As a group of John Sevier Elementary students were sent home Monday because of COVID-19 exposure from one staff member, officials say another Maryville City Schools employee and several online-only students also have tested positive.
...
16 first grade students from a single classroom are now quarantining.
...
A student at Coulter Grove Intermediate School tested positive just a few days after the Maryville system opened July 30.

Be careful out there. Don't let up on social-distancing. Wear a mask.

On July 29, 2020, Blount County Schools started a regular schedule of in-person classes for those not opting for on-line learning.

Five days later the school system announced they are changing to a staggered in-person class schedule to reduce class sizes for better protection from COVID-19.

Blount County Schools will switch to a hybrid model for two weeks of learning that will see the number of days children attend school in-person reduced in response to rising COVID-19 cases in the area.

Blount County has had 1,120 cases of coronavirus, according to statistics released Monday by the Tennessee Department of Health. Some 870 of the cases were reported during July.

IMO, this was expected. Too many school systems trying to push in-person learning too soon. The President's advice should be ignored. Students, teachers, staff should not have to fear death by schools insisting on in-person classes.

Sun
Aug 2 2020
12:09:pm

According to the Maryville Daily Times,
As of 3pm, August 1, 2020, Blount County, TN, has reported 1,089 cases of the coronavirus.
There have been 333 new cases reported in the past week.

15,018 people have been tested in Blount County.
Thus, 7.3% of people tested have tested positive for the coronavirus.
That is up from 6.2% last week (7/25), 4.7% week of 7/19 and 3.8% the week of 7/12.
2,818 people were tested for the coronavirus in the past 7 days.

Blount County's positive COVID-19 cases increase by 44% in the past week, from 756 to 1,089.
Blount County’s positive COVID-19 cases have risen from 106 cases on June 15 to 1,089 cases August 1.

There are approximately 133,000 people residing in Blount County, TN.
Thus, 11.3% of the people in Blount County have been tested for the coronavirus.
However, that may not be true. I don't know how tests are counted when a single person gets tested multiple times. Certain people in certain fields of work (medical, education, sports) or physical ability (mursing home residents, hospital patients) may get tested multiple times.

Seven Blount County residents have died from the coronavirus.
Three deaths occurred in the early months of the pandemic.
Three deaths occurred in the week of 7/12/2020.
One death occurred in the week of 7/19/2020.

Be careful out there.
Wear a mask!

As compared to August, 2016, voter turnout for the August, 2020, primary is up 52%. So far (as of July 31) 10,270 voters have placed their ballots in 8/2020, versus 6,753 in 8/2016. 2,045 of those were absentee ballots (mail-in) (1,134 Dems and 909 Repubs). Whereas in 2016 there were 457 absentee ballots (120 Dems and 310 Repubs).

Sat
Aug 1 2020
08:14:pm


On Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, officials said that there were 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Alcoa High School. There was also one confirmed case of COVID-19 at Alcoa Elementary School, they said.
...
On July 24, a person also tested positive for COVID-19 in Alcoa City Schools Middle School.

5 cases in 7 days. Alcoa City Schools has just under 2,000 students.

Be careful out there.

Thu
Jul 30 2020
09:10:am

We've been waiting a while. Finally, Publix is coming to Blount County. I wish they had chosen Alcoa, but Foothills Mall is a good location. Many thanks to the employee owned Publix.

Mon
Jul 27 2020
06:50:am

According to the Maryville Daily Times,
As of 3pm, July 25, 2020, Blount County, TN, has reported 756 cases of the coronavirus.
There have been 247 new cases reported in the past week.

12,200 people have been tested in Blount County.
Thus, 6.2% of people tested have tested positive for the coronavirus.
That is up from 4.7% last week (7/19) and 3.8% the week before (7/12).
2,009 people were tested for the coronavirus in the past 7 days.

Blount County's positive COVID-19 cases increase by nearly 50% again in the past week, from 509 to 756.
Blount County’s positive COVID-19 cases have risen from 106 cases on June 15 to 756 cases July 25.

