EDITOR'S NOTE: The following press release was posted without editing.

A MESSAGE FROM MAYOR CARLTON GERRELL:

Yesterday the Governor issued Executive Orders 21 and 22. These as well as previous orders regarding COVID 19 can be found on the TN Secretary of State website: https://sos.tn.gov/…/div…/executive-orders-governor-bill-lee.

There are questions as to why we do not place more strict action on the community. All cities and counties are formed under different types of charters in Tennessee. Our local charter does not allow us to impose anything beyond what the governor has included in his Executive Orders to date. Some communities that have imposed stricter actions are being legally challenged regarding their ability to do so. 

I know this is really tough on everyone. Businesses don’t want to close and we get that, however, the longer it takes for us to “flatten the curve” the longer it will take for our economy to get back on track. More important than the economic impact, we do not want to lose any lives to this virus in our community. Let’s make that a goal for this community…….NO LIVES LOST! We urge everyone to heed the governor’s directive to close the non-essential businesses and stay at home. QUICKER ACTIONS GET QUICKER RESULTS.

Let’s address our local businesses. We appreciate that you quickly adjusted to comply with the Governor’s Executive Orders. Most all restaurants are offering take out and drive thru service and many are getting very creative. Most offer their regular menus but some have taken it a step further offering family meals and meals you can take home to cook. The downtown businesses and small businesses throughout the community are utilizing social media to promote their merchandise and with curbside pickup offering everyone some retail therapy.

The big box stores in our community remain open as they fall into the category of essential services. We cannot mandate any changes to the way they conduct business. However, we can strongly encourage everyone to use good judgement when shopping for your essential items. Keep in mind, ONE CART…..ONE PERSON. It is not necessary to take your entire family to shop for groceries or anything else you choose to purchase during this crisis. 

To the parents, please, no playdates! Talk with your children and teens to insure they truly understand the crisis we face. Even though they feel the virus will not adversely affect them, it can, but they can also cause the virus spread to others. Please, no parties or congregating in groups, even small groups. 

If we all use common sense and follow the guidelines we will get through this. If we do not exercise the conditions and procedures imposed on us we could find ourselves in a situation where our Henry County Medical Center could be overwhelmed with cases. THIS IS SERIOUS AND WE MUST ACT NOW! If we continue to use bad judgement this could take some time and time is not on our side right now. Do Your Part…..Stay Apart.

My Best to All, Be Smart and Stay Safe

Carlton Gerrell
Mayor

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