The Rutherford County Mayors Caucus stands united in support of Gov. Bill Lee's Executive Order No. 22 released Monday, March 30.
Order 22, along with its accompanying Order 21, an expansion of the previously released Executive Order 17 restricting food and drink establishments, gyms and fitness centers, and nursing and retirement home visits, are in full force and effective through 11:59 p.m. CDT on April 14, 2020.
"The executive order  restricts businesses that cannot safely operate during COVID-19 including businesses like barber shops, salons, recreational and entertainment outfits. It also provides for continuation of essential businesses throughout every county to protect the economy," stated a news release from Gov. Lee's office. Essential businesses are outlined in Order 22.
Rutherford County Government announced Tuesday that all County essential offices will be open with limited staffing, but closed to the general public beginning at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 1 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 19. Essential services will still be available to conduct business with the public via phone, email, and online.
"We strongly urge our community members to stay at home unless they are operating an essential business or participating in an essential activity such as getting medicine or groceries," said Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron. "We love to see our citizens face-to-face, but right now, it's just too dangerous. The health and safety of our employees and the citizens we serve is our highest priority." The full Commission meeting scheduled for April 16 and any sub-committee meetings during this time period will be held virtually. Special conditions or exceptions applying to certain offices will be updated via the County's website.
Town of Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed echoed the statement that citizen health and safety is priority, saying, "The safety and well-being of every citizen is our priority. On behalf of the Town of Smyrna, I stand with my fellow mayors, our local leadership, and front-line personnel in working together to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and keep our citizens safe. We are a resilient, vibrant, and strong community; I am confident we will emerge from this stronger than ever." The Town of Smyrna closed Parks, Smyrna Golf Course, Smyrna Outdoor Adventure, and Smyrna Town Center effective March 13. Modifications to operational procedures were implemented to continue serving citizens when Town Hall was closed to the public on March 20. These closures remain in effect with Governor Lee's order.
The City of Murfreesboro's Mayor Shane McFarland renewed his "State of Emergency" on Saturday, March 28, following the closure of City Hall on Wednesday, March 25.
"On March 5, Tennessee reported its first case of COVID-19 in neighboring Williamson County. Rutherford County now has 68 confirmed cases. All of us in our respective jurisdictions in Rutherford County have been preparing, planning, and communicating about the virus and its spread. That's why the City of Murfreesboro issued a "State of Emergency," closing restaurants and gyms, closed City Hall to the public, and urged everyone to follow CDC guidelines. With Governor Lee's ‘safer at home' order and the closing of non-essential businesses, I want everyone in our jurisdiction to comply with this order by continuing to follow the declaration of emergency that was implemented," said Mayor McFarland.
The City of La Vergne closed city building lobbies on March 24, making every effort to continue conduct business in alternative ways with residents. Mayor Jason Cole praised the Mayors' abilities to work together for the greater good of the citizens in the Rutherford County communities. "Throughout these trying times Rutherford County has set the example by showing we are strong together. Our residents see that together we can help one another through this national health emergency. I'm proud to stand by my counterparts as we work to keep the health and welfare of our residents paramount. Each area presents its challenges, but we all bring a diverse background from the private sector which complements each other's strengths and reinforces our weaknesses. Rutherford County residents are stepping up and staying home. They are following the CDC guidelines that we hear so much about in today's environment such as washing your hands, covering your cough and practicing social distancing. It is essential that we continue to work together for the benefit of our residents."
City of Eagleville Mayor Chad Leeman and the Eagleville City Council care about the safety and health of their residents as well. "We stand with the Mayors of Rutherford County and urge all citizens in our jurisdiction to follow Governor Lee's Safer at Home Order," said Mayor Leeman. "Eagleville is a united community, facing all challenges together, and together, will get through this Coronavirus pandemic." In an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, Eagleville City Hall closed to the public on March 30. "We will continue to work with the public through email and phone calls to assist with their needs. Please refer to our web page eaglevilletn.com for updated information."
As a reminder, citizens can opt-in to receive important information updates from Rutherford County, City of Murfreesboro, City of La Vergne, City of Eagleville, and Town of Smyrna via the Alert Rutherford notification system, by texting "RCCOVID" to 888777.
"Rutherford County is strong, and our citizens are even stronger. We will work together to fight this COVID-19 battle," said Mayor Ketron. "My fellow Mayors and I are confident that we as a community will overcome!"