On Monday, March 23, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., Wilson County (TN), Mayor Randall Hutto declared a State of Emergency pursuant to the statutes of the state of Tennessee TCA 58-2-11 0(3)(A)(V) which grants the County Mayor certain powers to take prudent action which facilitate the response to COVID-19 to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our residents.
Mayor Hutto convened the Wilson County Board of Health, the Director of WEMA, the Chief of EMS, the CEO of Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, TEMA, the Director of Wilson County Health Department, and Tennessee Department of Health representatives on March 17th. They met again on March 23rd with city mayors of Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, and Watertown and the manager of Mt. Juliet on the situation and response to COVID-19. The team determined the best direction was to consistently follow the State of Tennessee Executive Order No. 17 signed by Governor Lee on March 22, 2020 which was issued “to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by limiting social gatherings, dine-in service, and gym use, and exposure at nursing and retirement homes, and providing flexibility for restaurants regarding the sale of alcohol.”
Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 17
1. In accordance with the provisions of the State of Tennessee Executive Order #17 by the honorable Governor Bill Lee, and with guidance from the CDC to limit the spread of COVID-19:
a. Persons in Wilson County shall not participate in social gatherings of ten (10) or more people. Provision adapted for Wilson County from TN Executive Order #17.
b. Persons in Wilson County shall not eat or drink onsite at restaurants, bars, or other similar food or drink establishments, and shall not visit gyms, or fitness/exercise centers or substantially similar facilities. Provision adapted for Wilson County from TN Executive Order #17.
c. Restaurants, bars, and similar food or drink establishments, including nightclubs, shall not be open to persons, except only to offer drive-through, pickup, carry-out, or delivery service for food or drink, and persons are highly encouraged to use such options to support such businesses during this emergency. Provision taken from TN Executive Order #17.
d. Gyms or fitness/exercise centers or substantially similar facilities shall not be open to members or the public, although persons are highly encouraged to use any available electronic or virtual fitness options to support such businesses during this emergency. Provision taken from TN Executive Order #17.
e. Persons in Wilson County shall not visit nursing homes, retirement homes, or long-term care or assisted-living facilities, unless to provide essential assistance or to visit residents receiving imminent end-of-life care, provided such visits may be accomplished without unreasonable risk to other residents. Persons are highly encouraged to use available electronic or virtual communication to spend time with their family members, friends, loved ones, and other persons in those facilities. Provision adapted for Wilson County from TN Executive Order #17.
f. Persons and businesses should take particular care to protect the well-being of those populations especially vulnerable to COVID-19, including older adults and persons with compromised immune systems or serious chronic medical conditions, by, among other things, taking care to adhere to all precautions advised by the CDC and refraining from physical contact and association, to the extent that it is practical. Businesses should further consider implementing measures to protect our most vulnerable populations by, for example, offering delivery service or special opportunities for them to shop in retail establishments (at times) exclusive of the general population. Provision adapted for Wilson County from TN Executive Order #17.
2. This does not mandate sheltering in place and does not prohibit persons in Wilson County from visiting places necessary to maintain health and economic well-being, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, among other places, so long as they observe the necessary precautions advised by the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Provision adapted for Wilson County from TN Executive Order #17.
3. All critical infrastructure remains operational, and government entities and businesses will continue providing important and essential services. Provision taken from TN Executive Order #17.
4. For offices, workplaces, and businesses that remain open, employees should work from home where feasible, and employees and their customers should practice good hygiene and observe the necessary precautions advised by the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Provision adapted for Wilson County from TN Executive Order #17.
5. Any local law, order, rule, or regulation inconsistent with this declaration is hereby suspended. Provision adapted for Wilson County from TN Executive Order #17.
Additional closures in the county include:
• Schools including Wilson County Schools and Central Offices, Lebanon Special School District, and private schools
• Courts per Supreme Court Order, except limited courts and visitors for essential cases per the order
• Wilson County Expo Center
• James E. Ward Ag Center
• Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
• Hospital and nursing homes, “No Visitor Policy” but open for patients and staff
• Veteran’s Museum