McFarland declares state of emergency, closes most businesses to traffic

Mar 21, 2020 at 06:04 pm by Voice Wire

Shane McFarland is a leader

Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland issued an order Saturday, March 21, declaring a local "State of Emergency" for the City of Murfreesboro in response to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, pandemic. The Order goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. 

This Order, among other things:

  • Orders that establishments whose primary business is alcohol service or food service (other than pick-up, take-out, delivery, or drive-through service) within the City of Murfreesboro close for on-site consumption, effective at midnight Monday, March 23, and shall remain closed for on-site consumption until the Order is withdrawn;
  • Orders all gyms and exercise and fitness facilities within the City of Murfreesboro close effective at midnight Monday, March 23, and shall remain closed until this Order is withdrawn;
  • Declares that the City, to the extent possible and provided by law, shall follow CDC guidance as it relates to COVID-19, and specifically authorizes the City Manager to take reasonably necessary steps to limit person-to-person public access to City offices and facilities and to develop and implement alternative work arrangements and schedules to protect City employees during this pandemic;
  • Suspends certain procedures and formalities otherwise required under the Murfreesboro City Code or Tennessee law pertaining to how the City conducts its operations;
  • Encourages all members of the public and businesses to follow and comply with guidance and directives issued by the federal CDC as well as the Tennessee and Rutherford County departments of health; and
  • Encourages all members of the public to remain calm, to resist panic purchasing, consider their neighbors who have need, and to look after and help those most at risk to this pandemic to include the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems.

The Mayor issued the order pursuant to special emergency powers granted to local governments pursuant to state law and follows three Executive Orders issued by Governor Bill Lee in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"While Rutherford County only has five confirmed cases by the Tennessee Health Department, we need to be proactive to stop the spread and save lives, so I am taking strong action ahead of additional cases," Mayor Shane McFarland said. "Our top priority is protecting the health and safety of our citizens."

"The City will continue to deliver critical services throughout the emergency period," City Manager Craig Tindall said. "Some non-critical service may be limited, and facilities may be closed or have limited access. Those limitations and closures will be communicated on the City website and updated continuously. Police, Fire, Water, Utilities, Solid Waste, emergency management and communications will be unaffected. Murfreesboro Airport remains fully operational, and City Schools will continue its CHOW food program. We are committed to the safety of our residents and visitors as well as the employees of the City. The City encourages everyone to continue following CDC and Tennessee Department of Health guidelines and recommendations."

McFarland added "We want to make sure our residents and employees are safe as we work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide essential services, follow CDC guidelines and adhere to recommendations of Governor Lee and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). As I have previously told Council, we have fought significant challenges in this City before. I’m confident we will get through this with the help of skilled healthcare providers, courageous first responders, and diligent City staff."

The City of Murfreesboro wants to thank the community and its municipal and County partners, especially the Rutherford County Mayor and Health Department, for their leadership and cooperation in responding to this challenge in unified fashion.  

Persons with medical concerns should continue to call the Rutherford County Health Department at 615-898-7880 or their primary healthcare provider to be connected with appropriate resources. 

Citizens can follow the latest Coronavirus information from the City of Murfreesboro and our State and Federal partners on CityTV or the City of Murfreesboro website. Just click this link:

The City continues to urge all citizens to follow CDC practices:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough and sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Stay home when you are sick and call your physician or the County Health Department at 615-898-7880 or the State Information Hotline: 1-877-857-2945 for guidance.
  • Stay home if you come into contact with someone who is sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects (e.g., cell phone, computer) and high touch surfaces.
  • Make sure you continue to have adequate supplies, such as medications, if needed. 

To follow City of Murfreesboro closings and cancellations, visit

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