There are approximately 133,000 people residing in Blount County, TN.
Thus, 9.2% of the people in Blount County have been tested for the coronavirus.

Seven Blount County residents have died from the coronavirus.
Three deaths occurred in the early months of the pandemic.
Three deaths occurred in the week of 7/12/2020.
One death occurred in the week of 7/19/2020.

According to the TN Dept. of Health, on 7/7/2020 for the first time Blount County broke the threshold for rate of new covid-19 cases per 100,000 Tennesseans.
Blount County continues to break this threshold, six times the week of July 19, up from four times the week of July 12.
The Blount County ratios have been higher than Knox County several days, a more populated county.
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.

Be careful out there.
Wear a mask!

Thu
Jul 23 2020
09:16:am

Alcoa City Schools opened for classes yesterday, July 22nd.

Students attend classes one day a week and use virtual learning four days a week. On premises classes are on a staggered schedule. Students will attend the one day based on their last name, e.g. students with last names beginning with letters from A to C attended yesterday.

Hand sanitizer is abundant, all faculty, staff, as well as many students are wearing face coverings, and no more than 10 students are in a classroom.

Although Alcoa is not taking any action against students who don’t wear face coverings, they are encouraged for younger students and “expected” for older students when distancing is difficult. Staff members must wear masks when in close proximity to students and during class transitions..

Daily temperature checks on arrival are part of the new routine to check for possible symptoms of the coronavirus.

Let's hope all goes well. Be careful out there.

Sun
Jul 19 2020
09:06:am

According to the Maryville Daily Times,
As of 3pm, July 18, 2020, Blount County, TN, has reported 509 cases of the coronavirus.
There have been 169 new cases reported in the past week.

As of 3pm, July 17, 10,191 people have been tested in Blount County.
Thus, 4.7% of people tested have tested positive for the coronavirus.
That is up from 3.8% last week.
1,288 people were tested for the coronavirus in the past 6 days.

Blount County's positive COVID-19 cases increase by nearly 50% in the past week, from 340 to 509.
Blount County’s positive COVID-19 cases tripled in 26 days between June 15 and July 11, rising from 106 cases to 340

There are approximately 133,000 people residing in Blount County, TN.
Thus, 7.7% of the people in Blount County have been tested for the coronavirus.

Six Blount County residents have died from the coronavirus.
Three deaths occurred in the early months of the pandemic.
Three deaths occurred in the past week (week of 7/12/2020)

According to the TN Dept. of Health, on 7/7/2020 for the first time Blount County broke the threshold for rate of new covid-19 cases per 100,000 Tennesseans.
Blount County continues to break this threshold, four times the week of July 12.
The ratios are getting higher, e.g. up to 54.10.
The Blount County ratios have been higher than Knox County a couple of days, a more populated county.
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.

Be careful out there.
Wear a mask!

Sun
Jul 12 2020
10:25:am

According to the Maryville Daily Times,

As of 3pm, July 11, 2020, Blount County, TN, has reported 340 cases of the coronavirus.
8,903 people have been tested.
There have been 122 new cases reported in the past week.
Thus, 3.8% of people tested have tested positive for the coronavirus.
That is up from 2.7% last week.
1,277 people were tested for the coronavirus this week.

Blount County’s positive COVID-19 cases tripled in 26 days between June 15 and July 11, rising from 106 cases to 340

There are approximately 133,000 people residing in Blount County, TN.
Thus, 6.7% of the people in Blount County have been tested for the coronavirus.

Three Blount County residents have died from the coronavirus.
The three deaths occurred in the early months of the pandemic.

According to the TN Dept. of Health, on 7/7/2020 for the first time Blount County broke the threshold for rate of new covid-19 cases per 100,000 Tennesseans.
Blount County continues to break this threshold, three times the week of July 7.
The ratios are getting higher, e.g. 25.46 vs 26.23.
The Blount County ratios are higher than Knox County, a more populated county.
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.

Be careful out there.
Wear a mask!

