Today is Friday, July 31st and this is a 3:15 update. We just received our COVID-19 numbers. We are now at 330 positives, 195 active cases, and 134 recoveries, a difference of 61. We remain at one (1) death. We had over 270 tests come in from yesterday. We are still getting results in from the first of July and we think most of those will come through by this weekend, thereby having less recorded tests.
I updated you yesterday about the mask mandate and I want to say one more thing about this. The State Department of Health has authority by city, county, and region to implement practices that they think is beneficial or needed in those areas. These are health officials that can make the decision to say “Roane County, we are mandating masks.” I was on a conference call this morning with county mayors around Knoxville and only one mayor has invoked the mandate. Larry Waters in Sevierville was pressured by the State to do it, and he was real concerned about why the health officials who have this charge under the Tennessee Law did not invoke the order. That’s one thing that all of the regional mayors have struggled with. People say “well why don’t you invoke the order?”, when the real health officials have the authority to do it. You can still be mad or upset at me because I haven’t invoked masks. I explained yesterday why, but another reason is I don’t want to be saying that I know more than the doctors. Very few times have I went to the doctor and said “I have diagnosed myself. I know what it is, give me this medicine.” No, we are relying on the health officials who have that authority.
So, we will continue to track the numbers and hopefully it will get better. I was down at Lowe’s today and I was disappointed in what I saw. Very few people were wearing a mask, and some personnel weren’t wearing them correctly. Some people complained as I went in. I say protect your neighbor. Wear a face covering/mask. We will continue to work with the State, and I’m sure if they think it is a crisis, they will step up and do their job. As your fiscal agent of the county, I will take care of the financial end, but I struggle trying to play doctor.
God bless Roane County, our State, and our Nation