Jacobs says Expo Center site not needed

Sandra ClarkOur Town Health

Knox County Mayor Glen Jacobs says the Expo Center will not be needed as an alternative care site for COVID-19. He was advised by TEMA that current models show Knox County likely will not require additional bed space. Jacobs said he will coordinate with the state to have a contingency plan in place should it be needed.

Gov. Bill Lee said Friday the state has 4,634 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 505 hospitalizations, 94 fatalities and 921 recovered. Total tests are 59,849 as of 2 p.m. 4/9. In other announcements, Lee said:

  • Tennessee has partnered with PBS stations to offer students in grades 1-8 up to 30 hours of instructional lessons a week. This instruction is by Tennessee teachers teaching with Tennessee curriculum.
  • The state is supporting early literacy through a partnership with the app ReadyRosie, which provides short videos and free resources on topics like literacy and math for families with children from birth to third grade.
  • Tennessee is partnering with Nextdoor to provide official, real-time information about the state’s response to COVID-19. Tennesseans on Nextdoor will automatically receive messages. If you’re not on Nextdoor, you can visit Nextdoor.com to download the free app.
Knox County library service continues

Knox County libraries have been closed since March 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but library service continues.

Mary Pom Claiborne said the library staff, working from home, has issued nearly 900 digital access library cards for those who did not have an active library card. Patrons have accessed thousands of materials online and have been able to continue working with reference librarians for their research needs through online chats, email and text.

Circulation rates from March 20 to April 8 include:

  • Overdrive ebooks 25,474
  • Overdrive audiobooks 16,136
  • Streaming movies 2,825 (includes Kanopy, Hoopla and Overdrive film services)
  • Lynda.com video tutorials 298 courses started with 3,833 courses viewed and 62 course completions

Additionally, Ancestry.com has extended its license so library patrons may access it remotely. Typically, patrons are required to come into East Tennessee History Center to use Ancestry.com. Other licensing requirements have been extended for remote and temporary use including the Foundation Directory and many educational resources. All resources are available on www.knoxlib.org.

Patrons are asked to hold on to their library materials and return them after the library reopens. The Library has extended all due dates and have waived fines for the time being.

Medicare and coronavirus: What you need to know

Seema Verma, administrator for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has warned seniors that scammers are about. “Make sure you give your Medicare number only to your doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer or other trusted healthcare provider,” she wrote.

“If someone calls you on the phone, says they’re from Medicare and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information – just hang up.”

Her full report: Medicare and Coronavirus

Lamar defends TVA

“Attacking TVA doesn’t do one thing to solve the pandemic and has no place in federal COVID-19 response legislation,” says U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander.

“TVA does not receive one dollar in federal taxpayer subsidies or federal appropriations. To help families pay their electric bills and keep their power on during this crisis, TVA has made $1 billion in credit available to help 154 local electric utilities in seven states.

“White House staff is unfortunately spreading inaccurate information. When this crisis is over, I’ll be glad to explain to them the facts about the TVA CEO’s pay, which is lower than other big utilities, and TVA’s rates, which are among the lowest in the country, and the number of federal taxpayer dollars going to TVA, which is zero.”


U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn has released a resource guide to help Tennesseans through the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here.

All areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, excluding the Foothills Parkway and the Spur, are closed through Monday, April 6. This includes trail and road closures. Details are here.

Health Department Hotline: 865-215-5555

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Info updated as it becomes available.


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