Claire Heddles

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

From Tucson, Arizona, Claire has a master’s from the University of Southern California’s prestigious Annenberg School of Journalism. Most recently, Claire worked at NPR West in Culver City, California, assisting NPR’s western correspondents with research and production. Claire’s own work has been featured nationally on NPR’s All Things Considered.

You can follow Claire on Twitter @claireheddles

In a recent executive order, Governor Bill Lee allowed witnesses to remotely sign some legal documents while Tennessee is under a state of emergency due to COVID-19. Estate attorneys were one group pushing for this action. Across Knox County and East Tennessee, attorneys have seen a spike in clients seeking estate and end-of-life planning services. But social distancing guidelines have complicated things.

Rapid Testing Coming to Knoxville, but Only at Some Private Clinics

Some private medical clinics in Nashville now have Abbott rapid coronavirus testing machines that can give results in less than 15 minutes. American Family Care clinics plan to implement the same technology at their four Knoxville locations within the next week, according to AFC Urgent Care Centers CEO Bruce Irwin. He says traditional testing has been inefficient.

Office of Tre Hargett

KCHD releases demographic hospitalization data, by age and gender only

New data from the Knox County Health Department shows more than 17% of men with COVID-19 have been hospitalized, while fewer than 9% of women in the county were hospitalized. Three-quarters of Knox Countians with COVID-19 over the age of 75 had to be hospitalized. 

Isabella Escolar

New Projection Models Point to Effectiveness of Social Distancing in TN

Governor Bill Lee said he is hopeful that social distancing is working after looking at the latest projection models from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which now projects less than 600 deaths due to COVID-19 by August in Tennessee.

Claire Heddles

From the national down to the local level, officials say support is coming to workers who have been hurt by the economic fallout of COVID-19. But that money isn’t in people’s pockets yet, and some Knoxvillians are taking it upon themselves to help fill the gaps.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It’s been more than two weeks since President Trump toured the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and said, “Anybody that needs a test gets a test.” But people across the country, and in East Tennessee, still haven't seen widespread testing. 

Centers for Disease Control

Scientists have long been testing vaccines for coronaviruses in animals, but they have been largely ineffective. At least one vaccine actually made symptoms worse. WUOT's Claire Heddles spoke with immunologist Barry Rouse about how COVID-19 differs from other coronaviruses, and why he is wary of putting too much hope into a vaccine. He says there are many fundamental facts about the disease that still need to be discovered, including whether those who recover are immune to reinfection. 

Nathan C. Fortner, Creative Commons

Governor Bill Lee advised all schools districts in Tennessee to close by the end of the week, and remain closed at least until March 31st. Some districts in East Tennessee, including Knox County Schools, will be offering free lunches for students. See more details about meals for students, and a list of services for other residents below. 

Claire Heddles / WUOT

During WUOT's Spring Fund Drive, we are giving listeners who donate our 70th-anniversary mug designed by local artist, Neranza Noel Blount. WUOT's Claire Heddles spoke with her about the inspiration behind the mug design, her signature encaustic wax paintings and her love for honeybees. 

Andrew Mandemaker / Creative Commons

In a recent report by a United Nations panel, scientists warned ocean levels could rise by several feet this century. WUOT’s Claire Heddles spoke with one of the contributors who says there are factors that could make this number even higher.

Dr. Richard Alley, a geologist and leading climate scientist, discusses human impact on sea level rise, how this could affect Tennesseeans and where he's sees hope for the future.