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News - Friday, April 10, 2020

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Learning from deadly disaster
Tennessee nursing home failure will serve as blueprint for change

By the time Gov. Bill Lee ordered Tennesseans to shelter in place April 2 – after weeks of strongly suggesting people stay home – 32 Tennesseans had already died from COVID-19, including four residents from an outbreak at a nursing home in Gallatin.


Tennesseans not heeding shelter-in-place order

More people in Sumner County have died of COVID-19 than any other county in the state, 17 as of April 7, with 11 of those deaths from Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing.

The high rate of cases could be due to people ignoring recommendations to stay home. Many grocery stores and retailers are still packed with shoppers, while restaurants are still operating with workers packed into small kitchens, despite switching to online and carryout only.


State’s hospital closures to exacerbate virus crisis

Ten hospitals have closed across Tennessee in the last eight years, more than any state other than Texas. Many more are in dire financial straits and at risk of closure.

Both Texas and Tennessee are among the 14 states that have opted out of Medicaid expansion, which many experts point to as a major cause of rural hospital closures. Eighty-two percent of Tennessee’s 95 counties are considered rural.


Legal Aid gears up for virus fallout

For several days after Mayor Andy Berke issued a shelter-in-place order for Chattanooga, Legal Aid of East Tennessee resembled a ghost town. Fewer phone calls than usual interrupted the silence and no attorneys could be heard working or conversing in their offices, even though a skeleton crew was on hand to answer the phones.


Cordell finds niche in busy market
Transaction coordinator allows Realtors to focus on bigger issues

Realtors can rely on a variety of criteria when choosing a transaction coordinator. They can read testimonials, talk with other agents or take a coordinator for a test drive on a small transaction.

Or, in the case of Lacey Cordell, they could peek in her closets.


Real estate as an essential service

Since the conversation surrounding COVID-19 started in recent weeks, many are asking what it means to be considered an “essential service.” In short, we wrote to elected officials to stress the importance of adequate shelter, as well as the role real estate plays in the economy.


Top features and design trends in new homes

As the homebuilding industry in Chattanooga and throughout the country celebrates New Homes Month in April, recent research shows that walk-in master bedroom closets, low-emissivity windows and laundry rooms are the most likely features found in new homes this year, based on a survey of single-family homebuilders.


Avoid tapping retirement savings early

You contribute to an IRA and 401(k) to help build the financial resources you’ll need to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But despite these funds being set aside for retirement, many investors use them before they retire. More than half of Americans tap into their retirement savings early, according to a survey from Magnify Money, a website focusing on financial topics. How can you avoid this problem?


State boosts rural broadband services

The state will fund $19.7 million in broadband accessibility grants that will expand service to support 31,000 unserved Tennesseans in nearly 12,700 households and businesses, including in Middle Tennessee.

“One of my top priorities is ensuring the success of rural Tennessee,’’ Gov. Bill Lee says. “With the assistance of these grants, communities across 21 counties will now have access to broadband that will aid in that success. I applaud the efforts of these 17 broadband providers as they play a fundamental role in our efforts to boost rural communities throughout Tennessee.”


Personal Finance: What to do when you can’t pay your bills

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could be profound. Many people are already losing jobs, with unemployment jumping at a record pace. Even those who stay employed may face reduced hours or uncertainty about how long their paychecks will continue.


Keep your car clean to reduce risk from coronavirus

The spread of the novel coronavirus, and its associated COVID-19 disease, is made worse because it is highly contagious. Since vehicle interiors are essentially small contained spaces, it is important to take steps to reduce the risk of contracting the virus while driving or riding inside.


Joe Rogers: Congregations can still come together in spirit

The coronavirus threat and the disruptions it has imposed would be daunting for religious groups at any point in the year. But coming as it does in this holiest of times makes it particularly challenging.

Concessions began at my church, Holy Trinity Episcopal, with services early last month, on advice of the bishop.


Career Corner: Routine vital when working at home

Working from home always sounded like a dream. It was this amazing concept that you heard about on TV, probably being done by people in California. You always wished you could try for a few days a week.

This is what the phrase “be careful what you wish for” really means. Here we are working from home, playing from home, schooling from home and everything else from home. At least there’s no commute.


Millennial Money: 8 ways to switch up the new at-home normal

Stressors are piling up with COVID-19 closures, cancellations and stay-at-home orders. On top of health concerns, lost incomes and lack of child care amid the pandemic, there's also coping with isolation, whether individually or as a couple or family.


Briefs: BCBS explains coverage for members with COVID-19

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, based in Chattanooga, will waive all member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments, including hospitalizations, through May 31.

BlueCross member diagnosed with COVID-19 will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment administered through in-network providers, including at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility and emergency room, as well as related inpatient hospital stays.