Tractor Supply Headquarters: Will Pay Workers to Get COVID-19 Vaccine, Provide Time Off

Tractor Supply is incentivizing its workers with $50 additional pay and any necessary time off to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The company, headquartered in Brentwood, clarified that they wouldn’t be mandating the vaccine. Instead, Tractor Supply stated that the decision to be vaccinated should remain between the employee and their primary care physician. This arrangement would also extend to its workers in Petsense, another retailer owned and operated by the company. 

Additionally, Tractor Supply announced that it had partnered with an undisclosed third-party provider to host vaccination clinics at their eight distribution centers and their store support center.

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Tennessee Ranks 33rd Among States in Percentage of COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered

Tennessee ranks 33rd of the 50 states for the percentage of COVID-19 vaccines it has distributed versus the number of doses it received, data show.

The ranking was revealed by Becker’s Hospital Review, and is available here. Becker’s updated the data on Tuesday.

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First Case of UK COVID-19 Variant Identified in Virginia, Health Department Says

The first confirmed case of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant strain in Virginia has been identified, according to a press release on Monday from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS).

What is currently known to be the only case in the Commonwealth so far was discovered in a sample from an adult residing in Northern Virginia with no recent travel history reported. The case was confirmed by DCLS using next-generation sequencing and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been informed of the matter, the release said.

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140,000 Doses of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Arrive in Virginia

Roughly 140,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Virginia on Wednesday after the state had initially placed an order with the company last week, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said in a news release.

Shipments of Moderna’s vaccine, approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, as well as Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine are being delivered to healthcare facilities and health departments across the Commonwealth this week. The two vaccines are going to 96 “geographically diverse locations” in the state, according to the release.

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Virginia Department of Health Adopts CDC Quarantine Guidelines

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Tuesday that it is adopting newly revised COVID-19 quarantine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that were released earlier this month.

VDH and the CDC recommends people who test positive for coronavirus or may have been exposed to quarantine for a full 14 days, but the new guidelines have two additional alternatives for a shorter length of isolation.

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Department of Health: Virginia to Receive 480,000 Vaccine Doses by End of December

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced on Friday that the Commonwealth is preparing to receive 480,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December based on new information from the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed.  

As Governor Ralph Northam noted during a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted last week to officially recommend healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents as top priority for vaccination.

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Virginia Could Receive Vaccine Doses by Mid-December, Northam Says

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that initial doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in the state as early as mid-December.

During a coronavirus press briefing Wednesday afternoon, the governor shared details on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plans instead of implementing new statewide restrictions.

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More Tennessee Counties Re-Issue Mask Mandates and Public Health Emergencies

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased this month, more Tennessee counties are re-issuing mask mandates. Tennessee has nearly 250,000 confirmed cases, 88 percent of which have recovered.
Montgomery County issued the most recent mask mandate on Tuesday. Other counties with mandates include Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, and Sumner. These mask mandates adhere to guidelines issued under Governor Bill Lee.

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Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander Defends Dr. Fauci’s COVID-19 Advice

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) defended Dr. Anthony Fauci’s COVID-19 advice after President Donald Trump’s remarks.
The senator also stated that people weren’t doing enough to counteract the spread of the virus.

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Twitter Removes Anti-Mask Tweet From Trump Coronavirus Adviser

Twitter removed a tweet from a top White House coronavirus adviser, saying that, contrary to official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, masks don’t prevent the spread of the virus.

On Saturday, Dr. Scott Atlas tweeted that evidence showed masks don’t work, according to NBC News. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance in April urging Americans to wear masks in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus after weeks of recommending the opposite.

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Facebook Fact-Checkers Use Old Analysis Written for Another Article to ‘Disprove’ The Tennessee Star on CDC Data Comparing Mask-Wearing and Infection Rates

Facebook’s team of fact-checkers claimed Saturday that The Tennessee Star’s article comparing mask-wearing and infection rates is both “partly false” and “factually inaccurate.” But the social media giant made a judgment based on the content and conclusions of an entirely different article by The Federalist.

The Star based its article on a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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CDC Report Indicates Masks May Increase Chance of Infection with COVID or Other Respiratory Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last month in which the nearly 71 percent of individuals infected with COVID-19 reported “always” wearing their mask. This opposed to the 4 percent of infected individuals who “never” wore masks.
The number of individuals infected with COVID-19 positively correlated with the consistency of mask-wearing. The report didn’t address the possible correlation between face mask hygiene and COVID-19 infection, such as proper handling and disposal of masks. It also didn’t differentiate the respondents’ mask types.

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Virginia Proposes to Spend Nearly $121 Million in CARES Funding for COVID Vaccinations, Mentions ‘Vaccine Record Cards’

Virginia plans on spending nearly $121 million on CARES funding for COVID-19 vaccine equipment and advertisement. This according to a proposal draft, reportedly submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week.

Nearly $6 million will be spent on equipment: over $111 million on administration and staffing and $3 million in a “public education campaign.”

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Virginia Department of Health Launches New Pandemic Metrics Dashboard

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on Monday launched a new pandemic metrics dashboard with more specific, aggregated data to show where COVID-19 is spreading in Virginia’s different regions and any changes occurring over time. 

The new dashboard will be updated weekly and features three different tabs: About the Data, Daily Region Metrics, Weekly Transmission Extent. Additionally, School Metrics from the CDC are included within the dashboard.  

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Ohio to Test Wastewater for COVID-19

In an effort to get ahead of COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state would begin testing wastewater at a network of water treatment plants across the state.

Information from the new Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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Sen. Lamar Alexander: Make the Two Most Important COVID-19 Telehealth Policy Changes Permanent

U.S. Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) this week weighed in on the topic of telehealth.

Alexander said the government should permanently extend at least two of the most important temporary changes in federal policy made to help patients see doctors by phone or video during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Trump Administration Extends Travel Ban on Mexican Border for Another Month

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the ban on all non-essential travel along the Mexican and Canadian borders will be extended for an additional 30 days.

The governments of Mexico, Canada and the United States mutually agreed to keep their borders closed off to non-essential traffic for another month as they continue to fight the spread of coronavirus, acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf said Monday. The announcement came just two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the U.S.-Canada border ban would be extended.

“In close collaboration, the US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days,” Wolf said in a prepared statement.

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Connecticut Relents, Orders All Labs to Report Negative Coronavirus Test Results, Leaving Ohio One of Two States to Fail to Comply With Federal Law

The State of Connecticut has gotten on board with the CDC to report negative test results to help the agency better track the spread of the coronavirus, leaving Ohio and Maryland as the only holdouts in complying with federal law.

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Governor Bill Lee Declares State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19

Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 14 Thursday afternoon declaring a state of emergency in the state in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 for the purpose of facilitating the treatment and containment of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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U.S. Officials Battle Coronavirus on Multiple Health Care, Economic Fronts Even as Death Toll Reaches Nine

The coronavirus death toll in the United States hit nine on Tuesday, even as more areas around the world report infections.

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Ohio Ranks Third in Nation in Ongoing Hepatitis A Outbreak

As of Jan. 21, the Buckeye State had experienced 3,468 cases of hepatitis A in a statewide community outbreak that officially began Jan. 1, 2018, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-two percent of patients were hospitalized, and 16 died.

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