COVID-19 responses from government and businesses

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
A significant challenge the University faces as a result of the COVID-19 situation is balancing the need to comply with state and federal officials to limit personnel in the workplace with our need to protect University operations. While this will cause us to limit or adjust some of the services we offer, we want to position MTSU to continue to thrive as we come out of this crisis. Plans for Employees Working Remotely Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, the University will implement a plan for the majority of our classified and administrative employees to work remotely. The provost, vice presidents, division heads and supervisors have developed plans for their respective areas and are communicating with their employees. Those plans will be implemented through Sunday, April 5, and may be extended if deemed necessary. The University Remains Open There will be some functions or duties that will require employees to remain on campus. Supervisors will reach out to employees in those areas starting today with expectations and further details. We will continue to provide essential services, such as public safety, public health and, for our students in the residence halls, on-going oversight and dining services. As previously announced, we will begin remote delivery of instruction on Monday.
The Town of Smyrna supports Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order No. 17, issued this morning, March 22, 2020. Executive Order No. 17 was issued to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by limiting social gatherings, dine-in service, and gym use; exposure at nursing and retirement homes; and providing flexibility for restaurants regarding the sale of alcohol. “We support Governor Lee’s Executive Order,” shared Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed. “The safety and well-being of our citizens in Smyrna, Rutherford County, and throughout the state of Tennessee is our priority. We urge our citizens to adhere to this order, as well as to continue following the guidelines issued by the CDC for social distancing, hand-washing, hygiene/cleaning, and avoiding gatherings of 10 or more individuals. We are a resilient, vibrant, and strong community; I am confident that we will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever.” The Town of Smyrna began to suspend events, modify protocol, and close non-essential facilities on March 14th. Those closures and modifications continue indefinitely for the safety and well-being of personnel and citizens alike. Citizens that need to apply for new utilities services, apply for a transfer of service, or apply to disconnect service can do so by calling 615-355-5740. Citizens that need to pay their utilities may visit our drive-thru window or pay online, by phone, or by mail. Visit to pay online; call 615-355-5705 to pay by phone; or mail your check to Town of Smyrna, 315 South Lowry Street, Smyrna, Tennessee, 37167. Business license applications are available at our drive-thru window, located at 315 South Lowry Street. Please call 615-459-9742 extension 2506 with any questions you may have.
Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) has announced a temporary phased shutdown of its manufacturing facilities in North America and Latin America. The temporary shutdown will begin the weekend of March 21 with all facilities planning to resume normal operations on or before Sunday, April 12. The company will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust response plans and activities as necessary. The company has sufficient supply of product to meet customer demand and its distribution centers, plant warehouses and logistics teams will continue to fill orders, but is executing this temporary shutdown to align supply to the predicted demand in the market. As the company carefully monitors the coronavirus situation, it is continuing to take action in all aspects of operations to ensure the health and safety of our employees while also addressing the needs of customers and the market.
Across our nation, people in need turn to the American Red Cross when help can’t wait. But the extraordinary public health impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will pose significant challenges as we continue delivering our lifesaving mission. The Red Cross must adapt to meet these challenges, so we can support individuals and families who turn to us for help when it’s needed most. I want to update you on how the Red Cross is preparing to ensure we can continue providing vital blood products and disaster relief for people in need. Please review our latest donor information sheet for more information on the steps we are taking to date. Critically, the Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage a due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this outbreak. Through March 17, nearly 4,000 Red Cross blood drives had been canceled across the U.S. due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 100,000 fewer blood donations—and this number continues to grow. One of the most important roles of a board member is to serve as an informed advocate in our community. To support you, we will provide the most current information as we receive it. Please share these updates with your friends, family and contacts. Please make an appointment online at REDCROSS.ORG or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. You can also download the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
RCLS is currently closed due to the COVID-19 virus, Library Director Rita Shacklett said. We are following the COVID-19 outbreak closely and taking steps to stay as safe and healthy as possible. As more information is available, we will re-evaluate our next steps. Please monitor our website at and social media for updates. Fines will not accrue on any materials due during that time. Please make use of our online resources such as OverDrive (Libby) and Hoopla for e-books, e-audios, music, movies and more. We know the library is a valued resource for so many readers and supporters. We want to get back to normal as quickly and safely as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this decision might cause, but we appreciate your understanding and always appreciate your support.
Nissan announced that it will temporarily suspend production of its manufacturing facilities in the U.S. starting March 20 through April 6. The company is taking this action to boost containment efforts where possible around the COVID-19 coronavirus. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus at any Nissan facility. This includes the Smyrna automotive manufacturing facility as of March 19. Areas deemed business-essential will operate with enhanced safety measures.
Like the rest of the country, we have been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation with great concern. The gravity of the situation—and the critical importance of slowing the spread of this virus—is clear. For the safety of our community, Tangerine Salon and Spa will temporarily close to the public beginning Thursday, March 19. If public health conditions allow, we intend to reopen on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Since bread is scarce, Murfreesboro's local bakery Simply Pure Sweets is working on a sandwich loaf! Reserve yours now at (615) 962-8086 for next day service. $5 each, these loaves will be sliced unless otherwise requested.
