County Mayor’s Notes – March 26th, 2021

There is a lot of information in this newsletter.  Be sure to read to the end.

Cumberland County Population Vaccinated
My apologies for the condition of the roads at the Community Complex.  We are trying to keep them graveled and graded but the rains have made it difficult and bumpy.

  • Number of vaccines reported (including first and second doses): 25,613
  • County Population with at least one dose of any manufacturer: 16,138
  • County Population Fully Vaccinated: 9,877

State Vaccination Dashboard:
https://data.tn.gov/t/Public/views/TennIISCOVID-19VaccineReporting/SUMMARY?:showAppBanner=false&:display_count=n&:showVizHome=n&:origin=viz_share_link&:toolbar=no&:embed=yes

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.

102 active cases (-8)
6,078 inactive/recovered (+9)
125 deaths officially reported (+0)
6,305 positive cases (+1)
146 cumulative hospitalizations (+0) *
10.50% positivity rate – 7-day average
96.40% Inactive/Recovered
11.74% cumulative positivity rate (positive cases / positive cases + negative tests)
10.42% of residents have tested positive
0.17% of residents have active cases

* 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.

Vaccination Phase Update
The 89 Health Departments operated by the State of Tennessee, including the Cumberland County Health Department, have moved into the phase 2 risk groups for vaccinations which includes critical infrastructure workers.  They have also moved into the 55+ age groups for eligibility.  If you are in any of these groups, you can sign up today!

Governor Lee has also announced that all Tennesseans age 16 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination no later than April 5. 

Vaccination appointments are widely available across the state, with many rural Tennessee county health departments seeing only a fraction of their daily COVID-19 vaccination appointments filled. Tennesseans eligible for COVID-19 vaccination can visit https://vaccinate.tn.gov/ to book their vaccination appointment at their county health department.

Information on other vaccination locations in the community is available at https://vaccinefinder.org/search/. These sites include retail pharmacies, independent pharmacies, hospitals, federally qualified health care centers, and faith-based health clinics.

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.

Cumberland County Health Department (CCHD) Testing
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will continue to be self-test days.  Designated drop off is at CCHD by 3 pm only on those days only.  The test can be completed onsite at the complex and left with testing staff. 

The new testing times will be from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm Monday-Friday unless otherwise closed for holidays.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will continue to be PCR testing conducted by Health Department staff. 

COVID-19 Information and Vaccine Key Links

Consent Decree
The following is from a press release I sent to all media and posted on social media yesterday:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Department of Justice Consent Decree
March 25, 2021

Cumberland County and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have reached an agreement on discrimination charges for actions that were alleged to have occurred at the Solid Waste Department in 2017 and prior.  It was mutually agreed that this issue would be settled by Consent Decree to avoid the risks of lengthy litigation.  Both parties have agreed that the Consent Decree is not an adjudication or finding on the merits of the case, and it is not an admission of liability by Cumberland County.

When employee allegations are made, the county is responsible for responding appropriately.  The DOJ lawsuit against Cumberland County was for failing to take adequate precautions to prevent the alleged sexual harassment rather than for the actual allegations that were made.  In this case, those allegations were not brought to the county, but instead filed directly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

When I took office as Cumberland County Mayor in September of 2018, the first significant request I made of the County Commission was to create a Human Resources Department.  The County Commission unanimously agreed and funded the department.  A director was hired, and we began the process of creating a new Personnel and Policy Handbook for the employees of Cumberland County Government. 

The old policy, which was a version from County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), was not bad per se, but it was dated.  Employee training was also needed. The new Personnel and Policy Handbook currently in place spells out the processes needed to ensure individuals have multiple reporting avenues as well as the annual training each employee will receive.  These procedures are in place and annual employee training is already implemented.

The Consent Decree contained a financial element that was largely covered by insurance.  It also covered a few small changes to the new Personnel and Policy Handbook that have already been approved.  Cumberland County will continue to improve our policies and procedures as needed to provide a positive work environment for all.

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