Eight COVID-19 cases reported locally

Monday, April 6, 2020

Bedford County’s COVID-19 case count rose from five Friday to eight Saturday then remained steady Sunday and Monday, according to date released by the Tennessee Department of Health.

As of Monday, 153 Bedford County residents had tested negative, TDH said.

One Shelbyville financial institution, Ascend Federal Credit Union, reported an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. Ascend’s North Main Street building was closed Monday and scheduled to reopen today following cleaning and disinfection, an Ascend official said.

“We have received confirmation that an employee at our Shelbyville branch has tested positive for COVID-19. Immediately upon receiving this confirmation we closed our branch and notified our employees. We are also following all sanitation and cleaning procedures as recommended by the CDC,” Executive Vice-President Matt Jernigan said Saturday night.

“The affected employee remains in quarantine, we are supporting them, and we wish them all the best in their recovery. The Shelbyville branch is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, April 7.” 

Nearby case

A team member at Arnold Air Force Base near Tullahoma is being treated and evaluated by health care professionals following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the base, according to a press release Friday.

“This is our first confirmed case,” said Col. Jeffery Geraghty, commander, Arnold Engineering Development Complex and Arnold AFB. “The continued safety and well-being of Arnold Air Force Base is my top priority. We are working with our base medical staff and off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”

State grants

Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that COVID-19 related needs were added as an option to the Governor’s Local Government Support Grant program, in which $200 million in grants will be distributed to every county and city government across Tennessee for one-time, local expenses in fiscal year 2021.

“Capital maintenance, public safety and road projects don’t pause for disasters like the March tornadoes and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lee said. “This grant fund will ease the burden on local governments as they work to meet infrastructure and safety obligations.”

“We are most appreciative of the funding being made available,” Shelbyville city manager Shana Boyette said. “We are currently reviewing to identify the greatest needs of the community.”

“COVID-19 was apparently added as an option for the Governor’s Local Government Support Grant,” County Mayor Chad Graham said. “We were already exploring special projects for the use of those funds. Given this latest information, we will review our COVID-19 expenses and determine if other forms of reimbursement are available before we would use these funds in that way.”

Funding is based on population as published by the U.S. Census Bureau. Each county will receive at least $500,000, and each city or municipality will receive at least $30,000. The three Metro governments (Davidson, Moore and Trousdale) will receive one allocation, whichever is largest. The application will be made available by April 30 and the funds will be made available after July 1.

Funds may be used for road projects, IT upgrades, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades, and public safety projects. Certain disaster-related expenses are also eligible for funding.

One-time expenses related to COVID-19 are eligible including supply and equipment purchase, cleaning, emergency food and shelter programs.