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PARIS (April 8) — According to a joint press release Wednesday, Henry County Mayor Brent Greer and Paris Mayor Carlton Gerrell issued Local State of Emergency Declarations for Henry County and the City of Paris effective Thursday, April 9, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The release states that the declarations empower the county and city governments to take “whatever action is prudent and necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community.” The State of Emergency remains in effect for seven days and can be renewed as needed to protect the community.
Citing Henry County’s six confirmed COVID-19 cases at the time, the mayors implore citizens to continue to follow Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Orders and the Center for Disease Control guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
County Mayor Greer and Mayor Gerrell emphasize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, which healthcare officials are calling “a serious situation.”
Henry County Medical Center has reported an increase in patients needing treatment for COVID-19 and has urged local governments to take additional action to mitigate the spread in Henry County. COVID-19 testing continues to be available locally through local clinics, Henry County Medical Center, and the Henry County Health Dept. The health department is closed on Friday, however, the Assessment and Testing Services will be available from 9 a.m. until noon. Citizens are encouraged to continue to give blood when donations services are available.
The state of emergency declarations order Paris and Henry County residents to “Shelter at Home” and require residents to follow Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Orders pertaining to COVID-19. Violations may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In short, Henry Countians are required to stay home unless they are engaged in an Essential Activity or Essential Service. When away from home, Henry Countians should follow social distancing and CDC guidelines to protect themselves and each other.
Henry County and the City of Paris are taking steps to limit staff and public from COVID-19 exposure while continuing essential government business. Citizens are encouraged to call government offices for instructions on how to receive services.
Public access to Paris City Hall is limited to phone access during the regular business hours of 7:30-4:30 Monday through Friday. Any business that requires in-person assistance will be by appointment only. Any non-essential services may be limited or suspended during this time. Emergency services will not be limited.
Phone numbers of interest and assistance are:
Paris City Hall — 641-1402
Police Department non-emergency — 642-2424
Public Works — 642-0473
Paris-Henry County Landfill — 644-1737
Paris-Henry County Animal Shelter — 642-5024
WG Rhea Public Library — 642-1702
The Courthouse and Courthouse Annex will operate on an abbreviated schedule during the State of Emergency; public access to those buildings will be limited to 8-10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Other county services will be available by appointment only. Other county facilities will also limit public access, and some services may be reduced during this time. The Henry County Recycling Center will be open from 7-11 a.m. each day, and the drop-off area will remain open after hours.
Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson and Chancery Court Clerk Mary Burns jointly announced the court clerks’ offices will operate on the same abbreviated schedule as the Courthouse. By prior order of the Tennessee Supreme Court, most in-person court proceedings have been postponed through the end of April.
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