County Masking Order Extended Through February 27, 2021
(PARIS, TN Dec 31, 2020 )– Henry County Mayor John Penn Ridgeway is looking long term for the health and safety of Henry County residents by planning for what seems to be lurking ahead for Henry County in terms of the spread of COVID-19. With Christmas Holiday last week and the upcoming New Years Holiday, Health Professionals are expecting a local rise of positive cases just when Henry County Medical Center is seeing a new surge in COVID-19 cases admitted for treatment.
Henry County Medical Center reported on Wednesday they are at maximum COVID capacity with 19 positive inpatients being treated there. An 11 additional patients were in the Emergency Department with 5 reporting COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting test results. All COVID or ICU beds are occupied at HCMC and 4 ventilators are in use. The county COVID-19 related death toll now stands at 36 up from 33 last week.
Help is on the way with a new shipment of Phizer vaccine to become available next week through the Medical Center and the Health Dept. With the first phase of vaccinating healthcare workers and first responders, the next phase will begin. According to Lisa Casteel, Henry County Medical Center CEO, “Henry County Medical Center staff will begin vaccinating seniors age 65 years and older beginning Tuesday, January 5th, 9AM – 3PM through Friday, January 8th at the Plumley Rehab Center on Hospital Circle. We are excited to get the vaccine out to the community and to partner with our local health department! ”
Beginning Monday, January 4th, Henry County Health Dept will be administering vaccines to seniors 75 years and older and local school teachers 8:30 AM – 3PM each day by appointment only. For more information, persons can call 642-4025. There has been a tremendous amount of call volume to the health dept so persons are asked to be patient when calling if they get a busy signal. The health department is closed today and Friday for the New Years Holiday.
PRESS RELEASE PAGE 2
Henry County Mayor John Penn Ridgeway said, “As we approach the New Year , many folks are making resolutions. Others are taking stock of the things they are thankful for. As we look at our local COVID-19 numbers , there is little decrease in the number of daily positive rates. It must be our goal to decrease the number of positive cases in our community. I am issuing a continued masking requirement order for two months for our county to coincide with Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 73 through the end of February. If we can begin to decrease the daily positivity rate, then and only then can we begin to see a return to a “new normal” in our lives. Let’s make our resolutions to stay home, wear masks, and avoid any large gatherings.”
County Mayor Ridgeway adds, “I would also like to salute our Hometown Heroes this week as the medical staff, doctors and nurses at Henry County Medical Center. We are so lucky to have a quality rural hospital in our county. Not only is it our largest employer, but it is the “boots on the ground team” to help keep our citizens healthy. Our outstanding hospital serves a large population which is really needed in rural areas. And they are our Hometown Heroes keeping us safe and healthy daily! ”
The Henry County Health Dept continues to provide free COVID testing with new self tests provided on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by appointment. Regular nose swab tests will be offered on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, 8:30AM to 10:30 by appointment only. Over the past seven days, the county averaged 41 tests per day with a 28.2% positivity rate and is reporting 199 active cases in our community.