Meeting notes from tonight’s County Commission meeting follow Governor Lee’s newest Executive Order, the COVID-19 Update, and the CCHD update.
Gov. Lee Signs Executive Order Giving Parents Ability to Opt Out of School Mask Mandates
Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 84 to give parents the ability to opt their child out of a local mask mandate enacted by a school or health board.
Gov. Lee’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
“Thanks for joining today. Before we cover an important COVID-19 announcement, I want to express a heavy heart regarding the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan. Over the years, many Tennesseans were deployed and some lost their lives to fight the War on Terror and create stability in the region.
The sacrifices of American troops are not in vain. My hope is that wisdom will prevail in the United States’ response. I hope you will join me in praying for the people of Afghanistan.
Let me start off this portion of the briefing by saying that we’re facing a significant challenge in our hospitals as a result of the increase in COVID cases.
The most important tool we have to fight the pandemic is a vaccine. I encourage Tennesseans who have not been vaccinated to talk to their doctor to consider getting vaccinated and to make an informed decision. I worked with my doctor and received the vaccine and it has been a dependable tool to keep me healthy.
The government will not mandate or require anyone to get a vaccine but I encourage you to consider it for yourself. It’s widely available, it’s effective and it’s free.
More and more Tennesseans are choosing to be vaccinated, almost 100,000 per week and this is good news for the health of our state.
If you do become sick with COVID, early intervention is important – please call your doctor to ask about treatments. Monoclonal antibodies are widely available at 72 centers across our state and are highly effective if used early. Your doctor can advise you on the best route for you.
I want to acknowledge the frustration and fear that many are feeling – fear of COVID and its effects on your family, fear of government intervention and its effect, and frustration over everything from masks to information that changes by the day.
Right now, some of the greatest frustration is occurring in our K-12 schools, especially around the issue of mask mandates. While local decision-making is important, individual decision-making by a parent on issues regarding the health and well-being of their child is the most important.
No one cares about the health and well-being of a child more than a parent. I am signing an executive order today that allows parents to opt their children out of a school mask mandate if either a school board or health board enacts one over a district.
Districts will make the decision they believe are best for their schools, but parents will have the ultimate decision-making for their individual child’s health and well-being. I will not be calling a special session at this time.
Our hospitals are struggling under the weight of COVID but those hospital beds are filled with adults. Requiring parents to make their children wear masks to solve an adult problem is in my view the wrong approach.
Our hospitals and our health care workers are doing everything they can to take care of Tennesseans. That’s why I signed an executive order last week giving them maximum flexibility to do their jobs. My administration continues to provide funding and staffing support to ensure there are no barriers to hospitals facing strain. I commend them once again for their incredible work and service to Tennesseans.
While we deal with this issue, it remains important that we keep our schools open and in person as we’ve seen the devastating loss of progress our kids have had academically when schools were remote or closed. Parents, if your children aren’t feeling well – keep them at home, stay in touch with your pediatrician. Good common sense will go a long way.
I commend school boards across this state as most of you kept your schools open last year and are committed to doing so again this year.
It’s frustrating that we’re headed into another school year with these challenges – it’s disheartening that the COVID challenge continues – but I’m proud of Tennesseans who, in spite of suffering, have persevered, and because of their character, there’s great hope. Thank you for joining today.”
Cumberland County is seeing a surge in COVID-19 infections as the Delta variant continues to spread. According to the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), in Cumberland County there are 488 active cases of COVID-19, which is up from a recent low of one on July 5, 2021. There have been 146 deaths as of the date of this newsletter. Datasets for additional information can be found at https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/data/downloadable-datasets.html.
Getting vaccinated is a personal decision and should be made by an individual and their doctor and other trusted advisors. Information for those that wish to get vaccinated is provided below.
Cumberland County Population Vaccinated
- Number of vaccines reported (including first and second doses): 46,542
- County Population with at least one dose of any manufacturer: 25,044
- County Population Fully Vaccinated: 22,996
State Vaccination Dashboard:
Cumberland County Health Department Update
Testing hours are now from to 9 am to 1 pm Monday – Friday beginning Monday August 16th
Vaccination hours on Thursdays only change to 9 am to 5:30 pm beginning Thursday August 19th.
If you have any questions, please contact the CCHD.
Cumberland County Commission Meeting
The August meeting of the Cumberland County Commission was held tonight with all Commissioners in attendance except Chad Norris. I was also unable to attend so a big thank you Beth Davis, my Office Manager, for getting the vote details to me for this newsletter. The meeting was ran by Chairman Pro Tempore, Commissioner Terry Lowe.
RESOLUTION 08-2021-1 – TO APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE AUDIT COMMITTEE
(FOSTER). This resolution reappointed Amanda Houston and appointed Kim Tabor to the Audit Committee with terms expiring August 15, 2023. The resolution was approved unanimously.
RESOLUTION 08-2021-2 – TO APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE ADULT-ORIENTED
ESTABLISHMENT BOARD (FOSTER). David Gibson and Grant Thurman were reappointed to the Adult-Oriented Establishment Board for four year terms in an 16-1 vote with Commissioner Gibson abstaining.
RESOLUTION 08-2021-3 – TO APPOINT MEMBER ON THE CROSSVILLE-CUMBERLAND COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU (FOSTER). This resolution reappointed Beth Wyatt-Davis and appointed Wand Reid to the CVB for terms to expire on August 31, 2024. The resolution was approved 17-0.
RESOLUTION 08-2021-4 – TO APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE CUMBERLAND COUNTY “E-911” EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS (FOSTER). Sheriff Casey Cox was appointed, and Gary Adams reappointed to the E-911 Board for terms that expire August 31, 2025. The vote to approve was unanimously.
RESOLUTION 08-2021-5 – TO ACCEPT OFFER(S) TO PURCHASE DELINQUENT TAX PROPERTY OWNED BY CUMBERLAND COUNTY (HYDER). The following delinquent tax properties were approved for purchase and will now go back on the tax rolls. The commission approved the resolution 17-0.
- Jeffrey & Tamara Bell – Map 149J Group E Parcel 28.00 / 47 Choctaw Ln – $266.90 plus $45 advertising fee
- Mark & Judith Dronebarger – Map 149B Group H Parcel 7.00 / 2212 White Horse Dr – $269.70 plus $45 advertising fee
- Equity Trust (FBO Michael Schwartz) – Map 138A Group B Parcel 6.00 / 3026 Oklahoma Dr – $403.00 plus $45 advertising fee
RESOLUTION 08-2021-6 – TO PURCHASE NEW PROPERTY FOR USE AS ARCHIVES FACILITY (SEIBER). After much discussion in committees and full commission meetings, the commission voted to purchase the old Progressive Savings Bank as previously discussed. The resolution was approved unanimously. There will be more to come on this issue in the future.
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.
Cumberland County Mayor