From Bart Krisle - CEO:

As you have probably already noticed from the headlines and television news, Tennessee is dealing with a dramatic increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 and the related hospitalizations. In response, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative is making changes to our coronavirus policy through Jan. 31.
  • No meetings of more than 10 people will be allowed.
  • Masks must be worn if you are within 6 feet of another person at all TFC locations.
  • Supervisors should evaluate staff needs and, where possible, let employees work from home.
  • Only essential visitors will be allowed at all TFC locations.
  • For any employee visiting a local Co-op, please call ahead first and be respectful of the individual Co-op’s policy.
 We are once again at a critical point in the pandemic. I ask all employees to continue to be responsible at home, at work, and in our communities. Please stay safe.

What to do if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19:

As the spread of the coronavirus continues to increase and more COVID-19 cases are confirmed, now is a good time to discuss protocols when or if an employee or customer is diagnosed with coronavirus at TFC or a local Co-op.
A. If an employee is at work exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough or other flu-like symptoms), stay calm:
  • Immediately sperate the employee from other employees
  • Send the employee home to seek medical treatment and self-quarantine until the employee has been cleared to return to work.
  • If the employee tests negative for COVID-19, has been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications for at least three full days (72 hours) and the employee’s other symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved, they may return to work.
  • If employee tested positive, they can return after they have been symptom free for at least seven days, as long as the household is remains symptom free.
B. If the employee who was exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms came into close physical contact with other employees during their time in the workplace (i.e., a distance of less than six feet for 10 to 30 minutes):
  • Identify and notify employees who were in contact with the symptomatic employee during the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms.
  • Send the employee home to get tested and self-quarantine and for up to 10 days or until medically cleared to return to work.
  • If the employee tests positive for COVID-19, follow the protocol in Scenario C below.
C. If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 or a presumptive case of COVID-19:
  • In the unlikely event the employee is at work when the employee receives the news, send the employee home immediately and follow the procedures outlined above.
  • If the employee is not in the workplace, notify all potentially impacted employees of their potential exposure — meaning all employees who were in close contact with the infected employee (within six feet for 10 to 30 minutes) during the 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms,
  • Employers should clean the diagnosed/potentially diagnosed employee’s workspace.
  • Employers should not reveal the identity of the infected employee unless the infected employee has provided permission to share his or her name. Like with any illness, the reason for an employee’s absence is confidential and should not be shared with others.
  • The employee may return to work after they have been medically released to do so, or after they have been symptom free for at least seven days, as long as the household is remains symptom free.

D. If an employee informs an employer that the employee has come in close physical contact (less than 6 feet for 10 to 30 minutes within the 48 hours prior to that person exhibiting symptoms) with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or a presumptive case of COVID-19 outside of work:
  • Follow the same steps as B. above.
  • Send the employee home to seek medical treatment and self-quarantine until the employee has been cleared to return to work.
  • If the employee tested negative for COVID-19, and has remained symptom free for at least seven days from the exposure, they may return to work.
  • If employee tested positive but was never symptomatic, they can return after seven days as long as employee and household remain symptom free.
  • If employee tested negative but someone in their household tested positive, they can return after seven days from first positive test date AND the entire household has been symptom free for at least 3 days (72 hours).
As an employer, we can and should tell other employees there is an employee showing symptoms and is being tested for COVID-19. We will not use that employee’s name, even though their coworkers will figure it out. We will not confirm or deny questions about identity. This notice will allow employees to make decisions in their personal life about how they want to act until the test results are known. We will use a simple statement such as: “A colleague of yours went home today after showing symptoms of COVID-19 and is being tested for the virus.”

We again remind you that the PhysicanNow® telehealth service that is part of your BlueCross BlueShield group health service, and would be worthwhile to consider should you get sick. This is an excellent and affordable option for minor health concerns. The service will be processed the same as a doctor office visit, but at a flat rate of no more than $40 a call. You can get treatment through this service without going to the doctor office and sitting in the waiting room. You may access this information here, PhysicianNow telehealth, should you need treatment.

We understand you are naturally concerned about the situation, and we stress once again that the health and well-being of our employees, our customers, and our community is our first priority. Should you have questions, feel free to talk with your supervisor. And if you are feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed during this crisis, please remember the chaplain service is available for your spiritual needs and well-being.

Stay safe and continue to be responsible at work, at home, and in our communities.

According to the CDC information, a potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in the period of time 48 hours before the person became symptomatic. If you fit those guidelines for exposure, but remain asymptomatic, you should adhere to the following practices prior to and during your work shift.
  • Pre-Screen: Co-op will prescreen these employees by measuring their temperature and assess symptoms prior to allowing them to start work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the workplace.
  • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the guidance of TFC Human Resources Department.
  • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after the last exposure. If you are using a homemade mask, the apparatus must be approved by your supervisor, or if available, a mask will be provided for you.
  • Social Distance: The employee should maintain the 6-feet distance and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
  • Disinfect and Clean Workspaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and share electronic equipment routinely.

Communicating your COVID-19 Response:

For your customers:
  • Stress service. Co-op is known for its service, and this should be promoted. Emphasize delivery options that do not require customers to come in to the store, and enhance these services if necessary. Stockdale’s stores, for example, are offering items to be delivered directly to the customers’ cars. Customers simply call the store, and their order is brought out to them.
  • Notify the public quickly if there must be any changes to the normal hours and days of operation.
Social Media:
  • Use your social media to get this information out and connect with customers. You could also post these practices in your windows and at the sales counters where customers will see them. See examples from AgCentral (CLICK HERE) and from Stockdale’s (CLICK HERE).
  • For a Co-op general graphic (CLICK HERE). This graphic can use on your own social media page. If you need help creating copy to go with the graphic or to create handouts dealing with enhanced service/delivery methods, contact the TFC Communications Department.
  • Be flexible, monitor events, and make changes as necessary during this time.
Inner-Facility Communication Materials:


From Bart Krisle - CEO:

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, we all must be careful to not let our guard down. While some areas are showing declining incidents of the virus, others are not. Many experts predict the upcoming flu season may bring increased cases of the virus and greater risk. So what can you do to help slow the next phase of the outbreak?
  • Continue to be responsible.
  • Practice social distancing when possible.
  • Practice good hygiene and avoid touching your face
  • Wear a face covering when you are out running errands and must be in crowds.
  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Continue to stay home when possible.
  • Know the symptoms for COVID-19, and monitor yourself for symptoms. Stay home if you become sick. 
Together we can lessen the severity of the pandemic. 
At TFC facilities, we are continuing to allow employees to work from home when possible. This directive will be evaluated monthly, but will remain in effect until further notice. When in the office, practice social distancing and wear a face covering in the hallways and anytime you leave your normal work area. Continue to restrict outside visitors to those conducting essential business.
We appreciate your efforts and ask that you continue to be patient. We’ll keep you advised as changes occur.
Thanks for all you do.

Considerations for who should get tested:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.
Not everyone needs to be tested. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

How to get test for current Covid-19 infection:

  • You can visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first.


  • If you test positive, know what protective steps to take to prevent others from getting sick.
  • If you test negative, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. The test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing. Continue to take steps to protect yourself.