COVID-19 UPDATES

Friday, April 03, 2020 | The Office of the Mayor, Town of Huntingdon, TN

It is imperative that the citizens of Huntingdon, continue to “Do Our Part” and STAY-AT-HOME to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

As reported from the TN Governor’s Office:
Today, Gov. Lee and members of the Unified Command group traveled to Knoxville and Chattanooga to meet with local leaders and discuss surge planning efforts in these areas.

Administration Actions

Executive Order 24
Gov. Lee signed Executive Order 24 which includes the following provisions:

-Gives Commissioner of Health authority to allow post-degree, pre-licensed mental or behavioral health professionals to treat patients through telemedicine under the supervision of a licensed professional.

-Extends payment due date for the professional privilege tax from June 1 to July 1.

-Suspends until July 1 the April 6 deadline for filing applications for property tax relief and tax freezes, so that elderly and other vulnerable populations will not have to visit public buildings to apply.

-Gives the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development the discretion to require a terminating employer’s information faster (within 4 days, rather than 7 days) in the unemployment benefits claims process, in order to speed up processing of benefits.

-Extends price gouging law for another 15-day period (it can only be invoked for 15 days at a time)

-Suspends expiration of marriage licenses, which normally happens within 30 days of obtaining the license if no ceremony is held, between March 12 and May 31 is until June 30, so that those delaying their weddings because of COVID-19 don’t have to pay for a new license.

-Suspends due dates for filing statements of interest with Tennessee Ethics Commission and Governor’s Office to July 15, so that it is consistent with the federal tax return filing deadline.

-Extends deadline for previously certified law enforcement officers in Tennessee or another state that are beginning work as full-time law enforcement officers to complete certain introductory POST Commission courses.

-Allows motor vehicle dealers to record their interest in financed vehicles with the Secretary of State while county offices are closed.

-Extends due dates for driver license reinstatement installment payments for those on payment plans until June 17.

-Provides flexibility for Tennessee Corrections Institute county jail plans in light of COVID-19 conditions .

– Suspending the requirement that funds provided to the state at walk-in state service locations be deposited within 24 hours if needed to safeguard the health, welfare, and safety of state employees.

For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here. https://www.tn.gov/…/covid-19-bulletin–12—april-3–2020.…

April 2, 2020: The Office of The Mayor, Town of Huntingdon, TN

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 23 requiring that Tennesseans stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities.

The executive order remains in effect until April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Gov. Lee addressed these measures in the press briefing today at 3 p.m. CDT.

For you to refer back to Executive Order 22, we have attached it here also.

Today’s briefing may be viewed here: https://sts.streamingvideo.tn.gov/…/mediasiteadmin-covid-19…

Executive Order 23: https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee23.pdf

April 1, 2020: The Office of the Mayor, Town of Huntingdon, TN

The Office of the Mayor participated in a conference call from The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with Dr. Anthony Faci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, as well as other White House administration. The purpose of this call was to provide State and local elected officials with up-to-date information on COVID-19 (coronavirus) and pertinent Administration and Task Force actions. Dr. Faci explained just how critial the next two weeks will be for all of us on a local level to stop the spread of COVID-19. He also discussed the importance of citizens intensively adhering to the physical separation guidelines. 

Briefings were also conducted by:

Larry Kudlow – Assistant to the President for Economic Policy

  • Highlighted details on the Economic Assistance Plan and how it will assist individuals/ families that have been affected by the virus, as well as assisting small businesses.

Dan Klowoski – Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury

  • Discussed deails on the Implementation of the Corona Virus Relief Fund.

Denzel McGuire – Program Associate Director for Education and Labor for the Office of Management and Budget

  • Provided a breakdown of funds in the areas of education, HUD, CBDG grants, transit agencies and medical facilities.

Chris Pilkerton  – Acting Administrator of the Small Business Administration 

  • Discussed the resources that can be utilzied to support small businesses during this time. 
  • Importance of small businesses contacting their local lenders about Loan Debt Forgiveness Grants.
  • Website resources: 

www.sba.gov

https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

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Martin Center | UTM

John Pallasch – Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration

  • Explored topics of Cares Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and Dislocated Worker Grants
  • Website resource:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd

Chris Krebbs – Director of Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

  • Discussed process of establishing essential and non-essential declarations and gave updates on the continued process to manage these declarations. 
  • Website resource:

https://www.cisa.gov/

For questions please contact City Hall at 986-2900.

