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DeKalb County now has a total of 2 confirmed COVID-19 cases

March 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s now has 2 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus.

County Mayor Tim Stribling made the announcement in the following statement Thursday afternoon

“I have been notified by the TN Department of Health that there is one more confirmed COVID-19 case in DeKalb County bringing the total of confirmed cases to two as of this date.”

“As I said in reporting the first confirmed case, this is not unexpected. As we ramp up our testing, we expect to identify more cases. But there is still a lot we can do to slow down the spread and protect our most vulnerable but the worst thing we can do is panic. Now is the time to look after our own health to limit the spread. Keep your hands clean and continue to practice social distancing. If you are feeling bad, stay at home. Our elderly need to be staying at home as much as possible and we as neighbors and friends need to keep a check on them,” said County Mayor Stribling

“We will continue to work closely with the TN Department of Health and all agencies of government at all levels to minimize the impact on the residents of DeKalb County. That has been and continues to be our primary concern. We will get through this together as everyone takes a personal responsibility to do everything they can to protect our county,” he said

Individuals with specific questions can call the TDH Information line at 877-857-2945 or 931-646-7586.

DeKalb Schools and Churches to Provide More Free Food for Kids Next Week at DCHS, DMS, & DWS

March 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

This week’s “Meals for Kids” drive through distribution  by local churches in cooperation with the DeKalb County School System was a huge success and it will resume next week.

However due to the high volume of participants during the first food distribution Monday, March 23  there will be a change in the location of the Smithville pick up. “We will be moving from the Smithville First Baptist Church Life Enrichment Center to the campus of DeKalb Middle and DeKalb County High School. Food pick up will remain between the hours of 10:30 am-12:00 p.m. at all locations on Monday and Thursday. Food distribution will continue at DeKalb West School,” said Director of Schools Patrick Cripps.

Beginning Monday, March 30 and until school goes back in session, the school system will be taking on the food distribution at the DeKalb Middle School and DCHS and at DeKalb West School on Mondays and Thursdays with continued support from churches.

“We will be preparing meals on Mondays for a three day supply and a two day supply on Thursdays,” said Director Cripps.

“We will have volunteers distributing the food. As you pull up to the buildings we will hand out food for the numbers of students age 18 and younger who are in the car,” he said.

“Students being served must be inside the vehicles driving through the pickup line according to state and federal guidelines. Meals will be served in a “Drive Through” style. Please stay in your car and follow traffic directions at each site. Meals must be taken home and should be refrigerated until served. Please let us know if your child is part of the Back Pack Program because if so the child will also receive those food supplies on Thursdays.  Free meals will be made available each week until at least April 24th,” added Director Cripps.

Local Pharmacist Offers Reminders to Community During COVID-19 Crisis

March 26, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Under an executive order last week by Governor Bill Lee declaring a state of emergency in Tennessee due to COVID-19, pharmacists are allowed to dispense an extra 90-day supply of maintenance prescriptions as needed.

Local pharmacist Susannah Cripps, in an interview with WJLE last week, explains what that means locally.

“The Governor issued an executive order that allows a pharmacist to dispense an additional 90 day supply of maintenance prescription medication if a patient is out of refills instead of them having to go to the doctor and secure that refill. This is only for prescriptions that are maintenance medications for patients meaning that the prescriptions are being used regularly and have been prescribed on an on-going basis by the patient’s health care provider but happens to be out of refills. It gives us that capability for continuity of care and it will help alleviate some of the workload on the prescribers and other health care providers as this situation escalates. Keep in mind this does not apply to controlled substances. This is maintenance medications for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, Arthritis, and things like that,” she said.

Among other concerns patients may have during the pandemic is the availability of prescriptions.

“We have had a lot of patients ask about pharmacy hours and the procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic and what will happen at local pharmacies. Will they be able to get their medications. Will there be shortages and things like that. The pharmacies I have spoken to are going to continue observing regular hours and would extend those hours should it become necessary,” said Cripps.

“ As far as shortages, we experience them all the time but I know myself, we have been stocking up on maintenance medications and putting in additional orders so that we are prepared should there be a shortage of any of the maintenance type medications that patients are taking.”

When possible, Cripps said it’s a good idea to make use of your pharmacist’s drive through service.

“Its important to remember that for high risk patients they need to minimize their potential exposure so using the drive through if that is available at your pharmacy or taking advantage of free home delivery so ask your pharmacy providers if they have that service and put that to use for yourself if you are in the groups which are of high risk so you don’t have to risk going into the pharmacy and potentially being exposed to the virus,” she said.

Mail order prescriptions are also an option but they may also pose concerns.

“Mail orders are being offered up as a potential solution but I would caution patients that mail orders present their own set of significant risks. Medications don’t always arrive on time making it necessary to secure an additional prescription at a pharmacy with which you currently may have no relationship to obtain your medication and that could lead to an increased expense for patients and also unnecessary exposure during this time and with the uncertainty as this virus spreads that could become a bigger issue for mail order patients. Research has shown that the virus can live on some inanimate objects for up to three days and when you are using mail order you are increasing the number of hands touching your prescription all the way through the whole chain until it arrives to you. Those are things that you should consider concerning that option.”

“ I would suggest that you continue to use the doctors, nurses, and pharmacists that you know and trust and depend on for your healthcare services and count on them to practice the universal precautions,” said Cripps.

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