COVID-19: Virus causes worldwide havoc

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Johnny Fortune shops at Dollar General Store in Henderson Tuesday where shelves were partially stocked with paper products. The store was limiting customers to three packages of bathroom tissue and paper towels due to the pandemic that has caused a run on stores across the country.

Originating in Wuhan, China in early December, the Coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread across the globe causing close to 200,000 people to be ill and close to 8,000 die.
COVID-19 reached the United States on January 20 in Washington State when a 35-year old man whom traveled to China returned and had been infected.
Now, as of Tuesday afternoon, the illness has killed 100 Americans.
Both the state and nation are in the state of emergency while the state has 74 confirmed cases and the United States has over 5,000 cases.
Due to the rapid changing situation, continue to check our Facebook page and https://www.chestercountyindependent.com for updates on closings, precautions, cancellations and etc. These are our current local updates as of Tuesday afternoon.
City of Henderson
The following are precautionary measures and closings of offices, buildings, events and businesses within Henderson:
Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – only the front entrance will be open. Only the entrance into the Utility Department collections area and City Hall collections area will be permitted. City Hall will be locked down to only necessary personnel and citizens who have business that has to be conducted in person.
The City of Henderson strongly encourages citizens to pay any bills due for utilities, property taxes, traffic tickets, etc. via the mail, internet, or by using the drive through window. Visit the www.hendersontn.org website to pay utility and traffic tickets on line. Call 731-506-1331 to pay your utility bills via the telephone.
Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – all meetings by nonprofit or other organizations that use the meeting areas in City Hall will be cancelled until further notice.
City Traffic Court is cancelled for the month of March and rescheduled for April 15, 2020.
All City of Henderson employee travel outside of the City for meetings, training, etc. has been cancelled until further notice.
Due to order of Tennessee Supreme Court, all in person court appearances have been postponed until after April 1 due to COVID-19 virus. As such, the City of Henderson Municipal Court cases scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th at 1:30 pm, have been postponed until Wednesday, April 15th at 1:30 pm. If you have any questions, please call City Hall at 731-983-5000.
Chester County
The Chester County Senior Center will be closed for two weeks and reopen on March 30.
The Chester County Library will be closed to the public until April 1. At that time, the library director and board will reassess the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision was weighed, and decided upon with the health and safety of both staff and patrons in mind.
Checkout periods will be extended to accommodate for closure, and there will be no fines on items during closure.
During this period of time, library staff will be on hand to answer phones and continue providing resources through the Chester County Library Facebook page and website. Director Savannah Gilbert will host a virtual story time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The time will be announced online. In addition, wi-fi is accessible from the library’s parking lot.
The library will be posting information soon about the Libby app, a virtual library source to keep you reading until the doors reopen.
“We hate to have to close to the public,” said Gilbert, “but it was the best decision for our staff and our patrons, given the situation. We will do everything we can to be open as soon as possible.”
Feel free to call the library at 989-4673 or message them on Facebook, with any questions.
All other offices / departments are still operating but there are signs at the entrances of county buildings with information to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19.
Chester County
School System

From Chester County Director of Schools Troy Kilzer II.
As you know over the past couple of weeks, there has been growing concerns over the COVID-19 virus and the possible effects it could have on public education. Several states have closed schools for a definite period of time for students, staff and families to have social distance to reduce the threat of an epidemic of the COVID-19 virus and to permit staff to take additional time to deeply clean campuses.
On Monday, Governor Lee announced that all schools should close as soon as practically possible through the end of March. At the end of the school day on Monday, all Chester County Schools and all school related events were canceled from Tuesday, March 17, through Tuesday, March 31. At this time, schools will reopen on Wednesday, April 1.
I know that this decision to close schools for this extended period of time makes it difficult for many of our school district families. This decision was not made lightly, and I strongly encourage everyone to use good judgment during this extended time off.
During this extended spring break, I encourage all students, staff and their families to follow the recommendations that have been provided through the Tennessee Department of Health. To remind you of those recommendations:
Wash hands often with soap and water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your
eyes, nose and mouth.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the crook of your elbow.
Toss tissues promptly and wash your hands.
Stay home if you are sick with cold or flu symptoms or any other illness.
If you are sick, avoid close contact with others.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, especially devices. Do not take your phone in the bathroom.
Please use good judgment and follow these recommended practices to diminish the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Tennessee. With everyone working together to resolve this matter, we can return to a healthy, productive lifestyle.
Freed-Hardeman
University

Freed-Hardeman University President David Shannon released the following in regards to the Coronavirus on Monday, March 16: “The campus life at Freed-Hardeman is optimistically adjusting to a new norm while seeking to do what is best for the safety of our students, faculty, staff and the community as it pertains to the COVID-19. It is a difficult transition to change the modality of teaching to online in such a short period of time. We are indebted to our dedicated faculty and support staff who are making the impossible possible. Asking students to leave in the middle of the semester is difficult. In spite of their disappointment, their attitude has been to enjoy every minute of this week together. One student said, “Let’s approach the disappointments in a way that brings glory to God.” We appreciate the Chester County community and want to do our part to be good neighbors.”
He additionally released, “While we know of no COVID-19 cases among our students, faculty or staff, we realize our immense responsibility to the Freed-Hardeman family and the communities we call home. We are grateful for the work of a campus-wide response team, along with the cabinet, and the dedication of FHU faculty and staff to help students achieve their educational goals with as little interruption as possible. FHU will take a two-week spring break from March 21 through April 5 and will begin serving students primarily online April 6. As we pray for everyone’s health and peace, we look forward to welcoming students back to campus when it is prudent.”
Campus Updates: FHU is requiring a visitor-free campus for the week of March 16-20. This includes dining services, which are enjoyed daily by the Chester County community.
Chapel will be canceled for the week of March 16-20.
Any student activities this week are for students only and faculty or staff as needed.
Residence halls will close at noon Saturday, March 21, and will remain closed until further notice. The following categories of students will be able to return to the residence halls at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 29: junior- and senior-level nursing majors, those who are student teaching, and students who are completing social work practicums. International students may also request permission from Dr. Wayne Scott to live in the residence halls for a limited period of time.
Students will have an extended break from March 21 through April 5. Faculty and staff will return to campus March 30 to resume routine operations.
By the close of business Friday, April 3, faculty will have notified students via campus email regarding how coursework will be delivered beginning April 6.
Extensive disinfecting measures are being taken in public campus spaces.
The hope is to re-open campus sometime this semester.
All NAIA winter championships have been canceled.
The American Midwest Conference canceled all remaining intercollegiate activities including conference championships for the 2020 spring season athletics.
FHU Abroad trips scheduled to depart during spring break have been suspended. FHU Abroad trips planned for May or later and the current FHU Abroad program are continuing to be evaluated.