Tennessee releases some virus data surrounding nursing homes
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s top health officials have released some data relating to the occurrence of coronavirus cases at the state’s nursing homes. However, the state on Friday held off from releasing any information on whether patients had died in those facilities. The decision comes a few weeks after more than 100 people tested positive for the virus at a Tennessee nursing home, resulting in more than 10 deaths since. Tennessee’s confirmed cases have grown to more than 4,800, with at least 98 confirmed deaths.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-PRICE GOUGING
Feds in Memphis concerned about coronavirus supply gouging
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The top federal prosecutor in West Tennessee is asking hospital leaders to tell authorities about cases of hoarding or price gouging of medical supplies used in the coronavirus fight. Memphis-based U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said Thursday that his office is focusing on “the deterrence, investigation, and prosecution of wrongdoing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” His letter to hospital leaders and executives has listed several types of supplies labeled by the federal government as scarce that could be the subject of price gouging and hoarding. They include masks, respirators, ventilators, and materials used to disinfect and sterilize.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOL MEALS
Schools struggle to safely get free meals to needy students
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Schools that feed millions of children from low-income families across the U.S. promised to keep providing meals during the coronavirus pandemic. But cities big and small quickly ran into problems when food workers, teachers and volunteers became infected or were too scared to report for duty. Some districts have been forced to suspend their programs altogether. That's left families who are already struggling more desperate. After a more than weeklong shutdown in Houston, schools in the nation's fourth-largest city made changes to reduce risks. The district started giving out enough food to last for several days in fewer locations.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FOREST CLOSURE
Lone Mountain State Forest closed over coronavirus concerns
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials say Lone Mountain State Forest has been closed due to coronavirus concerns after personnel noticed an increase in visitors. The Department of Agriculture says many visitors have been gathering in parking lots and trail heads and not following guidelines to maintain social distancing. The agency says access points and trails will be closed to prevent groups from gathering in order to protect public health. The forest is located in Morgan County, about 35 miles west of Knoxville.
Federal utility board backs CEO under Trump's fire for pay
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The board of a federal utility is criticizing “ill-informed opinions” about how much their organization’s top executive gets paid after President Donald Trump blasted the salary level as “ridiculous.” According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee Valley Authority board chairman Skip Thompson sent a memo to the utility’s more than 10,000 employees and contractors Thursday defending the board’s decision to pay CEO Jeff Lyash an $8.1 million compensation package. Trump appoints the TVA board. He suggested he could reduce the CEO’s salary in a coronavirus-related infrastructure bill. TVA does not receive federal taxpayer funding and serves 10 million ratepayers in seven southeastern states.
Police fatally shoot man who used stun gun on officer