By Meg Dickens
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an ever-present concern for more than a year. People expect social distancing, facemasks, limited gatherings, and increased sanitation in businesses and from individuals. Essential items such as masks and hand sanitizer are available for sale anywhere from retail chains to the local farmers’ market.
For a long time after the pandemic began, Johnson County had zero cases. Now the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) reports 2,050 total confirmed cases in the area. Thirteen cases are active, and as of February 22, Johnson County Schools’ COVID Dashboard claims nine; five at JCHS, three at Mountain City Elementary, and one at Roan Creek Elementary. The source of the other four cases is still unknown.
County officials set up a vaccination site in an empty lot prepared across from Star LED. The COVID-19 vaccine is in distribution for particular groups, including critical infrastructure, high-exposure health workers, other health workers, funeral/mortuary, and people age 70 and above. According to the Johnson County Health Department, it is currently in Stages 1a1 through 1b of the Tennessee COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, which expands vaccinations to school staff for grades k-12, childcare staff, first responder operations personnel, and individuals age 65 and above.
Several people within the community received the vaccine since it became available. Reported reactions vary from mild soreness at the injection point to feeling ill for several days after. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) assures the public that the side effects are “normal signs that your body is building protection.”
Visit tn.gov/health for COVID case updates by county. To view cases in Johnson County Schools, visit the COVID Dashboard at jocoed.net or check the Johnson County Schools TN app. View up-to-date stages county-by-county at COVID19.tn.gov.