COVID-19 dominates discussion in Carter County Commission meeting

John Thompson • Mar 16, 2020 at 10:34 PM

ELIZABETHTON – Much of the time in Monday night’s meeting of the Carter County Commission was spent discussing matters involved with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Among the items discussed were ordering backpack sprayers and chemicals to spray down areas in offices and other areas where the virus may lodge; and a policy of paying county employees who become quarantined or sick as a result of COVID-19.

After a half-hour discussion in which nearly every commissioner spoke at least once, the commission agreed on a policy that the county will continue paying an employee who is quarantined for 14 working days. If the employee cannot return to work after that time, the county will pay the employee salary for another 14 working days before sick leave must be used.

The discussion on employee compensation included a requirement that employees must see their physicians when they are sick with headache, fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 and should not report to work. It was agreed that the key was keeping sick employees from infecting other employees and the public.

The commissioners also heard a report from Chad Bruckman, emergency response coordinator for Emergency Preparedness of the Tennessee Department of Health. He told the commissioners there was now 52 cases of COVID-19 in the state. He said more test kits are becoming available.

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