CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Montgomery County and Clarksville City governments extended for a third consecutive week the Emergency and Executive orders directing citizens to practice social distancing and shelter at home except when engaging in essential activities or services.
The direct orders sustain coordinated local actions taken March 31 to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The orders will remain in effect through 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, April 22.
Essential activities and services are defined in the orders mainly as healthcare, public safety, utilities, government, communications and media, banking, food production and distribution, vehicles, fuel and support, and many manufacturing facilities.
Under the orders, all gatherings are strongly discouraged, and those with more than 10 people are strictly prohibited. Gatherings include any event unrelated to essential services that brings together groups of people, such as church services and sporting events.
On Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported 5,823 cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 124 reported deaths from the illness. TDH said Montgomery County had 101 cases with two reported deaths.
On Monday, Gov. Bill Lee extended his state stay-at-home order, mandating non-essential businesses to remain closed until April 30.
Clarksville City Council members met in a video conference Tuesday to approve unanimously for the third time a resolution to extend Mayor Joe Pitts’ Executive Order No. 3.
People who violate the orders could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and would be subject to citation and fines for each offense, and even arrest if necessary.
“We continue to do our best to enforce the orders. Our police are reacting to complaints and visiting businesses, making sure they are protecting employees,” Mayor Pitts said earlier Tuesday. “We all want to be back to normal. But when that happens, we will not be lifting all of the orders at once. Some businesses will be allowed to open before others. We must make sure that when our data shows we can start relaxing the orders, we don’t want to move too quickly and have another outbreak.”
Clarksville Police are staffing a dedicated number, (931) 472-3600, for all general questions and information requests, including questions about provisions of the COVID-19 Emergency and Executive Orders.
Residents still should dial 9-1-1 for all emergency calls, requests for police officer response and to file a police report. Citizens also should call 9-1-1 with reports of businesses not closing and possibly violating provisions of the Executive Orders.
Earlier Tuesday, County Mayor Jim Durrett signed Emergency Executive Order No. 6 to extend his declaration of the State of Emergency allowed under state law that went into effect March 17 as well as existing subsequent County Emergency Executive Orders No. 1-5.
In Mayor Pitts’ Executive Order No. 3, a long list of businesses are ordered closed, including hospitality, educational and entertainment venues. Personal contact businesses, including hair, nail, massage, tattoo, tanning and waxing salons are directed to close.
Online activities and deliveries through many businesses may continue. And previous mandates about restaurants restricting food sales to drive-through and take out operations remain in place.
In earlier rounds of coordinated orders during the COVID-19 emergency, Mayors Durrett and Pitts incorporated the major provisions of Gov. Bill Lee’s executive orders.
“We are asking that residents remain patient and work with us to ‘shelter at home’ so we can flatten this curve sooner rather than later,” Mayor Durrett said. “We will continue to review the information from the CDC and consult with our own healthcare community regarding their expertise and the data they have collected, in making future decisions.
For information on the state and national response to COVID-19 and updates on working together to reduce infections, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.
For a summary of the local “stay at home” order, visit https://bit.ly/2USQeSC.
For the Mayor’s and Governor’s Executive orders, visit https://bit.ly/2JLMxci.