County Mayor’s Notes – February 24th, 2021

The COVID-19 update follows the Long-term Care Facilities update.

Cumberland County EMS Installs UV Disinfection System in Ambulances
Cumberland County EMS has taken proactive measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and other infectious pathogens, by recently installing an ultraviolet lighting system in their ambulance fleet.  This UV-C technology is proven to destroy the DNA of harmful microorganisms.

These lighting systems are activated remotely from outside the vehicle for the crew’s safety and can disinfect and sanitize the air and environmental surfaces of these unit’s cabin in approximately 90 seconds.

EMS Director Chris Miller stated, “We believe this technology will assist us in keeping our patients, staff, and community as safe as possible.”

This equipment was purchased and installed by using grant funding from the State of Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland Healthcare Coalition.

Long-term Care Facilities Update
Today the Tennessee Department of Health announced state-specific visitation restrictions for long-term care facilities will end effective February 28, 2021. Facilities should use the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidance for safe operation and visitation with limited visitation restrictions no longer in place at the state level.

The Tennessee Department of Health recognizes the extraordinary challenges long-term care facilities, their residents and the family members and caregivers of these particularly vulnerable Tennesseans have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the federal long-term care facility pharmacy partnership, 100 percent of Tennessee’s nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have completed both doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, and Tennessee’s assisted care living facilities and residential homes for the aged are projected to be completed this week.

Guidance for Visitation
The guidance issued by CMS provides reasonable ways a nursing home can safely facilitate in-person visits to address residents’ social and emotional needs. Certified Medicare and Medicaid facilities should continue to follow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Visitation Guidance. Per this guidance, nursing homes may allow indoor visitation when there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing.

Long-term care facilities licensed by the state, which include Tennessee assisted care living facilities, residential homes for the aged and any nursing home not certified by CMS, should reference industry best practices including CMS Visitation Guidance and review related laws and rules when developing their own facility-specific visitation policies and procedures.

The CMS guidance outlines how facilities may expand communal dining and other group activities, provided infection control policies are followed. Even as COVID-19 case counts decline, facilities should remain vigilant in monitoring for COVID-19 cases among residents and staff members through appropriate screening and testing. Facilities may test visitors, which is encouraged, but not required. Additional resources on infection control practices are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The following resources are available for long-term care facilities when updating and developing their visitation policies and procedures.

CMS Visitation Guidance
www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh.pdf

CDC Infection Control Resources
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html

COVID-19 Update (difference from previous day)
The following are the numbers from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) for Cumberland County as of the date of this newsletter. The change from the prior day, not my prior newsletter, is in parenthesis.

82 active cases (-12)
5,873 inactive/recovered (+14)
117 deaths officially reported (+0)
6,072 positive cases (+2)
134 cumulative hospitalizations (+0) *
7.39% positivity rate – 7-day average
96.72% Inactive/Recovered
11.72% cumulative positivity rate (positive cases / positive cases + negative tests)
10.03% of residents have tested positive
0.14% of residents have active cases

Remember:

  • If you feel sick, get tested.
  • STAY HOME after being tested until you get your result.
  • Wear a mask when appropriate.  It is not a political statement; it is about everyone’s health.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Follow the guidelines provided by Governor Lee and the CDC. 
  • Be smart and avoid places you feel are unsafe.

These numbers are intended to be a brief summary of the information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH). More detailed information can be found at the online dashboard: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html

* Hospitalization data reflect the cumulative (total) number of cases of Cumberland County residents that were ever hospitalized AT ANY HOSPITAL from COVID-19. It does not reflect the number of people currently hospitalized.

COVID-19 Vaccination Pharmacy Locations
In addition to the local health department sites, Tennesseans may now seek vaccination appointments through approved community pharmacy locations.  See the current locations by clicking:
https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-community-pharmacy-vaccination-locations/

Vaccination and Testing Locations
COVID-19 vaccination and testing are both conducted at the Community Complex grounds on Livingston Road.  Although both are on the same grounds, the locations are different.  Vaccinations are held closest to the Taco Bell entrance on the Highway 127 side of the grounds, and are located close to the 3-way stop at Industrial Boulevard and Livingston Road.  Testing is located closest to the Farmers Market entrance on the West Avenue (Highway 70N) side of the grounds.

Please watch the signs as they are located to help you get in the correct line.

COVID-19 Health Department Testing Information
COVID-19 testing will continue to be offered at the Cumberland County Community Complex (1398 Livingston Road, Crossville, TN 38571) Monday through Fridayfrom 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.

Self-testing for individuals over age 18 will continue to be offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Smartphone with internet and email are required for everyone on self-testing days.

CCHD will continue to provide COVID-19 testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the assistance of health department staff.

Health Department Information Line
The Cumberland County Health Department (CCHD) has opened a local information line at (931) 707-9007.  The information line will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.

COVID-19 Information and Vaccine Key Links

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