close contact with customers.

The full guidelines are posted online at TNPledge.com and include:

Business Process Adaptations

  • Limit the number of customers to 50% of fire code capacity, and practice strict social distancing between customers
  • Services will be offered by appointment only; no walk-ins
  • Make appropriate physical modifications to accommodate social distancing. Workstations should be at least 6 feet apart, with additional measures taken as necessary to ensure that all people stay 6 feet apart at all times except for the staff providing a service to their client; physical barriers to be used where necessary
  • Prohibit use of waiting areas (e.g., could adopt such practices as notifying customers by call or text message) or serenity lounges; limit use of other common areas by multiple people at one time (e.g., elevators, breakrooms, etc.)
  • Ensure thorough workstation and equipment disinfection after each customer (i.e. sanitize all equipment, instruments, capes, smocks, linens, chairs and work area); alternatively, utilize single-use or disposable items
  • Implement enhanced sanitization of commonly touched surfaces and equipment (i.e., at least every two hours and when visibly soiled), using CDC recommended sanitizers and disinfecting protocols
  • Discard any single-use tools (e.g., files, buffers, neck strips) immediately after use
  • Daily deep cleaning and sanitization to be completed for high-touch areas (tanning beds, massage tables, salon chairs, etc.)
  • Use appropriate temperatures for washers and dryers to ensure thorough sanitization of towels, linens, etc.
  • Do not allow non-customer companions to accompany customer during a service
  • Do not allow group or communal settings for close contact personal services (e.g., couples’ massages, salt rooms, saunas, pools)

Consumer Protection

  • Services that require removing face coverings (e.g., beard shaving/trimming, facials, etc.) are not permitted in Phase 1
  • Do not offer any self-serve food or beverages. Temporarily close water fountains. Encourage users to provide their own water 
  • Prohibit congregating in break rooms, check-in counters
  • Customers should wear a cloth face covering at all times while in the premises (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and as recommended by the CDC and executive order of the governor. Use other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC
  • For massage, prone positions could be uncomfortable or dangerous for clients who are wearing face coverings. Accordingly, massage professionals may consider other appropriate precautions such as draping a client’s head and face cradle cover with a thin cotton pillowcase. Otherwise, a face covering should be worn during portions of treatment in which the client is not prone or facedown
  • Screen customers for illness upon their entry into the premises

Employee Protection

  • Screen and temperature-check all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Employees should increase hygiene practices—wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, practice good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing. Change any protective garments on a regular basis and sanitize reusable garments such as aprons or smocks at least once per day.
  • Employees should wear a cloth face covering (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC; if masks become wet or visibly dirty, the mask should be replaced
  • All employees should wash hands between serving each customer, and more frequently as necessary. If appropriate for the service provided, gloves are recommended and should be discarded after each customer. The use of gloves should not be considered a replacement for frequent handwashing
  • Perform regular disinfection of high-touch surface areas (e.g., door handles, counter space, light switches, tools and instruments) at least every two hours and when visibly dirty

View the full guidance here.

Health Department Testing
Your primary care physician and the local Health Department are capable of testing for COVID-19 free of charge.  The local Health Department (1503 South Main Street) is conducting drive through testing Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM.  As of this writing, patients generally receive results within 2-3 days by phone.  For more information call 931-484-6196. 

Thank you for being part of the solution and thank you for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor.  If you are interested in hearing my thoughts and views on news, events, and activities in Cumberland 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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