Both Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash and Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty declared a state of emergency in their city as a response to the coronavirus spread.
The Tennessee Department of Health reported seven confirmed cases of the virus in the county (out of 667 statewide) Tuesday afternoon. Residents ages 21-30 were the largest group of confirmed virus cases statewide, with 193. The state health department has conducted 1,031 virus tests and 955 of those were negative.
Ash issued his order over the weekend, just before Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive order limiting restaurants to curbside or delivery service and closing gyms.
“During this health and economic crisis, I have determined this is the necessary and prudent decision to protect the citizens of our city,” Ash said. “Please take this pandemic seriously while supporting our local businesses through alternative means.”
Both mayors also limited public access to their respective city hall as a precaution. City Hall employees in both cities remained at work.
Mt. Juliet cancelled its regular city commission on Monday night, then scheduled a special called meeting only to approve Hagerty’s declaration.
The approval from the five commissioners was unanimous. The declaration also included the governor’s executive order.
Vice-mayor James Maness made a motion to add tattoo parlors, nail salons and hair salons as prohibited businesses to the governor’s order. The motion received a second from commissioner Jennifer Milele.
However, Milele withdrew her second after City Attorney Gino Marchetti cautioned against “going beyond what the governor’s proclamation provides … unless we have been provided additional information.” The motion was not put up for a vote.
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said county employees would continue to provide the services needed. The Wilson County Courthouse building will be closed to the public, as will most other county buildings, according to Hutto.
He said residents could access services by phone, internet, drop-boxes and other available means that minimize person-to-person contact.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center staff reported Wilson County’s first confirmed case of the virus last Wednesday afternoon.
Vanderbilt University Medical information officer Kylie Avery said the medical center’s Wilson County hospital had a patient receive a positive test.
Avery said she could not discuss the severity of the symptoms the patient faced or the patient’s current condition, saying only that the person was in self-isolation at home.
WEMA Director Joey Cooper also made a plea for medical equipment to help first responders.
“We would urge construction companies, organizations, etc., to donate their inventory of N95 masks, half face respirators and cartridges, and Tyvek suits to your county fire department and forego additional orders of those industrial masks,” Cooper said. “Those industrial masks that they use on construction sites are perfectly acceptable for healthcare workers to be protected from a respiratory disease.”
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