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Bowling praises county's low COVID-19 count
Janice Bowling 2019.jpg

The current model has 563 Tennesseans dying from COVID-19 by Aug. 4.

That’s according to Saint Thomas River Park Hospital CEO Dale Humphrey, who delivered the information Tuesday during the county’s weekly coronavirus press conference.

Humphrey revealed River Park is resuming elective surgeries this week and said the hospital has performed more than 100 non-elective surgeries over the past two months.

“We hope those of you who have delayed care will move forward toward getting that care,” said Humphrey.

State Sen. Janice Bowling spoke at the press conference and praised Warren County residents for having a low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, among the lowest in her seven-county district that also includes Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie and Van Buren.

She said one of Tennessee’s very first coronavirus deaths came from a prominent resident of neighboring Grundy County.

As for her work in state government, Bowling said, “Next year’s budget will be a little bit smaller and that’s not a bad thing.” She noted Tennessee has an annual budget around $40 billion.

As for fighting coronavirus, Bowling added, “All of the orders that have been given are suggestions and that’s why it’s important for people to do what’s right.”

County Executive Jimmy Haley said many county offices are reopening on a limited schedule. He said the drive-thru window at County Clerk Lesa Scott’s office is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “The lines have been extremely long and we’ve had to do traffic control,” said Haley.

Jim Cunningham, director of Warren County Emergency Management, said none of the local departments have run out of personal safety equipment. He said infrared thermometers are on back order. 

Cunningham also said he’s found a company when he can send N95 masks so they can be reused.

“This company disinfects and decontaminates the masks and this is something that can be done up to 20 times so it should be a big help,” said Cunningham.

Haley closed the press conference by urging local residents to practice good hygiene and proper social distancing.

“If we follow precautions, the virus will be over sooner rather than later,” said Haley, who also quoted Teddy Roosevelt in saying, “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”