Week in Ketron: Why is our county mayor lying to us about COVID-19?

Mar 20, 2020 at 03:54 pm by Michelle Willard

Two "leaders" Bill Ketron and Bill Lee

I only have one question today: Why is our county mayor lying to us?

In these unprecedented and trying times, we need a strong leader who isn't afraid to tell us the truth.

Unfortunately, we have Bill Ketron.

In an article publishing Thursday, which as since been removed from MurfreesboroPost.com, the mayor said he wasn't exactly hiding to testing sites from residents in as much as not telling them to reduce panic.

"This is a highly emotional and unprecedented situation that all of us are dealing with," Mayor Bill Ketron said. "We want to assure our citizens that there was never any ill intent to conceal these locations, rather we were following the Center for Disease Control's guidelines and recommending that citizens with medical concerns first contact their primary healthcare provider or local health department."

Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control? Really?

I wonder about his reading comprehension at this point.

From what I've read, the CDC requires a negative flu and strep test before using a COVID-19 test, because they are scarce. Not because Bill Ketron is afraid we would all freak out. Actually many of us have already freaked out, bought every square of toilet paper available in town and hunkered down for the foreseeable future.

And do you know why we've done this?

Because of a lack of information.

The Lee administration decided in the beginning to hide the counties that were being impacted. Know what that did? People panicked because they assumed every new case was their neighbor.

Now Ketron tries to implement the same failed strategy at the county level.

Plus, I searched but couldn't find specific guidance for local governments but I did find guidance for community organizations that suggests developing a communications plan and sharing that plan with staff, partners and others.

Guess transparency doesn't apply to the Ketron administration.

Now those sites that they announced yesterday are out of tests because of demand. Rutherford County spokeswoman Ashley McDonald said she doesn't know where new tests will be delivered.

I fear that lack of transparency is being applied to the pandemic in general.

Rutherford County is still only reporting a single case.

Is that because the testing sites were concealed?

COVID-19 is a mandatory reported disease. That means every positive test must be turned into the Health Department and then CDC.

Currently, my mother is in the ICU at Saint Thomas Rutherford. I have it on good authority (my own eyes and ears) that there are several people being treated for it there.

Is Rutherford County underreporting the impact of the disease? Or is there another reason for the county only reporting a single case?

All I know right now is that with Ketron is change, we might all get it.

Here are today's numbers, not that they mean much.

COVID-19 Reported Cases in Tennessee

As of 3 p.m. Friday, March 20:


Confirmed cases


U.S. - March 20



March 19



Tennessee - March 20



March 19

 154  -

Rutherford County - March 20



March 19

 1 -

There is at least one case in each state, according to the CDC. A majority of Tennessee's cases are still in Davidson (101) and Williamson (35) counties. No deaths directly related to the virus have been reported in Tennessee.

More info

If you want more information about COVID-19, visit the Tennessee Department of Health's website to get the most up-to-date information. The Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line (1-877-857-2945) is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CT) daily.

And remember wash your hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand rub) for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue. Clean and disinfect objects (e.g. cell phone, computer) and high-touch surfaces regularly.

Also keep your germs to yourself and stay at home when you are sick.

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