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Coronavirus 2020: how the pandemic began

On March 5, the story ran online that Tennessee has received confirmation of its first case of COVID-19.

Tennessee receives confirmation of its first case of COVID-19; Protect yourself and those around you

Tennessee authorities are actively engaged with the COVID-19 taskforce and in constant communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gov. Bill Lee said.

Tullahoma issues shelter at home order

Recognizing the increasing concern over COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), along with recent announcements by President Trump and Governor Bill Lee, Mayor Lane Curlee has issued and executive order for all citizens to shelter at home.

“It is necessary to restrict the activities of businesses and individuals in Tullahoma in order to protect the public health of the citizens of Tullahoma and Coffee County,” said Mayor Lane Curlee. “We want to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, to bend the curve, and to disrupt the spread of the virus, with the goal of saving lives and reducing strain on regional healthcare resources as much as possible.”

He later retracted the order.

County Mayor signs state of emergency

Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell signed today, March 19, a Proclamation of State of Emergency to help limit the spread of Covid-19, this act waives certain procedures and formalities otherwise required of the county by law. The proclamation of a local state of emergency may also entitle the county to cost reimbursement as provided by state law.

County sees first case

On March 28, Manchester City Mayor Lonnie Norman has issued a statement regarding the first positive COVID-19 in Coffee County. Norman said “We were notified by the Tennessee Department of Health today that a resident of Coffee County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The patient has been placed in quarantine and is recovering at home.”

County cases pass 100

Coffee County passed an unfortunate milestone on the week of March 28 as the county eclipsed the 100-case mark of those diagnosed with COVID-19. The most recent numbers from the state revealed there have been 105 cases confirmed in Coffee County with 85 of those recovered. There have been no deaths reported in Coffee County due to COVID-19. The first confirmed case in Coffee County was reported March 28.

Executive orders alter business

On March 22, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 17 calling for businesses across the state to utilize alternative business models beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020 until midnight CDT April 6, 2020. The order also outlines ways businesses and citizens should work to protect vulnerable populations.

The order prohibited social gatherings of 10 or more people limited establishments to exclusively offer drive-thru, take-out or delivery options to support families, businesses and the food supply chain during this emergency, closed gyms and fitness/exercise centers  and limited visitation to nursing homes, retirement homes, and long-term care or assisted-living facilities.

Shelter at home order issued

Gov. Bill Lee issued a Safer at Home order March 30 that urges the public to stay at home, except for when engaging in essential activities defined by the order. That was upgraded by Executive Order 23 requiring that Tennesseans stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities as data shows an increase in citizen movement across the state.

Drive through testing offered

The Coffee County Health Department is hosting COVID-19 drive-through testing events for the community April 19, 2020. Nurses and/or National Guard medics at assessment site will collect nasal swabs from those who want to be tested, and test results may be available within 72 hours after the samples arrive at the lab, depending on lab volume.

State Parks reopen

Tennessee State Parks reopened most of its 56 state parks on Friday, April 24, for day-use only.

Gyms. close contact businesses reopen

With Governor Bill Lee’s safer at home order expiring, many businesses have been cleared to reopen. The pandemic is still ongoing, however, so these businesses have taken steps to limit the chance of exposure their customers and employees will have. Barbershops and hair salons have been one of the most notable absences during the quarantine. Capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail  were lifted May 22 to focus on social distancing best practices.

County sees first two deaths from COVID-19

The Tennessee Department of Health has reported the first COVID-19 deaths in Coffee County.  On July 31 we reported, two people have died, as of July 31. The number of active cases is 198, and 170 people have recovered. The active cases are 0.35% of the population.

Bonnaroo canceled

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival announced that it will not take place this Sept. 24-27, 2020 as originally rescheduled. "Our annual time together on the Farm is nothing short of magical, but out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of all Bonnaroovians, artists, staff, partners and our community, this is a necessary reality," the announcement read. 

Mayor succumbs to COVID-19

The Honorable Lonnie J. Norman Sr., Mayor of the City of Manchester, Tennessee, 79, passed away early Monday Oct. 12, 2020 at the Stonecrest Medical Center in Smyrna, Tennessee after losing his battle with COVID-19. Funeral services for the family and the people of the City of Manchester were held 1 p.m., Sunday at the Rotary Park Amphitheater, 557 North Woodland St., Manchester, Tennessee with burial in the Cypress Garden Cemetery.  The Manchester City Police Department will serve as pallbearers.

County Mayor hospitalized with COVID

On Dec. 14, Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell was admitted to the hospital, Unity Medical Center.

On Dec. 11 his conditions were mild and he told the paper, “I have been working from home this week and I will do the same for several more days,” Cordell said.

He will be in quarantine for two weeks.

County receives first vaccines

The Coffee County Health Department today announced it has received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Coffee County Health Department staff members will administer the Moderna vaccine to first responders, home health care providers, student health care providers and group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in partnership with these organizations and local community emergency management agencies.