Your neighborhood Metro Diner is offering dining options for online pick-up, delivery on DoorDash and UberEats, and curbside-on-request so guests can take comfort in their favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner fare such as their signature Fried Chicken Plate, Biscuits and Gravy and a Metro original, the Breakfast Pie featuring layers of scrambled eggs, melted cheese, mushrooms, onions, peppers and red skinned potatoes. From one family to another, Metro Diner is also offering their Metro Meal Packs that feed families of 4-6 in a variety of bundles including: · Family Sized Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Entrées: Signature Fried Chicken & Waffles, Charleston Shrimp & Grits, Chicken Pot Pie, Meatloaf, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Parmesan and much more. · Breakfast Sandwich Packs: Your choice of sandwiches with a side including Chicken Biscuit, Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit and the A.M. Sandwich. · Family Combo Platters: The Big Spread, The B&G and The Bissel Platter featuring scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and choice of hashbrowns or grits with pancakes. · Sandwich Packs: Your choice of four sandwiches with a side such as French Dip, Chicken Salad Croissant, All American Burger and Avocado Veggie Wrap. · Fresh Salads: Garden, Fresh Salad, Chopped Chicken Salad and a Spinach Salad topped with bacon, candied pecans, shredded carrots, red onion, quinoa, blue cheese crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette. For more information, updated diner hours, and to place an online pick-up or delivery order, please visit,
Middle Tennessee State University extended its spring break by a week and is preparing to move to remote classes for the remainder of the semester. There is also a discussion about where to hold May graduation. Here's what President Sidney McPhee said: "The federal government is strongly discouraging large events or activities for a period extending out as long as eight weeks. Our MTSU Commencement Ceremonies scheduled for May 8 and 9 fall within that cautionary period, which means that it is very likely that we would not be able to hold our events as previously scheduled. However, I know how important this milestone is to our students and their families. Commencement ceremonies are the most important events we hold on our campus. My executive staff and I have had multiple discussions and are exploring every possible option to preserve our May ceremonies. I want us to exhaust every possibility of finding a way to allow this most important MTSU tradition to continue without interruption. If there is any chance that federal guidance may change and open up the opportunity for us to proceed, we want to leave ourselves open to that chance. Therefore, at this time I am not yet announcing a decision to cancel our May Commencement. Instead, we will continue to carefully monitor the evolving federal and state recommendations. If, by April 1, that guidance still recommends against large gatherings, we will at that time invite our May graduates to participate in either our regular August or December commencement ceremonies, whichever is most convenient for the students and their families. Any student who cannot wait until April 1 for a decision may elect to march in the August or December ceremonies regardless of our final decision regarding the May event. If there is any chance that this most important MTSU tradition can continue, we want to give ourselves that leeway. We appreciate your patience"
We want you to know that the Rutherford County Property’s Assessor’s Office has online options available for you should you need to conduct business while you are at home. Please visit our website to explore the ways we can interact with you online and by phone. You may conduct property searches online by going to our website and looking to the left hand side of the page under the “MENU” listing and clicking on the link that reads “Property Data Search” If you need to make a Tangible Personal Property Filing we urge you to do so online. A link for instruction on how to file is located on our homepage or via this video:
Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Terri Shultz issued the following statement: The safety and well-being of Habitat employees, families, sponsors, volunteers and affordable homeownership partners is our top priority in regard to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. We have a protocol in place to ensure continuity in our operations and continued service to our mission. Those who are at greatest risk of upheaval and devastation by the possible loss of income and services that the global spread of the virus presents are the people this ministry serves. It is the position of Leadership that we continue to serve the community with care and caution and not cause additional stress to those who may be hit the hardest as their needs continue to grow. RCHFH will keep its normal build schedule, homeowner education classes, and scheduled events until further notice. We are monitoring any new developments daily and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions and communicate those when appropriate. We appreciate your continued support during this time.
The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order on March 13 stating all Tennessee courts will remain open during the coronavirus outbreak, but suspending all in-person judicial proceedings through March 31, 2020. Chief Justice Jeff Bivins declared a state of emergency for the judicial branch, which follows Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order and declaration of a state of emergency on March 12. The order applies to state and local Tennessee courts, including appellate, trial, general sessions, juvenile, and municipal courts. The order includes a substantial list of exceptions including proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants, such as bond-related matters and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals; civil and criminal jury trials that are in progress as of March 13, 2020; proceedings relating to orders of protection; proceedings related to emergency child custody orders; Department of Children’s Services emergency matters related to child protection; proceedings related to petitions for temporary injunctive relief; proceedings related to emergency mental health orders; proceedings related to emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable persons; and proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. In addition, other exceptions to the suspension of in-person court proceedings may be approved by the Chief Justice. Any permitted in-court proceedings will be limited to attorneys, parties, witnesses, security officers, and necessary persons as determined by the trial judge.