MARCH 31, 2020: The Office of the Mayor, Town of Huntingdon, TN

The Mayor participated in a conference call briefing from Tennessee Governor, Bill Lee. We are thankful for his commitment in staying connected to all city and county mayors during this time. We are committed to working together to keep our citizens safe and economies working. Executive Order 22, issued yesterday by the Governor, directed Tennesseans to stay home unless engaging in essential activities to limit their exposure and spread of COVID-19.

It is extremely imperative that the citizens of Huntingdon follow the strong urging of this order to stay at home when at all possible for the protection of yourselves and this community. If your job is an Essential Activity or Essential Service (link follows defining classifications), you are strongly encouraged to use thoughtful planning, careful coordination, and consideration of others when engaging in Essential Activity or Essential Services in order to minimize the need and frequency for leaving their place of residence or property.

What is an Essential Activity or Essential Service?https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee22.pdf

Following the guidelines set forth in Executive Order 22, Huntingdon’s parks will close all pavilions, playgrounds, and basketball courts, as these activities present a unique risk for the spread of COVID-19 and do not follow the health guidelines set forth by the CDC to remain (6) feet apart and avoid surfaces or objects that could possibly have the virus on them. Parks will remain open for walking and outdoor activities where the health guidelines may be followed.

We all have a personal responsibility to make wise decisions about how we respond to this situation. Because of the nature of COVID-19, what we do at this moment and how we limit our activity/ interaction with others will not produce immediate results that we can see. Therefore, you must do your part to follow the guidelines set forth or our healthcare system will be overwhelmed in the coming weeks.

Please remember to continue supporting our local businesses by utilizing their curb-side services and shopping with them through on-line avenues. We are all in this together, and we are proud of our town’s response through support and encouragement of one another.
Now, please continue to show community support by doing the most important thing you can do as a member of it–Stay at Home and Help Stop the Spread of Covid-19 in Huntingdon and Carroll County!

For questions, please contact Huntingdon City Hall at 986.2900.

MARCH 30, 2020: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has issued safer at home guidelines in every Tennessee county.

Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live each day this week at 3 p.m. CDT here. Gov. Lee has also established a website specific to COVID-19 updates which can be found here.

Administration Actions

Executive Order 22 – Statewide Safer at Home Order

Today, Gov. Lee issued Executive Order 22, implementing safer at home guidelines in every Tennessee county to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect Tuesday, March 31 at 12:01 a.m. CDT and will extend to April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT. This is not a mandated shelter in place, but instead urges Tennesseans who are in non-essential roles to remain at home.

The executive order restricts businesses that cannot safely operate during COVID-19 including businesses like barber shops, salons, recreational and entertainment outfits. It also provides for the continuation of essential businesses throughout every county to protect the economy.

Unified Command Engaging Entrepreneurs

Unified Command announced a partnership with LaunchTN to work directly with Tennessee businesses and entrepreneurs who are willing to switch production to make lifesaving PPE and medical supplies, as well as other important health care functions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.

MARCH 26, 2020: Links to Governor of Tennessee’s Update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19 relief.

Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live each day this week at 3 p.m. CDT here. Gov. Lee has also established a website specific to COVID-19 updates which can be found here.

Key Updates from Gov. Lee:

COVID-19 Unified Command

On March 23, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee established the COVID-19 Unified Command, a joint effort to be led by Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, to streamline coordination across the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Department of Military. This group launched a website today which includes helpful resources, FAQs, and local and global data related to COVID-19.

Public Service Announcement Campaign

Today, the State of Tennessee launched a public service announcement campaign that urges all Tennesseans to adopt preventive health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. View Governor and First Lady’s video here. Additional information can be found here.

Administration Actions

Unemployment

Tennessee is experiencing an unprecedented number of unemployment claims through the Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Since last week, Tennessee has received 39,096 claims and counting compared to 2,702 the week prior, a 1,300% spike in unemployment.

