Local businesses and events continue to be postponed and canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As always, if you are making changes to your business hours, operations or event schedules, email The Post-Intelligencer at www.parispi.net or call 642-1162 to let us know so we can get the word out.
The newest local cancellations, closures and changes in Henry County and surrounding areas are below:
CITY OF PARIS
The city government sent a press release Thursday detailing its current plan.
The City of Paris has closed the Paris Civic Center, Krider Performing Arts Center, Atkins-Porter Recreation Center and the city hall meeting room.
It has also limited access to city hall business offices. Customers will only have access to lobby areas in the business office and the Police Department records office and dispatch center.
It is still operating on normal business hours, and city employees can assist people on the phone when needed. Employees have also started taking credit card payments on the phone.
Parks remain open at this time, but the city is highly encouraging parkgoers to maintain social distancing by staying 6 feet away from other visitors.
Emergency services and sanitation are running as normal.
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES
On Thursday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the suspension of operations at several refuge visitor centers and offices for Tennessee and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuges, effective today.
Refuge offices will remain open, but will have limited exposure to the public. The refuge lands, roads and areas will remain open to provide opportunities for recreation and relaxation.
Most of the local financial institutions collectively announced Thursday they would make changes to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees.
The banks making the announcement include Commercial Bank & Trust, Security Bank & Trust, Carroll Bank & Trust, FirstBank, Foundation Bank and Holley Credit Union.
These institutions are encouraging customers to use the drive-through windows and avoid coming inside.
In-branch visits will be conducted by appointment only at certain branch locations.
Additionally, Regions Bank sent an email to its customers Wednesday stating a very similar plan.
Regions customers will be directed to the drive-through window, and lobbies will be open by appointment only.
HCMC SURGERY CENTER
The Henry County Medical Center Surgery Center updated its visitation policy Thursday.
In the new visitation policy, no visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed in the surgery center.
Only one visitor per patient will be allowed in the facility at any one time.
Anyone experiencing symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath or body aches, and anyone who has been in any area where they may have been exposed to COVID-19 is urged not to enter the facility.
OTHER HCMC CHANGES
The HCMC Volunteer Auxiliary program will be suspended beginning Saturday.
As of today, the HCMC Pink Petal Gift Shop will no longer be open and volunteers will not be allowed to volunteer within the organization.
In addition, the HCMC Volunteer Auxiliary Masquerade $5 jewelry sale that was set for April 16 and 17 will be canceled.
The medical center’s board of trustees will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday using Zoom online meeting software.
HENRY COUNTY HEALTHCARE CENTER
Henry County Healthcare Center, while not allowing visitors, has tools in place for residents and patients to stay in contact with loved ones.
HCHC has a portable phone that can be carried to a resident’s room. The number to connect through this tool is 644-8940.
The nursing home also has an iPad available for residents and family members to use. Staff members are able to set up Zoom meetings for residents and families to communicate through the app on Android and Apple phones, or through a computer with a webcam and microphone.
BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
BPU has suspended its disconnect for non-payment policy. No prepay customers or monthly bill customers will have services disconnected for non-payment through April 15.
Monthly bills will continue to be generated and daily bill calculations for prepay will continue to generate during this time.
While payment is not required at this time, customers will continue to be responsible for paying for the services provided by the BPU during the suspension of the disconnect policy. Customers are encouraged to make payments along the way. Doing so will help customers prepare for when the BPU reinstates normal disconnect policies.
Late fees will continue to accrue during this time, but the BPU will provide late fee waivers for those customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
The policies will apply to all customers, residential and commercial.
Anyone disconnected in the past six days is asked to contact the BPU office for options to get reconnected.
As of today, the BPU’s main lobby at 117 E. Washington St. will be closed and remain closed until further notice, but business will still be conducted over the phone. Appointments for new services can be made by calling 642-1322. Those wishing to drop off a water test are asked to call ahead of time so that your request can be accommodated.
Customers wanting to make a payment during this time are encouraged to use a drop-box location, an outdoor kiosk, the MyBPU App or pay by mail.
According to a Wednesday announcement from Walmart Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith, all U.S. Walmart stores will be adjusting their operating hours.
Stores will now be open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to help associates restock shelves and clean and sanitize the store.
Walmart stores will also host a senior shopping hour each Tuesday through April 28. Customers age 60 and older will be able to shop for an hour before opening.
Pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time.
RIDGEWAY FUNERAL HOME
Ridgeway Funeral Home announced in a press release Wednesday night it would be temporarily suspending all public funeral services, memorial services and visitations.
Until further notice, Ridgeway will be limiting its services to immediate family members only.
Royal Cleaners, located at 319 E. Wood St. in Paris, will be operating under normal hours for now and adding complimentary pick-up and drop-off for those self-quarantining.
There is a five-item minimum for the service, and pick-up and drop-off can be done in Paris and the local area. For more information, call 642-2891.
Little Caesars will continue to take orders large and small. Its current hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day of the week, but owner Taga Jones said the store will likely change to an 8 p.m. closing time.
Jones said calling ahead is best, or customers can order and prepay through the free online app and pick up their orders at the window for a touchless experience.
Jones said employees are cleaning and sanitizing all equipment often. Door handles, credit card machines and drink cooler handles are being cleaned after each customer use.