Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett and Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts urged residents to shelter in place as much as possible, practice social distancing and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people as the community battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said, “All events of 10 or more people should be canceled or held virtually, and people should stay 3-6 feet apart.”
The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Tennessee climbed to 228 March 20 as testing increased in the state and around the country. Three cases were confirmed in Montgomery County. Both mayors formally declared local states of emergency last week to help city and county governments deal with growing spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
While the mayors’ advice, issued after a meeting with public health and legal advisers Friday afternoon, is not considered a legal order, they urged people not to gather in places of worship, at gyms, restaurants or bars.
Both mayors thanked local businesses and churches that previously announced decisions to close and minimize gatherings.
“People should only get out to conduct essential missions such as buying groceries and medical supplies,” Pitts said. “We urge food businesses to be responsible and offer take-out orders, drive-thru service, curbside pickup and delivery service, while not allowing large gatherings.”
Durrett addressed the issue of church attendance:
“We are asking churches to please do your part to keep COVID-19 to a minimum in our community,” Durrett said. “A church is essential, but prayer is more essential.”
Residents are encouraged to visit the CDC website for updates on the COVID-19 pandemic.