According to the Maryville Daily Times,

As of 3pm, July 4, 2020, Blount County, TN, has reported 218 cases of the coronavirus.
7,626 people have been tested.
Thus, 2.9% of people tested have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Blount County’s positive COVID-19 cases nearly doubled in 17 days between June 15 and July 2, rising from 106 cases to 205
On July 1, Blount had 15 more cases than on June 30.
On July 2, Blount had 17 new cases.

There are approximately 133,000 people residing in Blount County, TN.
Thus, 5.7% of the people in Blount County have been tested for the coronavirus.

Three Blount County residents have died from the coronavirus.
The three deaths occurred in the early months of the pandemic.

Election day is coming up on August 6, 2020,
There will be State and Federal Primaries and County General Elections.

Check out the sample ballot.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020, is the final day to register to vote before election.
That's just one week away.

Absentee ballot requests must be received by July 30, 2020.

The rules have changed a bit for being eligible to vote with an absentee ballot.

Pursuant to the June 4, 2020 Order of the Davidson County Chancery Court, if you are a registered voter and do not wish to vote in-person due to the COVID-19 situation, you are eligible to request an absentee ballot by mail.

* I am hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at my polling place to vote; and/or I have determined it is impossible or unreasonable to vote in-person due to the COVID-19 situation.
* I am a caretaker of a hospitalized, ill or physically disabled person, and/or I have determined it is impossible or unreasonable to vote in-person due to the COVID-19 situation.

This year is important at all levels. Let's get out the vote.

Sat
Jun 27 2020
06:26:am

From the Maryville Daily Times:

A Maryville third grader tested positive for COVID-19 after a Monday, June 22, trip to Springbrook Pool with the Foothills Elementary School Adventure Club.

The student passed a Monday morning temperature check at the extended care program but was sent home when the midday check registered more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Maryville City Schools Director Mike Winstead.
...
“We did what our management plan and the Health Department says we should do,” Winstead said. The Health Department will be responsible for other contact tracing.
...
“When school reopens and we have 5,000 kids and 900 employees and all the interactions going on, having a positive case is inevitable,” Winstead said. “The key is just controlling interactions and minimizing the impact of a positive case.”

About a dozen other Adventure Club attendees will have to submit to a 14 day quarantine.

Sun
Jun 7 2020
08:51:am

The power went out about an hour ago.

Tried to call the City of Alcoa Utility Dept, their phones were out of service. Their online outage map was not updated. Tried to call the city's main number. It was out of service, too.

Out of curiosity, tried to call the Fire and Police departments. Their phones were also out of service.

Could be a flaw in their ability to serve the community.

According to tweets from Mark Nagi, Community Relations Officer with the Tennessee Department of Transportation:

On Saturday, June 13, Hunt Road will be closed at the Alcoa Highway overpass.

Motorists traveling in Blount County should be aware of the upcoming road closure that will have an affect on traffic in Alcoa over the next six months.

The existing Hunt Road bridge will be demolished and replaced by a new Hunt Road bridge over Alcoa Highway.

This roadway is expected to re-open to traffic in December 2020.

Signage is in place alerting motorists of the upcoming closure.

This detour map shows the new traffic pattern following those Hunt Road bridge demolition activities, and will be in place until December 2020.

Click image for bigger.

The existing bridge will be demolished during nighttime operations June 14-18.

Traffic will be detoured around the bridge demolition using existing interchange ramps. That detour will only be in place for the demolition activities.

The TN Dept of Transportation contractor will be closing the Hunt Road Bridge to traffic on the morning of Saturday, June 13, 2020. This closure will remain in place through Winter 2020 and will allow the contractor to construct the new Hunt Road bridge. During this closure, traffic will be detoured along State Routes.

For information on the Alcoa Highway road project you can visit this TN Dept of Transportation website.

You can contact Mark Nagi at the TN Dept. of Transportation if you have any questions.
Mark Nagi (media contact)
TDOT Region 1 Community Relations Officer
Phone: 865.594.0161
Email: Mark.Nagi@tn.gov

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