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McKENZIE (April 6) — On Thursday, April 2, Governor Bill Lee signed executive order 23 requiring Tennesseans to stay at home unless engaged in essential activities or services. The order amended the previous executive order by making it a requirement, not a request.
Essential activities include but are not limited to activities for health and safety, necessary supplies and services, outdoor activity, certain types of essential work, and to take care of others.
Americans have been asked for almost a month now to stay at home to “slow the spread” of COVID-19. It’s understandable that people are getting cabin fever and want life to return to normal. Unfortunately, to get back to “normal” officials are asking the public to limit their contact with others and stay home unless absolutely necessary, i.e. engaging in an essential activity.
Visiting public places raises your risk of illness. COVID-19 is at least 10 times more lethal than influenza. It is easily spread via surfaces and the air. People can be infected for up to 14 days without showing symptoms.
Since last Monday in Tennessee an additional 1,968 people have tested positive, 52 have died, and 204 more are now hospitalized due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel “new” coronavirus.
Carroll County had two cases two weeks ago; today there are eight. Two weeks ago Henry County did not have a confirmed case of COVID-19. Today there are five cases. Weakley County had one case two weeks ago, but now has five cases as of today. The numbers are expected to increase.
The governor and state officials anticipate a surge in COVID-19 cases in April.
Projections for Tennessee from Healthdata.org indicate a surge in cases and deaths from COVID-19 peaking around April 15 with an average of 25 deaths per day.
“The month of April stands to be an extremely tough time for our state as we face the potential for a surge in COVID-19 cases,” said Lee. “Every Tennessean must take this seriously, remain at home and ensure we save lives.”
On April 2, FEMA approved Tennessee’s COVID-19 major disaster declaration. This accelerates efforts to work with the US Army Corps of Engineers and expand statewide capacity by an additional 7,000 beds.
McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland said in a statement, “Governor Bill Lee enacted Executive Order 23 Thursday, mandating everyone in Tennessee to stay at home unless leaving the house for essential activities such as grocery shopping, going to the pharmacy, take out at restaurants, or work.
“The order also gave each individual law enforcement agency the power to enforce how they see fit. At this time, in McKenzie, there is no martial law, no quarantine, no roadblocks, and no curfew. However, if there are situations where groups are gathering: playing, walking, biking, socializing, law enforcement will step in and can verbally warn, cite with a fine, and even arrest.
“Please remember that if we stay home, wash our hands, wear masks, don’t touch our face, and stay 6 feet apart, the sooner we will get back our freedom to come and go as we wish.”
Here are a few questions you may have regarding what is allowed during the “Safer At Home” order.
Can I go to the store? Yes.
To get essentials like food and supplies then return home. Send one person to the store to get everything on the list in one trip. Have someone you trust watch children or dependents. Try to limit the number of trips made in a week. Don’t buy more than you will need.
Can I go to the doctor or pharmacy? Yes.
See if your doctor or pharmacy will provide a 90-day prescription of essential medicines to help limit your exposure to the public.
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