As Bedford County re-opens its economy, a sharp uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases over the weekend indicates some citizens may be letting their guard down when it comes to practices like social distancing.
According to the figures released each afternoon by Tennessee Department of Health, Bedford County’s number of active COVID-19 cases peaked at 152 on May 3, and in general has been declining since that time. The number of active cases is different from the number of total cases, because it does not include those who are presumed to have recovered, or those who have died. The active cases are meant to be a reflection of the number of people known to have COVID-19 at that moment.
On May 27, the number of local cases was as low as 41. But it has been gradually increasing since that time, and saw double-digit increases on June 6 and 7, putting it at 77 as of Monday, June 8.
“We are trying to re-open the economy, here in Bedford County and throughout Tennessee,” said County Mayor Chad Graham. “But that does not mean the crisis has completely passed. It’s important, now more than ever, for citizens to take personal responsibility for protecting both their own health and the health of the people they encounter each day.”
That means social distancing whenever you are in public, said Bedford County Emergency Management Agency director Scott Johnson, who heads the county’s COVID-19 task force. Personal responsibility also means wearing a mask whenever appropriate and following good hygiene practices such as frequent hand-washing and avoiding touching your face.
Many retailers have helpful floor markings to remind people to stay six feet apart while shopping. Even in situations where you don’t have those visible markings, it’s easy to imagine that six-foot distance and keep yourself separate from others around you.
“I know everyone is tired of the ways in which COVID-19 has affected all our lives,” said Johnson. “But we can’t just ignore it. If we do, we put ourselves, and vulnerable people whom we love, in danger.”
For more information about COVID-19, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For information specific to Bedford County, call 931-735-6923 or go to https://www.asaferbedfordcountytn.org/.