County Mayor Jim Durrett today declared a state of emergency for Montgomery County, Tennessee, while City Mayor Joe Pitts was out and about patronizing a local restaurant on Franklin Street. The state of emergency continues through April 3rd and strongly encourages local businesses to adhere to CDC and state guidelines limiting service, and limits access to public buildings.
The statement is below:
Pursuant to the authority in TCA 58-2-110, Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett has declared a State of Local Emergency for Montgomery County, Tennessee. This declaration gives political subdivisions of government, both City and County, the ability to waive procedures relative to “performance of public works and taking whatever prudent action is necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community.”
In announcing this declaration, Mayor Durrett has advised all Constitutional Officers and County Department Heads that physical presence in county facilities from the general public will be limited, beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020 through Friday, April 3, 2020. County offices will remain staffed. Certain court functions and filings will still occur, however, there will be limited public access in the buildings. All doors will be posted with signage indicating office phone numbers, extensions, and other pertinent information. Residents are also encouraged to take advantage of the many online service options Montgomery County offers through the various departments at mcgtn.net.
All county departments have been directed to minimize staffing and create work shifts that separate supervisors and key department personnel. Shifts will work for one week at a time in the office/facility while the other shift(s) work to answer calls and emails from home. The work environment will be cleaned prior to the next team rotating into the county facility. Employees who are sick have been directed to stay home and follow the CDC guidelines in seeking medical attention.
“As of 2 p.m. today, we did not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Montgomery County. However, I have decided to take action to minimize the spread of this virus with our workforce and community. This decision is not based on panic or fear but is a proactive step to ‘flattening the curve’ of this disease. I would rather be accused of over-reacting for the safety of our community than looking back in retrospect wishing I would have done more to protect the citizens of Montgomery County,” said Mayor Durrett.
“I am also requesting that the citizens and businesses of Montgomery County follow our lead and take proactive steps to prevent the spread of this virus. I realize taking some of these steps will be very difficult and, in some cases, may cause financial loss. Unfortunately, if we do not make changes, the long-term risk is likely to be much more costly,” said Mayor Durrett.
Many small businesses, including the food service industry, have or are formulating provisions for drive-through or pick-up options. Citizens are encouraged to continue patronizing all businesses in a way that minimizes social contact.
As precautionary measures are put in place, please don’t forget about those who work in public safety or in the food chain industry. These are the people who must continue to provide the services and food we need.
PLEASE follow the guidelines that have been set forth by the CDC;
- Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
- If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
- If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school or daycare. Contact your medical provider.
- If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
- If you are an older adult, stay home and away from other people.
- If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
- Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus:
- Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
- If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
- Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
- Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
- Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
- Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
Lastly, Mayor Durrett encourages people to help each other whenever possible. “If you are well enough and conditions require you to stay at home and a neighbor is working; please volunteer to do things like; mow their lawn, haul their garbage (wear protective gloves), pick up groceries or help in whatever way you can. Together, we will get through this.”