Below are closings and changes in Bledsoe County taken by local governments and institutions to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus. This list will be updated as needed. Visit tn.gov/health or coronavirus.gov for more on how you can help slow the spread of the Coronavirus.
- UPDATE: Bledsoe County Community Food Bank is still open during their normal hours from 9:00 a.m. on Monday and 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Thursday, with some changes to enhance safety and health of visitors, according to Ginger Housley with the food bank. Housley said people can call them at 447-3325 in the event of an emergency or message them on Facebook. She added only one person would be allowed in the building per visit and signatures are not required currently to reduce contact between visitors and workers. No changes will be made to people already coming to the food bank regularly. New patrons need to bring a photo ID and proof of residence to sign-up, but Housely said the food bank would not deny anyone food.
- Bledsoe County Public Library is closed to the public until April 1, per librarian Carolyne Knight. Knight said try calling the library at 447-2817 or her home number listed in the phonebook if you need to reach her.
- The Bledsoe County Courthouse is closed to the public effective immediately following a meeting of courthouse officeholders Tuesday morning, March 17. Offices will be open to conduct business via phone and email for the next two weeks, through March 29, when the decision to open or remain closed will be re-evaluated. Phone numbers and email addresses for office-holders are available at ctas.tennessee.edu/county/bledsoe. Registration can be renewed online at www.tncountyclerk.com.
- Bledsoe County Schools are closed until April 6, according to Director of Schools Jennifer Terry. Meals will be offered to students at the following locations and dates:
March 17 – 20, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the following locations: Pikeville Elementary, Wheeler Elementary and Rigsby Elementary.
March 23 – 27, Spring Break – No meal services.
March 31 thru April 3, 2020: Times and locations for meal pickup will be posted later, Terry said. Parents and guardians will be asked to drive-thru at the mentioned locations to receive the meals. No one will be allowed to exit the vehicle.
First Southern Baptist Church will be providing Snack Packs to children 18 years old and younger at all Bledsoe County Volunteer Fire Departments on Fridays during the school closure. Delivery times will be 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. The church also has a food pantry available to families: Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Morgan Brothers BBQ is offering a hot lunch for children in need this week and next. Contact them at 447-6423 or through a private Facebook message and they will do their best to accommodate so no child goes hungry.
- McDonald’s has closed their dining room to customers, allowing drive-thru orders only at this time.
- Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative: lobbies closed until further notice, drive-thru operations only or business through phone, (423)-447-2131 and online at www.svalleyec.com.
- Bledsoe County Courts: those called for jury, including Grand Jury, can disregard the notice as all in-person courts in Tennessee have been suspended through the end of March, according to Bledsoe County Circuit Court Clerk Michael Walker. A new Grand Jury summons will be mailed once the ban is lifted.
- Bledsoe County Nursing Home: all visitation has been halted until further notice, according to Steve Standefer, chairman of the Nursing Home Board.
- City of Pikeville: The Pikeville Municipal Building is conducting business through the drive-thru window only until further notice to help mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, per Pikeville Mayor Philip Cagle. Cagle explained residents can pay property taxes and water and gas bills using this method.
- Dollar General Corporation is dedicating the first hour of business at all stores to seniors who need to shop at their stores. The company urges other customers to plan their trips around that time.
For more, see the March 19 issue of The Bledsonian-Banner.