The state is spearheading a public-private partnership with the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, Tennessee Retail Association, and Hospitality TN to create the Tennessee Talent Exchange powered by Jobs4TN.gov.

The goal of the exchange is to quickly match Tennesseans who are out of work due to COVID-19 with companies currently experiencing a surge in business and making immediate hires. The Department of Labor & Workforce Development has modified the state’s workforce development website to quickly post job openings and match job seekers with employers. Additional information can be found here.

Executive Order 20

Today, Gov. Lee signed Executive Order 20 to ensure Tennessee can further mobilize health care workers to fight COVID-19.

The executive order accomplishes the below actions, among others:

·         Loosens restrictions around retired medical professionals to help get qualified individuals back in the workforce.

·         Temporarily suspends continuing education requirements so professionals can continue working through the pandemic.

·         Calls for the availability of phone assessments for individuals with mental illness or emotional disturbances.

·         Expands telemedicine efforts so that all licensed providers may utilize telemedicine during COVID-19 as long as they are practicing within their normal scope of practice.

For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.

Yesterday, March 25, 2020, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19 relief. This also included information that FEMA has approved Tennessee’s disaster declaration for the remaining counties. All affected counties are now covered: Benton, Carroll, Davidson, Putnam, Smith and Wilson. To read the full briefing please go here: https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/covid-19-daily-bulletin/2020/3/25/covid-19-bulletin–6—march-25–2020.html

MARCH 26, 2020: From the Office of The Mayor, Town of Huntingdon

It is imperative as citizens of Huntingdon, TN that we all do our part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. This disease is in our community and surrounding areas, so we must be adamant in taking every precaution and following guidelines set forth by the CDC. Wash your hands frequently and continue to practice social distancing. Stay home if you are able to do so. If your job requires you to be out, take safety precautions and try, as much as possible, to limit your interactions with others. Keep in mind that people over 65 and those with compromised immune systems or prior illnesses are at a greater risk. However, this disease does not discriminate and is affecting every category of our population. As of Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., the TN State Health Department reported 21-30 year olds to be the category with the most confirmed cases (260) in our state. We encourage our citizens to use wise judgment in these times. Your individual choices can save your life and the lives of your loved ones, as well as the lives of complete strangers. 

We are thankful for the increased amount of sun and mild weather, but with this, we have seen a large increase in outdoor activity. Please make sure you are practicing social distancing. We ask parents or guardians, please keep children from gathering or playing together with others from separate households to ensure their safety.

We would like to commend businesses in our community for altering the way you provide your services and for following guidelines to ensure the safety of our citizens. Please continue to support our local businesses during this time. 

Following are TOH Department Updates:

  • All Town of Huntingdon buildings are closed to the public and to outside departments. City Hall Lobby is closed, but drive thru and night drop box are available. We will accept credit/debit payments by phone without an additional fee. Hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • As safe potable (drinking) water is a necessity for life, it is important that we have a redundant system that will insure safe water and follow all regulations. The Town of Huntingdon currently has five (5) certified water treatment and distribution operators. Public Utility employees are continuing their regular shifts, and answering calls on a 24 hour basis.
  • It is important for the public health to collect and treat sewer in a way that insures safety to the public, to the environment, and follows regulation laws. The Town of Huntingdon has three (3) certified operators for the Sewer Treatment and Collection. 
  • Parks are remaining open in order to allow citizens to participate in outdoor activity. However, the parks are not allowing any public gatherings of more than ten (10) people and should be practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet from other individuals.  The restrooms are cleaned twice a day during the week. All bathrooms will be locked during the weekends while the threat of the virus exists. Our cemetery employees are continuing to maintain the cemeteries.  
  • Garbage pickup is contracted out to Waste Management (WM). WM has advised that barring any unforeseen circumstances, they intend to continue to fulfill their contract. The Town employees will continue to pick up bulk debris and brush on the normal schedule.
  • The Dixie is rescheduling performances and events affected during this time.
  • All City Court is being rescheduled until June 1, 2020.
  • Police officers are continuing their daily activities and routines but limiting person to person contact with the public to emergency situations.
  • The Department of Public Safety is conducting a daily walk through of local businesses to assess the food and necessity availability.  Conditions are improving with shelves being restocked and less panic buying at this time.

