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Three Knox sheriff's employees, one Knoxville police staffer test positive for COVID-19

By jbr, Sat, 2020/07/11 - 11:32am

Three Knox sheriff's employees, one Knoxville police staffer test positive for COVID-19

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TN legislature willing to spread the Covid

By bizgrrl, Sat, 2020/07/11 - 6:18am

Rep. Kent Calfee (71), R-Kingston (Roane County), said on Facebook on Friday afternoon he and his wife had tested positive.

Rep. Calfee is not experiencing symptoms.
However, his wife is being treated.

He " was in the Cordell Hull legislative office building as recently as last week, when he attended two days of Joint Government Operations Committee meetings. Only a few lawmakers on the 24-member committee worse masks. "
After Calfee's positive test became public, Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, said on Twitter she was in the same committee as him for 10 hours last week. She noted Calfee was not wearing a mask.
The test results come ... days after Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks (who was hospitalized late last month), who led a prayer in the House on June 18, tested positive for COVID-19. Brooks shook hands with several of his colleagues that day.
As recently as June 27, Calfee attended a Loudon County Republican Party headquarters opening that was also attended by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, state Rep. Lowell Russell, R-Vonore, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty.

Contact tracing....

Many thanks to our legislature for being dumb as dirt.

Be careful out there.

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CDC declares Knox County a COVID-19 hotspot

By R. Neal, Fri, 2020/07/10 - 4:56pm

WBIR: According to the Knox County Health Department, a federal response team of officials with the CDC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response raised the red flag and have declared Knox County a hot spot for the virus. The two agencies came to offer assistance Wednesday and Thursday as the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge to higher levels locally.

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Is Knox County's mask mandate unconstitutional?

By jbr, Fri, 2020/07/10 - 9:37am

Is Knox County's mask mandate unconstitutional?

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Knox County, TN, heading into coronavirus danger territory?

By bizgrrl, Fri, 2020/07/10 - 6:31am

Knox County, TN, started out pretty good with managing coronavirus growth. Then summer arrived and everyone decided it was time to play and, for business and government, it was time to go back to work.

Two of the Knox County Health Dept. five benchmarks have turned red:
1) "Sustained reduction or stability in new cases for 14 days",
5) Sustained or decreased COVID-19 related death rate for identified positive or probable cases.

One of the five benchmarks has turned yellow,
4) Health care system capabilities remain within current and forecasted surge capacity.

The number one benchmark has been red for several weeks.

The coronavirus death rate in Knox County stayed at 5 for several months.
In the past two weeks the deaths have double. Five more people have died, four of those in the past week.

Note that young people get sick and die from the coronavirus. The largest number of cases in Knox County are in the 21-30 age group. Two of the deaths were in the 18-44 age group, two others were in the 45-64 age group. It is not just people 80 and older dying from coronavirus.

Come on people. Let's not become a hotspot.
Respect your fellow citizens.

Be careful out there.

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By bizgrrl, Thu, 2020/07/09 - 7:57pm

Let’s make this go viral so trump can see it!!!

— Dumptrump 19 (@19Dumptrump) July 7, 2020

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Fauci patents

By jbr, Thu, 2020/07/09 - 2:25pm

All of them ...

Assignee: The United States of America, as Represented by the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services

Patents by Inventor Anthony S. Fauci

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KKK Grand Wizard bust will finally be removed from the State Capitol (maybe, probably)

By R. Neal, Thu, 2020/07/09 - 2:03pm

Nashville Scene: The State Capitol Commission formally requested a waiver to relocate Nathan Bedford Forrest (and others) to the Tennessee State Museum...

The two no votes came from Sen. Jack Johnson and Rep. Matthew Hill, who represent their respective legislative bodies. Both Republicans said their votes were a reflection of the wills of the majority of the members of the chambers.

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Trump withdraws U.S. from W.H.O.

By R. Neal, Tue, 2020/07/07 - 4:40pm

In the middle of a pandemic...

