On Friday, April 10, Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland renewed the Declaration of ‘State of Emergency,’ extending the City’s previous declaration to April 14. The renewed order continues to adopt Governor Bill Lee’s ‘Stay at Home’ Executive Order No. 23 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The renewed Declaration is effective immediately and remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14. The renewed order is attached.
“As Mayor of Murfreesboro, I am renewing the local “State of Emergency” following Governor Lee’s Order requiring that all Tennesseans ‘stay home’ unless their activity or business is conducted as part of “essential activities,” said Mayor Shane McFarland. “Protecting the health and safety of our citizens remains our top priority. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.”
The Mayor issues Declarations pursuant to special emergency powers granted to local governments pursuant to state law and follows Executive Orders issued by Governor Bill Lee in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the provisions of the March 28, 2020 Order of the Mayor, as amended on April 3, 2020, are adopted and incorporated in the renewed Declaration, including Executive Order No. 22 of the Governor, Sections 1 through 11, as amended by Executive Order No. 23.
On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Mayor McFarland held a Live televised briefing on Facebook and CityTV. The CityTV televised briefing can be viewed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cityofmurfreesborotn. The Mayor conducts regular televised briefings to provide updates and answer citizen questions in real-time.
On April 2, 2020, Governor Lee issued a statewide ‘Stay at Home’ Executive Order No. 23, requiring all Tennesseans to stay at home, unless they are carrying out “essential activities.” The Executive Orders allow for the continuation of essential businesses. Non-essential businesses including establishments open for eating or drinking onsite, are ordered to remain closed until April 14 at 11:59 p.m. A sample list of non-essential businesses can be found in Executive Order No. 21. For more information on the Governor’s Executive Orders and other information, visit https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19.html.
Rutherford County law enforcement prepared a #SaferatHome message. The video can be viewed on Facebook at https://youtu.be/415wipTnJxo. Rutherford County Mayors formed a task force and the Rutherford County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated in response to COVID-19.
Both federal and state health officials have advised that extraordinary and immediate measures must be taken to respond quickly to COVID-19, to prevent community spread, and to alleviate the suffering of people exposed to and those infected or potentially infected with the virus.
The City of Murfreesboro encourages citizens to stay informed on COVID-19 updates through Alert Rutherford. By texting “RCCOVID” to 888777, residents can opt-in to receive alerts specific to the COVID-19 event. The alerts are from Rutherford County, City of Murfreesboro, City of La Vergne, Town of Smyrna, and City of Eagleville. The “Confirmed Case Count Daily Update” for Rutherford County (from the Tennessee Department of Health) is provided daily at 2:00 pm through this notification system. A graphic is attached.
The State of Tennessee is partnering with Nextdoor to provide official, real-time information to Tennesseans about the state’s response to COVID-19. The partnership allows the State to reach thousands of neighborhoods with critical information during this unprecedented time. All Tennessee neighborhoods on Nextdoor will automatically receive messages. If you’re not on Nexdoor, but interested in joining your Nexdoor neighborhood, you can visit https://nextdoor.com/ to download the free app.
Citizens can view the Mayor’s Declarations and follow the latest City Coronavirus Information at the City of Murfreesboro website: https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/1690/Coronavirus-Information.
Helpful links are provided below to assist workers and businesses impacted by Covid-19:
Workers displaced by the impact of the pandemic, can apply for unemployment benefits at www.Jobs4TN.gov.
Small businesses can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program to secure a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll through the U.S. Department of Treasury at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Program authorized $350 billion in fully forgivable loans to help small businesses maintain payrolls during the coronavirus pandemic. Small business should work with local financial institutions to participate in the program which went live on April 2. More information on the loans is available at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp.
For video messages, including COVID-19 updates and televised briefings from Mayor McFarland, visit http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/1702/City-Video-Messages.
For the latest information from the Tennessee Department of Health, visit https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.
For the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 webpage and most recent information and guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
The City urges all citizens to follow the Governor’s “Stay at Home” Order and CDC guidelines and practices:
CDC Guidelines: Strongly encourages all members of the public to comply with the guidance and directives issued by the federal CDC pertaining to the containment of COVID-19, which can be found by going to https://www.cdc.gov/;
Social/Physical Distancing: Strongly encourages individuals using shared or outdoor spaces to maintain physical distancing of at least six (6) feet from any other person with whom they do not share a residence;
Mass Gatherings: In accordance with Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order No. 17, social gatherings of more than ten (10) people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited. This would include gyms and exercise and fitness facilities as well as cigar bars, hookah lounges, and other establishments whose business involves offering a place for people to gather and smoke tobacco and similar products to close and remain closed to any member of the public. This provision does not prohibit the gathering of members of the same household;
City Parks: Prohibits sporting events, athletic practices or games, or any other gathering involving ten (10) or more people (who do not resident together) from taking place in any City park or on the property of an elementary or secondary school within the City. The City’s greenways and other park facilities remain open, provided individuals using the greenways comply with Section 10 of this Order and abide by the physical distancing requirements recommended by the CDC.
Restaurants and On-Site Food and Alcohol Service: Orders that establishments whose primary business is alcohol service or food service remain closed for on-site consumption as required by Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 17 or as may be required by any subsequent order of the Governor amending or superseding Executive Order No. 17 The order does not prohibit pick-up, take-out, delivery, or drive through service that is conducted in accordance with Executive Order No. 17. In addition, the order does not apply to non-profit or government organizations providing food at no cost to individuals who are homeless or are otherwise in need of such services;
The City urges 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.
- Stay home unless engaged in “essential activities” and practice social distancing.
- Stay home when you are sick and call your physician or the County Health Department at 615-898-7880 or 615-849-0347 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.