County Mayor Ketron Addresses COVID-19 Concerns to Citizens in Signed Letter

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Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron addresses COVID-19 concerns and the executive order from Governor Lee.

Mayor Bill Ketron Addresses COVID-19 Concerns to Citizens in Signed Letter • 3/22/20

State of Tennessee Executive Order by the Governor • 3/22/20

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PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

Mayor Bill Ketron is urging all Rutherford County citizens to follow federal and state guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 and social distancing but is not currently placing restrictions on local businesses.

"We will continue to work with our state and local health departments to provide guidance based upon their recommendations," said Ketron. "We want our citizens to be assured that we are constantly monitoring this health situation and exploring ways to conduct County business with minimal interruption to the public."

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Ketron made the decision to limit public meetings to standing committees and full commission meetings until further notice. For committees, only committee members will be allowed in the meeting room, but the meeting will be broadcast live into the main courtroom for others wishing to attend. "While all meetings are open to the public, we want remind the community that they can watch from home on RCTV or our YouTube Channel," said Mayor Ketron. "If you do plan to attend in person, please be prepared to practice social distancing measures with a possible health screening at the door."

Signs have been placed at the Rutherford County Judicial Center notifying the public that admission to the building is limited until March 31, 2020. More information is available at www.circuitcourtclerk.rutherfordcountytn.gov

The Juvenile Court of Rutherford County has limited permitted in-court proceedings to attorneys, parties' witnesses, deputies, court officers, and other necessary persons as determined by the Judge until March 31, 2020.

Other County departments, such as the Property Assessor's office and Clerk's office, have online options for conducting business as well. The Property Assessor's office has online chat capabilities through their website at www.rcpatn.com. You can visit the Clerk's office online for changes to their services at http://rutherfordcountytn.gov/countyclerk/.

All Rutherford County jurors who are summoned to report for jury service on March 26, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. have been rescheduled to Monday, April 6, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. Jurors must complete the juror questionnaire at https://JuryInfo.RutherfordCountyTN.gov to expedite the registration process and should call the jury line (615-907-3566) after 4:30 p.m. weekly to listen for further updates. For more information, jurors may contact 615-907-3566 between 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Building and Codes has asked builders, developers, and subcontractors to conduct transactions by phone or electronically when possible. Inspections will be carried out without disruption. More information can be obtained by emailing: buildingcodes@rutherfordcountytn.gov or calling 615-898-7734.

Rutherford County Schools are currently scheduled to remain closed through April 3, 2020. Any information updates regarding the school system will be delivered through RCSchools' channels of communication including www.rcschools.net. The school district has also launched a free food program for children 18 and under at 10 sites across the county. Adult meals are also available for a fee. For the details, please check out the website or see the information on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Any other changes in County business will be updated with local media, on official County websites, and social media platforms. The County has consolidated this information for your convenience at: http://rutherfordcountytn.gov/covid19.

"We acknowledge that there are a lot of unknowns with this health situation," commented Mayor Ketron, "and that this is even a little scary. However, we want you to be confident that we WILL get through this. Our communities have proven this time and time again in the face of adversities. Rutherford County is strong!"

For more information on CDC guidelines for individuals and/or businesses, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or Tennessee Department of Health at: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

(MURFREESBORO) On the heels of the news breaking that Rutherford County received its first confirmed case of COVID-19, County Mayor Bill Ketron called County officials together Friday afternoon to update the County's "Plan of Action."

"While we do not want to put our employees or the general public into panic mode, we do recognize the seriousness of the current health situation in our state and around the globe. We want to make sure that everyone is on the same page and certainly that the citizens we serve remain informed of any changes to our service," said Ketron. "The main priorities are to decrease the potential spread of the virus while maintaining the level of service that our communities expect."

Signs have been placed at the Judicial Building notifying the public that admission to the building is limited in response to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 16-31, 2020. The notice states that, "Lawyers with jail cases will be admitted and any necessary persons, as determined by the trial judge." The offices can be contacted for resetting court dates or for emergencies. Chancery pleadings may be filed electronically at http://go.tybera.net/tncis or faxed to 615-691-5964. For Circuit Criminal, Circuit Civil, General Sessions Criminal, General Sessions Civil, and Juvenile's fax numbers and court costs, inquirers are urged to visit www.circuitcourtclerk.rutherfordcountytn.gov. Fax filing fees will be waived for the duration of the closure.

Rutherford County Schools has relayed messaging to parents that schools will be closed for one week beginning March 16. More information can be retrieved by visiting: rcschools.net.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office has implemented measures to protect inmates and citizens per a release issued from Public Information Officer Lisa Marchesoni Friday afternoon. RCSO is canceling video visits at the Adult Detention Center until April 1 but allowing inmates to have two free remote visits per week. The department is "looking for additional methods for inmates to communicate with their families at no or lower costs."

All departments are working with County Leadership and the Office of Information Technology to create contingency plans to minimize or alleviate any impact of service to citizens.

Emergency Medical Services Director Carl Hudgens and Fire & Rescue Chief Larry Farley continue to evaluate response posture to ensure that they are complying with the Center for Disease Control's guidelines. Both departments urge those exhibiting respiratory symptoms to contact their primary healthcare providers rather than attempting to be seen in the emergency room. Persons wanting more information about the virus or who are concerned about their health may also contact the Tennessee Department of Health's Information Line at 1-877-857-2945.

Mayor Ketron concluded the meeting by saying, "We are Rutherford County. We are strong. We will get through this. We are family."

County updates will continue to go out to local media, will be updated on official websites, and will be posted on social media.

For the most up-to-date information from the Tennessee Department of Health, please visit: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.

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