Local News

COVID-19—TN

THERE ARE NOW 4-THOUSAND 138 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN TENNESSEE.  THAT’S AN INCREASE OF 336 FROM MONDAY.  THERE ARE NOW 72 DEATHS UP FROM 65 REPORTED ON MONDAY.  THERE’VE BEEN 408 HOSPITALIZATIONS AND 466 PEOPLE HAVE RECOVERED.  IN THE REGION, THERE ARE 27 CASES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, 26 IN SULLIVAN COUNTY, 18 IN GREENE COUNTY AND 16 IN HAWKINS COUNTY.  CARTER COUNTY HAS 3 CASES, JOHNSON COUNTY HAS 2 AND 1 IN UNICOI COUNTY.

COVID-19—VIRGINIA

THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN VIRGINIA CONTINUES TO INCREASE.  THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH REPORTS 3-THOUSAND 333—AN INCREASE OF 455 SINCE MONDAY.  THERE ARE NOW 63 DEATHS—UP 9 FROM MONDAY.  THERE ARE ALSO NEW CASES IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA AS THE NUMBER OF CASES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY HAS DOUBLED TO 10.  THE MAJORITY OF THE CASES IN THE STATE ARE IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

COVID-19—SMALL/RURAL HOSPITALS

TENNESSEE GOVERNOR BILL LEE SAYS $10-MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANT MONIES WILL HELP SMALL AND RURAL HOSPITALS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, “TO KEEP SMALL AND RURAL HOSPITALS OPEN AND FOR THEM TO CONTINUE TO OFFER SERVICES AS WE BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN NOW AND THE TIME FEDERAL FUNDING COMES FOR THOSE HOSPITALS.”    HOSPITALS ACROSS THE NATION HAVE TAKEN A FINANCIAL HIT—AS ELECTIVE PROCEDURES HAVE BEEN POSTPONED.

COVID-19—KINGSPORT—PRECAUTIONS

IT’S THE SECOND AND FINAL WEEK OF KINGSPORT’S ANNUAL SPRING CLEAN-UP SERVICE.  CITY CREWS ARE COLLECTING EXTRA ITEMS AND CITY MANAGER CHRIS MCCARTT SAYS EXTRA PRECAUTIONS ARE BEING TAKEN, “WE’RE REALLY STRESSING TO THOSE THAT ARE INVOLVED IN CLEAN-UP WEEK TO MAKE SURE THEY USE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.  HOPEFULLY, WE CAN GET AS MUCH AS WE CAN WITH THE GRABBER TRUCK AND NOT HAVE TO HANDLE BY HAND ANYTHING.”    THE CITY WILL STILL CHARGE FOR CONTRACTOR-GENERATED WASTE AND TREE DEBRIS DURING THIS SERVICE.  THE CLEAN-UP SERVICE RUNS THROUGH FRIDAY.

COVID-19—GAS PRICES

THE NATIONAL AVERAGE PRICE OF GAS IS $1.92 A GALLON—NINE CENTS CHEAPER THAN LAST WEEK, 48-CENTS LOWER THAN A MONTH AGO AND 81-CENTS LESS THAN ONE YEAR AGO.  DEMAND IS LIKELY TO STAY DOWN—AS AMERICANS ARE BEING URGED TO LIMIT TRIPS TO ONLY ESSENTIAL ONES AT LEAST UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF MAY.  IN THE TRI-CITIES, THE AVERAGE IS $1.69 A GALLON—DOWN 15-CENTS FROM LAST WEEK.

COVID-19—PEAK??

A MODEL GENERATED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON IS PREDICTING PEAKS FOR COVID-19 RELATED DEATHS IN TENNESSEE AND VIRGINIA IN THE COMING WEEKS.  IT’S PREDICTED DEATHS WILL PEAK IN TENNESSEE ON APRIL 17TH AND ON APRIL 22ND IN VIRGINIA.  THE MODEL ALSO PREDICTS THAT TENNESSEE WILL HAVE ENOUGH HOSPITAL AND INTENSIVE CARE BEDS TO MEET THE DEMAND WHILE VIRGINIA WOULD HAVE A SHORTAGE OF 231 ICU BEDS.  BOTH STATES ARE UNDER STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS IN AN ATTEMPT TO FLATTEN THE CURVE.

COVID-19—CURVE??

BALLAD HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY WHILE MORE DATA IS NEEDED, IT’S AN ENCOURAGING SIGN THAT THE NUMBER OF NEW COVID-19 CASES COULD BE FLATTENING A BIT.    DURING A TUESDAY MEDIA BRIEFING, BALLAD CEO ALAN LEVINE SAID HE’S HOPEFUL, “IF IT TRENDS IN THE WAY WE’RE HOPING IT WILL, THEN IT WILL PUSH BACK WHEN WE WILL HIT CAPACITY.”    LAST WEEK, LEVINE SAID THE NUMBERS SHOWED BALLAD ON TRACK TO REACH CAPACITY IN  40 TO 70 DAYS.

COVID-19—MASKS

 

WITH THE RECOMMENDATION THAT PEOPLE WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC, BALLAD HEALTH OFFICIALS TODAY OFFERED SOME GUIDANCE AND TIPS.  LISA SMITHGALL IS CHIEF NURSING EXECUTIVE AND SAYS, “YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE MASK COVERS BOTH YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH AND GOES AROUND YOUR CHIN AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER NOT TO TOUCH YOUR FACE OR ADJUST THE MASK.”    TAKE THE MASK OFF BY THE EAR LOOPS AND DON’T TOUCH IT.  INSTEAD, PUT IT IN A BAG OR YOUR WASHING MACHINE.  IF YOU DO TOUCH IT, IMMEDIATELY WASH YOUR HANDS.

SULLIVAN SCAM

THERE’S A SCAM CIRCULATING WHERE CALLERS HAVE BEEN POSING AS MEMBERS OF THE SULLIVAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE.  THE CALLERS TELL PEOPLE THERE’S A WARRANT OUT FOR THEIR ARREST FOR MISSING JURY DUTY AND THEY CAN EITHER SEND MONEY OR GO TO JAIL.  ANOTHER SCAM HAS RESURFACED WHERE CALLERS TELL WOULD-BE-VICTIMS THAT A FAMILY MEMBER IS IN JAIL AND MONEY IS NEEDED FOR BOND.  IF YOU RECEIVE SUCH A CALL, CALL THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT 279-7330 AND REPORT IT.  THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE ALSO REMINDS PEOPLE THAT WHEN THE IRS SENDS THE COVID-19 STIMULUS CHECKS, THEY WON’T ASK FOR ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION.