Closures abound as Germantown prepares for COVID-19

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Local, state and federal governments are working to limit the public’s exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Schools, public events, court systems, etc. have been closed for the foreseeable future in an effort to prevent further contamination of the virus.

Gov. Bill Lee issued a statement on Monday regarding the pandemic.
“The latest guidance from both the CDC and the Department of Health requires us to take unprecedented action,” he said. “In the best interests of public health, we have jointly decided to limit all remaining legislative business to fulfilling our constitutional requirement of passing a balanced budget, and any associated actions that will ensure Tennessee can keep its doors open.

“This is a serious time for our state and country, and we all must make adjustments in response to this threat,” he continued. “Our approach will take into account the unique public health challenges this complex virus presents, as well as the economic disruption likely to occur as a result of its spread. Passing an amended budget now and recessing will allow the General Assembly to focus on an immediate plan of action, while still determining needs down the road. This pathway forward should only be reserved for extraordinary circumstances.”

The current protocol for those who think they might be infected is to contact their primary care physician or the Shelby County Health Department.

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms to discuss whether you should be evaluated in person and considered for testing. If you are symptomatic but don’t have a health care provider, you can call your county health department and be referred to a clinic for evaluation.

The public health lab is prioritizing symptomatic people with travel to high-risk areas, and those with contact to a laboratory-confirmed case or who are critically ill with no alternative diagnosis.

If your provider decides to test you, your samples can be collected at most health care facilities, then sent to the state laboratory for analysis. If you don’t meet priority criteria, you can consider using a commercial laboratory.

Tests performed by the state lab have to be approved by the Tennessee Department of Health. Private labs do not require approval.
Results from the state lab should be available within 24 to 48 hours. Turnaround time can be affected by demand.

The Tennessee Department of Health has a coronavirus website with updated information on the number of cases in the state, and guidance on travel and community events.

Call the department’s COVID-19 public information hotline at 877.857.2945 for more information about the virus. It is available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Germantown continues to prioritize the health and safety of residents and City employees as we continue to navigate the outbreak of COVID-19 that is heavily impacting the nation.
In the interest of public health and safety, there are some changes regarding city facility closures.

Over the weekend, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that gatherings of over 50 people should be cancelled or postponed at this time.

In the wake of this recommendation, Germantown has decided to close the Germantown Athletic Club, the Germantown Performing Arts Center, the Germantown Community Library, the Tennessee Genealogical Society and the Great Hall & Conference Center as of Monday, March 16, at 5 p.m.

These facilities will remain closed until further notice. All community parks will remain open to the public at this time; however, please keep CDC recommendations regarding social distancing in mind.
• At this time, we are closing schools through Friday, March 27. This will provide opportunities for social distancing, thorough disinfection of schools and buses, and contingency planning in case prolonged closures are required at some point in the future. We ask that families do not simply view this as an extended Spring Break or additional vacation time. Families should heed the warnings of health experts and limit your social interactions during this time to prevent the spread of the virus.
Thank you for your support as we navigate this challenging situation. We will continue to seek the advice of health professionals as developments occur and make updates as necessary.
• Staff at the Germantown Animal Shelter has been closely monitoring the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and has received recommendations from the National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA).
Due to this unprecedented situation and out of an abundance of caution, the Germantown Animal Shelter is implementing revised policies to comply with social distancing practices set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The policies will be effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice. These temporary revisions as outlined below are a response to the recent decrease in adoptions.
The Germantown Animal Shelter will not be accepting any animal surrenders and will only impound animals that pose an immediate threat to public safety or that need immediate medical care.
The Germantown Animal Shelter will not be accepting any new shelter volunteers at this time. The Shelter will also be temporarily suspending all new volunteer orientation programs.
The Germantown Animal Shelter will continue to utilize its foster network to assist with the care of pets in their homes until normal operations can be resumed. If this viral outbreak poses an issue among the shelter staff, having fewer pets requiring care within the facility will be imperative.
• Germantown Municipal Court will canceling all court sessions scheduled for March 18 and March 25. If you are scheduled to appear in court during either one of the above mentioned days, please contact the Germantown Court Clerk’s office at 901.757.7212 to reschedule your court date.
The Court Clerk’s office will remain open during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office will still be able to provide other needed information, as well as accept payments. For convenience and to utilize social distancing practices as outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), payments can be made online at www.municipalonlinepayments.com/germantowntn or by phone at 1.833.257.8351.
For questions regarding the above mentioned temporary closures, please use the respective contact information as listed below.
Contact the Germantown Athletic Club at 901.757.7370 or info@gacfitness.org.
Contact the Germantown Performing Arts Center at 901.751.7500 or boxoffice@gpacweb.com.
Contact the Germantown Community Library at 901.757.7323 or at Lisa.Marinos@lsslibraries.com.
Contact the Great Hall & Conference Center at 901.757.7373 or NDahl@Germantown-TN.gov.

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