Covid-19 on the rise; three local cases in Chester County


Chester County COVID-19 cases are slowly on the rise with three cases total (two more since last week.) No information is known about the two recently confirmed cases.
Todd Lewis, the first case of Chester County, remains hospitalized at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
Read the following for all the major developments the virus has caused in Chester County, Tennessee and the nation.
Follow us on Facebook at Chester County Independent to keep up with developments throughout the week.
The Senior Center will be closed at least through April 10. “It could possibly be longer than that but for sure through the 10,” Senior Center Director Audra Thomas said.
The public hearing for the regional planning commission has been postponed to April 21.
As of Tuesday (March 31) afternoon, Tennessee had 2,389 confirmed cases and 23 deaths from the coronavirus.
On March 26, 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.
Also on March 26, 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. “Do your part, stay apart” features Governor Bill Lee, First Lady Maria Lee and dozens of music artists, athletes and sports organizations who collectively reach millions of Tennesseans.
On Monday, March 30, 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. and will extend to April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. 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 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.
Tennessee State Parks, in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 while continuing to serve Tennesseans, is joining the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health by encouraging residents not to travel, but to visit only their nearby parks. The park system is also announcing a series of operational changes effective March 26. View Press Release
Adjusted Hours for All State Parks
Tennessee State Parks are transitioning to daytime schedules for all 56 state parks, opening daily from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. The new schedule goes into effect on Thursday, March 26, and will be in place until at least April 10.
Public Facilities Temporarily Closed
During this period, all public gathering spaces at state parks (such as visitor centers, golf courses, restaurants, shelters, playgrounds, etc.) are closed. Rentable facilities (like shelters and pavilions) with prior reservations between March 27 and April 9 will be fully refunded. At this time, rentable facilities with prior reservations between April 10 and April 30 will be honored.
Overnight Accommodations Temporarily Closed
Between March 27 and April 9, all park cabins, lodges, group overnight facilities, campgrounds and backcountry campsites will be closed. Current guests will be asked to check out by March 27 at 4:30 p.m. local time. Park staff will process refunds for any dates a reservation extends beyond the required checkout date. Future reservations made for periods between March 27 and April 9 will be automatically canceled. The parks will waive cancellation fees during this time. At this time, upcoming reservations between April 10 and April 30 will be honored. This is subject to change as the situation evolves. Online reservations will remain available for trips with check-in dates after April 30.
Day-Use Activities
Visitors can still enjoy hiking, biking, lakeside strolls, disc golf, fishing and other passive outdoor recreation activities during daytime hours. Limited restrooms and bath houses remain open on a park-by-park basis. Access to paper maps and brochures should be available outside Visitor Centers. Visitors can also download the mobile app or visit the park trail maps page to find materials for specific parks.
Social Distancing Strongly Encouraged
Tennessee State Parks strongly encourage guests to practice social distancing and follow guidelines for hygiene while visiting the parks. When planning a trip to a state park, we encourage you to visit one near your home.
Group Guests
Per Governor Lee’s Executive Order 17, social gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited. Parks can assist groups of 10 or more with rebooking to a date later in the year.
Park-hosted Event Cancellations
Tennessee State Parks are canceling all park-hosted events from March 16 to April 15 in the interest of public health.
Last Thursday, March, 26, the United States surpassed China in Covid-19 cases with over 83,000 cases compared to China’s 81,000.