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Sevier County will require face masks

By bizgrrl, Tue, 2020/07/07 - 3:07pm

Starting Friday, July 10, 2020, Masks are to be worn in all public indoor places where social distancing is not possible, [Sevier County Mayor Larry] Waters said in a press conference in Sevierville.

There are exemptions based on TN Gov. Lee's guidance.

Will the tourists go along? Who will enforce?

Be careful out there.

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Stopping silent transmission is critical to controlling COVID, reducing attack rate

By Mike Knapp, Tue, 2020/07/07 - 9:12am

Reclose the bars, restaurants, pay all non-essential workers and business rent, coordinate travel with states, mandate masks until transmission falls below 1 so that contact-tracing can resume without being overwhelmed. Do what the EU did. We can't personal responsibility, encourage and magical think our way out of this nor become numb to the sickness and death of 10's of thousands of our fellow citizens.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - The implications of silent transmission for the control of COVID-19 outbreaks

We found that the majority of incidences may be attributable to silent transmission from a combination of the presymptomatic stage and asymptomatic infections. Consequently, even if all symptomatic cases are isolated, a vast outbreak may nonetheless unfold. We further quantified the effect of isolating silent infections in addition to symptomatic cases, finding that over one-third of silent infections must be isolated to suppress a future outbreak below 1% of the population. Our results indicate that symptom-based isolation must be supplemented by rapid contact tracing and testing that identifies asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases, in order to safely lift current restrictions and minimize the risk of resurgence.


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New ICE rules RE foreign students and online courses

By bizgrrl, Tue, 2020/07/07 - 6:52am

From the Maryville Daily Times (AP News):

International students will be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools offer classes entirely online this fall, under new guidelines issued Monday by federal immigration authorities.
The guidelines, issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, provide additional pressure for universities to reopen even amid growing concerns about the recent spread of COVID-19 among young adults.

So far, Harvard University is going online only, even though they are allowing some students to live on campus this fall. Many California colleges are going online only, e.g.California State University system, City College in California, ​Los Angeles Community College District, Univ of CA at Irvine, Univ of CA at Los Angeles, Univ of Southern CA.

Here’s a List of Colleges’ Plans for Reopening in the Fall, from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

It shows UT Knoxville using a hybrid model but UT Chattanooga and UT Martin with in-person models.

However, I know that some of the colleges listed are actually doing the hybrid model even though they are listed as doing in-person.

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How Chattanooga, Tennessee, became a coronavirus hot spot

By jbr, Tue, 2020/07/07 - 5:44am

This city, like so many others in the South, has the makings of a virus hot spot: It reopened quickly, there is little regard for masks and distancing, which studies show help mitigate the disease, and contact tracers have begun to lose threads on possible infections. Meanwhile, bars, restaurants, gyms, beauty parlors, pools and many other businesses have remained open despite a precipitous increase in coronavirus infections.

How Chattanooga, Tennessee, became a coronavirus hot spot

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Knox County, TN, coronavirus cases highest uptick yet

By bizgrrl, Sun, 2020/07/05 - 6:49am

The Knox County Health Department reports 1,186 coronavirus cases and 30 probable cases.

That's 343 new cases in the past week, with 16, 53, 15, 50, 70, 46, 93 as the cases per day for the past week.

According to the TN Dept. of Health, on 6/27/2020 for the first time Knox County broke the threshold for rate of new covid-19 cases per 100,000 Tennesseans.
Knox County continues to break this threshold, three times in the past week.
This threshold is used for decision making processes, e.g. long term care facilities in counties below the threshold for 14 consecutive days may consider allowing visitors. Sevier County has been above this threshold for 14 days.

There are seventeen Knox County COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized. That's one less hospitalized than last week.

There have been six total deaths in Knox County from COVID-19.
One of our citizens died this past week from the coronavirus.