As a precaution against the COVID-19 virus, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and Adult Detention Center are implementing measures to protect citizens and inmates, said Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh. Jail Administrator Chris Fly said the medical staff continues its practice of conducting assessments for each inmate who is booked into the Detention Center. As a precaution, video visits at the Adult Detention Center will be canceled until April 1 when the staff will review the status of the virus. Inmates will be allowed to have two free remote visits per week. They will have regular phone calls and texts. Attorneys may communicate with their inmate clients through video visitation at the detention center. Programs were suspended as well. Additional sanitation will be done in the main lobby and visitation lobby for both visitors and employees. The booking area and booking cells where inmates are processed will be scrubbed with bleach every four hours.
State Farm announced updates to its COVID-19 Coronavirus response. The company is committed to the health and safety of our associates as well as limiting interruptions to our customers, and we have plans in place to do both. As the impacts of COVID-19 intensify, State Farm has made the decision to temporarily alter the company leave policy, retroactive to March 14, 2020. The following are the temporary changes that will be effective until Friday, March 27. Employees who are not yet enabled to work from home and are unable to come into the office will be granted paid administrative leave in circumstances where they are caring for their children when schools or places of care are cancelled. As soon as tools are made available, the expectation is that employees in this situation will make every effort to begin working from home. In addition, any employee who is awaiting COVID-19 test results, or caring for themselves or household members who have tested positive for COVID-19, will also be granted paid administrative leave. Both of these changes are retroactive to March 14. Employees can use paid administrative leave without first exhausting their personal time off benefits. Employees who are still working in our facilities will receive additional compensation. State Farm Claims is working on safety protocols specifically for those who are meeting face-to-face with customers. Out of an abundance of caution, State Farm is taking additional steps to keep our employees safe while continuing to serve our customers. We have implemented social distancing in the workplace, continuing frequent deep cleaning and instructing employees who can, to work from home.
Life is Brewing Brewmaster Derrick Morse made a statement about the brewery's response to the CDC's recommendations. This brewery is a community, but for us to remain a community we must support those that have gotten us to where we are at, our employees, so we must remain open. But nothing is more important than our extended family. We have taken extreme precautions with our extended family, our customers to protect them and their families. That all being said, we aren’t just a bar. We’re an 84-acre outdoor space. You could grab a beer and then walk the disc golf course, the dog park, or the 3k trail. If we followed CDC’s 3-yard recommendation, we’d be able to put 45k people on the property and stay within the CDC’s recommendation. If enjoying our outdoor space isn’t on your agenda, we’re going to have pull-through beer specials and growler specials. We understand that people will want to remain vigilant with their self-quarantine but we can still give them a sense of normalcy with our local craft. We hope that you support us during these times so we can continue to grow and support our community with our philanthropic endeavors as was set by our founders from day one.
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present burdens and challenges within our community and for our customers. We would like to lessen the impact on struggling households. Effective immediately until further notice, we will not disconnect any utilities services for non-payment of their bill. Also, we will waive late fees on any bills that are past due. We ask residents that are struggling as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 to please call our Utilities Department so we can work with you to find a solution, 615-355-5740. We will review this in thirty (30) days and a determination will be made as to whether or not we can return to normal operating policies.
In keeping with federal calls for diligence toward mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus, Middle Tennessee Electric and Murfreesboro Electric has closed its offices to walk-in traffic. MTE CEO Chris Jones and MED General Manager P.D. Mynatt announced, saying both utilities will keep all drive-thrus open and that customers have a number of avenues to manage their accounts. While taking protective measures may not prevent some people from getting the virus, it can help reduce the number of patients our health care system must treat in a short period of time. In addition to this limit on interaction between employees and customers, both utilities will institute additional Center for Disease Control (CDC) safeguards such as: In the meantime, as critical energy providers, both MTE and MED will continue to provide power to their customers and members, while operating as close to normal as possible. Middle Tennessee Electric members are encouraged to manage their accounts and pay bills using other options that do not require face-to-face interactions at or using the myMTEMC mobile app. Murfreesboro Electric customers have similar options to manage their accounts at or using the SmartHub app on your tablet or smartphone.
United Communications, which provides telephone and internet service to Middle Tennessee Electric communities, is dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan to maintain normal operations so that our customers can work from home and students can learn remotely. Unlike many other providers, United has always offered residential internet with no contracts and no data caps so that you can utilize our network without fear of high overage costs. We are extending our assistance to our residential and small business customers by supporting the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” to not terminate service because of their inability to pay their bills due to circumstances caused by the COVID-19 crisis. United will also waive any late fees that any residential or small business customer incurs because of economic impact specific to the virus. This 60-day commitment reinforces the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) desire to ensure broadband or telephone connectivity. For any of our customers having a difficult time due to this issue, you can contact our customer support team.