Category Archives: News

Campbell Cases Rise to Nine; Tennessee approaches 5,000

Campbell County Covid-19 positive cases rose to nine today while neighboring Scott stayed at five, Anderson at eleven, and Claiborne at two. Overall state numbers went up to 4634 from just over 4300 yesterday. The state peak hospital demand is currently forecast for just over one week from today on April 17th.

The numbers appear to have reached a steady plateau with the state no longer seeing exponential rapid growth. New cases are steadily coming in at 200-320 range each day for the last seven days. Tennessee appears to have finally flattened the curve. However CDC estimates that 25-50 percent of cases are silent carriers who don’t show symptoms and many with mild symptoms who don’t get tested, so its estimated that there are around twice as many cases in most regions as actually reported.

Recovery numbers are beginning to show big leaps, Tennessee now has over 900 people listed as recovered. Unfortunately the state is at 75 deaths. Overall that leaves around 3600 active cases that have officially tested positive.

Sen. Yager pleased community health centers in Morgan, Scott and Campbell Counties will receive combined total of $2.6 million in response to COVID-19 pandemic

State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) said today he was very pleased that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded funds to four Tennessee health centers in Senate District 12 which he represents. The funds were awarded by as part of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds for Senate District 12 are a combined total of $2.65 million. It includes $723,140 for Mountain Peoples House Council in Huntsville; $675,140 for Dayspring Health of East Tennessee in Jellico; $617,810 for Community Health of East Tennessee in LaFollette; and $639,575 for Morgan County Health Council in Wartburg.

“I am very pleased these community health organizations in our district will receive federal funds totaling over $2.6 million combined to support essential health care services and bolster our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sen. Yager. “These four organizations submitted excellent applications which reflect their care and concern for the patients they serve. Our health care facilities are on the frontlines of this pandemic and need all the support we can provide. I also want to thank our congressional delegation for their help in securing these needed funds to meet the most challenging health crisis of our time.”

Local Natural Gas Utilities’ Essential Services Remain a Priority During Spring Digging Season to Prevent Damage to Underground Utilities

As a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis, local utilities are asking that homeowners and contractors help maintain utility service and keep communities safe by continuing to call 811 before you dig!

With the increase in people working from home, coupled with the warmer weather, there has been an increase in damaged underground utility lines due to homeowner digging projects.

Natural gas utilities Jefferson Cocke County Utility District, Knoxville Utilities Board, Lenoir City Utilities Board, ORUD Natural Gas, Powell Clinch Utility District and Sevier County Utility District join forces to remind homeowners and contractors that safe digging must remain a priority to
prevent damage to critical utility services. Before taking on any digging project make sure to contact Tennessee 811’s FREE-OF-CHARGE essential public safety service by calling

811 or by placing a request online to have line locations marked.
As part of National Safe Digging Month, your local natural gas utilities encourage homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:

● Call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the
● Confirm that all lines have been marked.
● Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
● Confirm that the contractor has called 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t
● Visit for complete info.
For more information, please contact your local utility provider.

MEDIC Regional Blood Center – COVID-19 Update – Key Points 4/7/20

Reminder: Blood donation is a critical health care activity.

Convalescent Plasma:
Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. When you donate whole blood, plasma and red cells are separated and collected for transfusions.
The entire process takes about 25 minutes longer than a regular whole blood donation and is performed using the same process as a double red donation.
The only difference is instead of keeping red cells and returning plasma to the donor; the machine collects plasma and returns red blood cells to the donor.
Generally, plasma helps trauma patients, burn victims, cancer patients, and countless others.
CP Definition: Convalescent (meaning recovering from an illness) plasma treatment is the transfusion of plasma from someone who has recovered from an infection to someone suffering from it, in the hopes that the passive transfer of antibodies will help the patient fight off the infection.
An individual must have had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis via confirmed lab test.
MEDIC will not be collecting convalescent plasma from community members who may have had a previous infection and believe that they had COVID-19 earlier this year or late last year.
There is no blood center testing that MEDIC can do to confirm immunity to COVID-19 from an unknown past infection.
Right now, there simply aren’t a lot of COVID-19 patients verified through testing, who have recovered symptom free, for at least 28 days prior to donation, who would qualify in East Tennessee.
MEDIC is not a healthcare provider and thus does not provide a coronavirus test nor do we test for COVID-19 antibodies.

FDA Updates:
The FDA reviewed recently completed studies and epidemiologic data and concluded that current policies for specific donor eligibility rules could be modified without compromising the safety of the blood supply.
MEDIC is carefully evaluating options.
The process to change our standard operating procedures and software will take time to implement.
MEDIC will continue to prioritize the safety of our donors and the blood supply.

MEDIC Action Steps:
Donors at the four donor centers will be seen by appointment only until further notice.
As guidelines change and to continue to comply with social distancing guidelines, we are temporarily suspending mobile bus drives until further notice.
Schedule an Appointment: Online at -> Click the donate tab and then on the center in which you’d like to donate. There is a link that to “click here” to schedule your appointment or call 865-524-3074.
Masks for Collections Staff: As blood is an essential resource for the healthcare system, and in an abundance of caution to protect the health and wellness of both our donors and collections staff, we have implemented the use of N95 masks for our collections staff so that we can continue to collect blood through the COVID-19 situation
Wellness Check-In: Staff, donors and visitors continue to undergo a daily check-in upon arrival at any facility or mobile drive.
The check-in includes a temperature check.
Temperature must be 99.5 degrees or less.

Ranking Member Fleischmann: We Must Prioritize the Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals and Critical Medical Supplies in America

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee, released a statement following a briefing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

“For far too long we have allowed this nation to outsource the manufacturing of critical medical supplies and needed pharmaceuticals to China. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an Achilles heel for the United States, the future of our nation depends on our ability to prioritize the American production of these critical supplies.

“Thankfully the Trump administration has made it a priority to work to quickly secure our medical supply chains as we continue to combat COVID-19. Through Project Air Bridge, FEMA has been able to expedite the movement of critical supplies to medical distributors across the United States. We have a tough fight ahead but I am confident that our nation will continue to move in the right direction.”

On March 12th, Fleischmann told The Hill: “This exposes the Achilles heel that we’ve had in America for too long, we drove a lot of industries out of this country, largely because of labor and other production costs, they are no longer in this country. It is going to take a while to re-tool this country, I think we need to do that not only in the pharmaceutical field but also in the manufacturing sphere.”