As of June 30, 2020, ICU Bed availability is down since June 25 to 11.0% (272 ICU beds total with 30 beds available).

The County Health Department has a map with the number of coronavirus cases per zip code.
On July 2, 2020, these zip codes were reported with the most cases:
37921 has the most cases with 126 (population 28,000) (28.5% increase), then
37923 with 85 cases (population 30,000) (23.2% increase) and
37920 with 81 cases (population 39,000) (32.8% increase).
37917 with 77 cases (population 27,000) (40.0% increase)

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Coronavirus cases in TN over 50,000

By bizgrrl, Sun, 2020/07/05 - 6:33am

Largest weekly jump in coronavirus cases so far.

From reports dated as of July 4, 2020.
There has been a steady increase in coronavirus (covid-19) cases in Tennessee.

According to the TN Dept. of Health, 50,140 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in TN and 637 have died from it..
That is an additional 9,968 cases in one week and an additional 53 reported deaths.
That is nearly double the highest weekly increase in coronavirus cases.

Every day this week there were record numbers of newly detected coronavirus cases in Tennessee, as compared to any previous weeks..

878,230 residents have been tested.
That is an additional 130,001 tests in the past week.
67,153 more tests were given in the last week as compared to the week before.

Hospitalizations are up. From June 25 to July 2 (7 days) the number of patients hospitalized for the coronavirus has increased by 161 from 499 to 660.

5.7% of TN residents tested for the coronavirus have tested positive for the coronavirus.
12.7% of the 6.89 million people estimated to live in TN have been tested for the coronavirus.

Be careful out there.

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By fischbobber, Sat, 2020/07/04 - 12:24pm

Does anyone know of any Knox County business that are compliant with the new mask ordinance? I went to my usual Weigels last night and they will obviously be doing everything they can to undermine any chance of this ordinance there. That's their business. I will take mine else-where.

I'm wondering if there is a group source to determine ahead of time which businesses will operate under the mask ordinance and which will turn the other way and ignore it. I'll have to find someone selling gas. I'll need groceries. I'll need a hardware store, and frankly, I'd like access to rural king, tractor supply and a sporting goods store.

Isn't life ironic? I got the kids raised, the bills paid, and am approaching retirement with as much disposable income as I've ever had, and based on what I saw just looking around on my way home from work last night, no where to spend it.

It sucks to be old in a county where your state representative, county mayor and sheriff are actively engaged in a process to kill your demographic.

I will drive to Blount, Loudon and Monroe Counties to shop and trade at mask compliant businesses if we could somehow come up with a list.

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Independence Day - United States of America

By bizgrrl, Sat, 2020/07/04 - 6:17am

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

A little trivia, by 1776, we’d actually been working on declaring our independence for years:


Be careful out there.

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Walmart is transforming 160 of its parking lots into drive-in theaters

By jbr, Thu, 2020/07/02 - 10:32am

Beginning in August, the retailer is converting 160 of its US store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters.

The event will run through October and encompass more than 300 showings.

Walmart is transforming 160 of its parking lots into drive-in theaters

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Mandatory masks for Knox County

By Rachel, Wed, 2020/07/01 - 7:57pm

Passed by the Board of Health. Masks are now mandatory inside in all public building. There was only one dissenting vote. Bet you can guess who that was.

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Oklahoma voters approve Medicaid expansion

By bizgrrl, Wed, 2020/07/01 - 6:26am

Oklahoma will become the latest state to adopt the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion after voters passed a ballot measure Tuesday
The result also marks the fifth time voters implemented Medicaid expansion at the ballot box after waiting years for their Republican governors and legislatures to act.
The Sooner State’s 14% uninsured rate is the second-highest in the nation, behind only Texas and tied with Georgia.

Check out this map indicating the states that have and have not implemented Medicaid expansion. Seven of the 14 that have not implemented Medicaid expansion are in the southeast (of course).
The remaining six that have not implemented Medicaid expansion are Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

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