Please contact City Hall at 986.2900 if you have any questions.

MARCH 25, 2020: The Office of the Mayor, Town of Huntingdon participated in a conference call from The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs with the U.S. Surgeon General – Jerome Adams – and Senior Administration Officials. The purpose of this call was to provide State and local elected officials with up-to-date information on COVID-19 (coronavirus) and pertinent Administration and Task Force actions.

Briefings were also conducted by:

Dr. Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing

  • Updates on repurposing of factories to meet the needs of medical equipment and other essentials during this time.
  • Importance of asking local businesses/ entities that have extra N95 masks to donate those to local healthcare facilities. (City Hall in the Town of Huntingdon will be the local drop-off for these items, as well as other surgical masks or home-sewn masks. Please call City Hall at 731-986-2900 for questions or drop off at the window between the hours of 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) 

John Gibbs, Acting Secretary of Community Planning and Development at HUD

Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

  • Critical infrastructure
  • Transportation and essential economic activity of supply chains
  • FEMA grant updates

Bill Hughes, Associate Director of the Department of Justice

  • Commitment to continued safety
  • Scams and Price Gouging
  • If anyone is approached by a scammer or witnesses price gouging, the public is encouraged to contact the Federal Hotline with complaints and tips at 1-877-720-5721 or report to local authorities. (Huntingdon Police Department at 986-2906 or 986-5310)

Ian Brown, U.S. Department of State

  • Assisting U.S. citizens efforts to return from overseas
  • step.state.gov – an individual may register to return to the U.S.
  • travel.state.gov – to see conditions of travel in other countries

Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

  • samhsa.gov/coronavirus – resources for local health providers and public dealing with mental health and substance abuse during this time

For any questions, please contact Huntingdon, TN City Hall at 731-986-2900

MARCH 23, 2020: Gov. Bill Lee Signs Executive Order 18 Limiting Non-Emergency Healthcare Procedures and Requesting Donation of Medical Supplies by Non-Hospital Healthcare Providers. On Monday, March 23, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 18, which prohibits hospitals, out-patient surgery centers, and dental surgery centers from performing elective surgeries. The order also requests and encourages non-hospital healthcare providers to donate their medical supplies like masks to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Executive Order 18:

https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee18.pdf

MARCH 23, 2020:  Since the onset of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the U.S., the Town of Huntingdon (TOH) has been in diligent communication with state and local leaders, as well as participation in conference call briefings with The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and locally comprised health and response task force teams.

Daily reports are received in the Office of the Mayor, where department heads within the TOH meet each day to assess, initiate response and begin mitigation plans. The Town of Huntingdon stands committed to the safety of our residents.

A conference call was held at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020 where Mayor Dale Kelley and Town Council members received reports from each Department within the (TOH) detailing their specific response efforts. 

Executive Order No. 17 was signed by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. This Executive Order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. CDT this morning Monday, March 23 and shall remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. CDT on April 6 to temporarily limit social gatherings, move restaurant sales to takeout models for food and alcohol and also address the use of gyms/fitness centers. Please see the full Executive Order through the link below.

We thank our local restaurants and businesses for adhering to this order, and we encourage citizens to support these local establishments. The TOH is staying up-to-date on information dispensed from our national and state governments to help support the economic impact on our small businesses. 

Now on the 8th day of the President’s 15th day challenge to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, we plea that you adhere to national/state mandates and recommendations, as well as the guidelines of the CDC. Huntingdon has always been #communitystrong, and your local government knows that this time in our history will prove the same.  

For questions, please contact Huntingdon City Hall at 986-2900, Huntingdon Public Safety at 986-2906 or 986-5310, or Huntingdon Utility Department 986-2915.

State of Tennessee Resources:

https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/covid-19-daily-bulletin.html

https://www.tn.gov/health

Executive Order 17:

https://www.tn.gov/governor/news/2020/3/22/gov–bill-lee-signs-executive-order-mandating-alternative-business-models-for-restaurants-and-gyms–lifts-alcohol-regulations.html

FEMA Resources:

https://www.fema.gov

(CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html