Caring for Your Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Outbreak is Critical

Infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, as well as other public health events, can cause emotional distress and anxiety. Feeling anxious, confused, overwhelmed or powerless is common during an infectious disease outbreak, especially in the face of a virus with which the general public may be unfamiliar. These feelings of distress and anxiety can occur even if you are not at high risk of getting sick.

The accessible and free mental health crisis services that Lifeline crisis centers offer are especially vital during times of social distancing, and can be considered an essential service. Lifeline crisis centers may be used to overcome barriers of access to services caused by distance or unavailability of in-person mental health support, and can prevent unnecessary exposure during a pandemic. When individuals may be experiencing heightened anxiety, depression, and stress caused by infectious disease outbreaks and accompanying social-isolation measures, having access to trained and caring counselors may be critical for a community’s mental well-being.

If you need support, you can always talk to someone by calling the Lifeline number at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with a counselor. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mayor Randall Hutto Declares State of Emergency Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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:

• Libraries
• 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

Senior Citizen’s Awareness Network (SCAN) Partners with LPD for Operation Blue Light Delivery

Although SCAN has temporarily suspended their volunteer home visits by limiting exposure to our senior citizens, Director Debbie Pare’ and Sgt. Don Witherspoon will remain vigilant in keeping up with program recipients by addressing any needs or concerns anyone might have amid the COVID-19 pandemic. SCAN will continue to take safety measures to ensure that we protect those who are at most risk. SCAN is also proud to announce that they will be partnering with the Lebanon Police Department’s “Operation Blue Light Delivery” to assist seniors in need of food.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Issues Warning on Coronavirus Scams

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus.
Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

• Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
• Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
• Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
• Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowd funding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

What the FTC is Doing:

The FTC and FDA have jointly issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. The companies’ products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver.

The FTC says the companies have no evidence to back up their claims — as required by law. The FDA says there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.

COVID-19 Update

We are working every day to implement safety measures to help minimize the risk of exposure or further spread of the COVID-19 virus not only for our employees, but also for the general public. Effective immediately, the access to the inside of our building will be limited to employees only and mail delivery services.

Citizens wishing to file a report are urged to first contact our dispatch at (615) 444-1412 ext. 0. If the report does not rise to the level of an emergency, you will be contacted at our earliest convenience by a phone call from a deputy that will take the report over the phone. If you come by our office for a walk-in report, a deputy will be made available to speak to you through a glass window. Depending on the situation, the deputy may ask you to go home and do the report over the phone; or, in a dire situation, will take the report through the glass window located in the front lobby of the Sheriff’s Office. To obtain a copy of a report, you can request a copy in the front lobby of the Sheriff’s Office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday. Please allow 3-5 business days from the time your report was initially filed to when you request a copy. Prior to requesting a copy of your report, please have a copy of your driver’s license.

Also in response to the state and national emergency regarding the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Wilson County  Sheriff’s Office is immediately suspending the service of all civil process except for papers related to the following:
– Proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants, including bond-related matters and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals
– Proceedings related to relief from abuse, including but not limited to orders of protection
– Proceedings related to emergency child custody orders
– Department of Children’s Services emergency matters related to child protection
– Proceedings related to petitions for temporary injunctive relief
– Proceedings related to emergency mental health orders
– Proceedings related to emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable persons
– Proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency
– Other exceptions as approved by the Chief Justice
***This suspension will continue until further notice. ***

Inmate visitation will continue to be limited to video/electronic visits only as this may be subject to change as we continue to monitor the situation daily.

We appreciate your patience during this difficult time and we are continuing to monitor the situation daily. As we proceed forward, we will keep everyone informed on any changes as it relates to this office.

WILSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE OPERATIONAL CHANGES TO REDUCE CORONAVIRUS EXPOSURE

LEBANON, TN – Wilson County Sheriff Robert C. Bryan announced today he has implemented the following operational changes to reduce the chances of exposure to WCSO employees, inmates, program volunteers, and the public served by these programs as it relates to the Coronavirus, COVID-19.

The changes include the following:

• Inmate visitation will be limited to video/electronic visits only.
• Attorney visits will be allowed as normal (pending daily review)
• All Jail programs are suspended until further notice. These include Jail Ministry, AA, NA, GED, etc. Our Jail Chaplain will continue to coordinate our jail ministry and address special needs of inmates.
• All Senior Citizens Awareness Network (SCAN) home visits are suspended. The SCAN Director, Debbie Pare’ and Sgt. Don Witherspoon will continue to coordinate phone visits with program recipients and address emergency needs on a case by case basis. They can be reached by calling the SCAN office at 615-444-1412, ext 498 or 499.
• All new inmate intakes will be assessed immediately for any possible symptoms of the Coronavirus and appropriate steps will be taken by medical personnel to reduce exposure.
• All Sheriff’s Office programs are suspended until further notice, which include the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy and the Sheriff’s Explorer program.

The Jail administration will continue to ensure the correctional environment is sanitary and extra cleaning measures have been put into place to ensure the safety of correctional staff and inmates.

As of this date, no staff members or inmates present any symptoms of the virus. There are currently no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Wilson County according to the State Health Department. Sheriff Bryan urges citizens to keep up to date with current information provided by Tennessee Department of Health by visiting www.tn.gov/health

***FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR STORM VICTIMS***

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced on March 5, 2020 that Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson counties will receive federal aid through an expedited Major Disaster Declaration as a result of the severe weather on March 3, 2020. Through the Major Disaster Declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide both its Individual Assistance (IA) and Public Assistance (PA) programs in the three counties.

Individuals in the declared counties who may be eligible for these programs can begin the application process at www.distasterassistace.gov. FEMA provides a Disaster Assistance
Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Individuals are encouraged to call this helpline if they want to learn more or have questions about the application process.

To learn more information on FEMA’s IA program, go to https://www.fema.gov/individualdisasterassistance. For more information on FEMA’s PA program, go to
https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-localstate-tribal-and-non-profit. This material is based on information provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

Safety Tips for Biggest Online Shopping Period of the Year

Online shopping around Black Friday and Cyber Monday has become the biggest online shopping period of the year. There’s nothing like finding the best price on the 4K television you’ve always wanted, but are you buying it safely? Don’t end up like thousands of victims this time of year, having your new gadget and an empty bank account or identity stolen.

Sheriff Robert Bryan and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office reminds you to follow the practices below so that you remain Cyber secure on Cyber Monday – and all other days of the year.

1) Verify the deals sent to you in an email. Your inbox likely gets full with amazing Cyber Monday and holiday deals. Most are legitimate and likely good deals. But, there will be spam or phishing mixed in there. Phishing emails will look like Cyber Monday deals but are really designed to get you to click on malicious links that will infect your computer with malware, or steal your personal information. Many of these links will appear to be legitimate websites, so remember to double-check the URL, and if possible, go to the website directly through your browser rather than clicking on the link from the email.

2) Make sure the website is secure. Before entering your details and credit card information, make sure you see a lock icon and the word “Secure” in the URL bar. This will ensure that the information you share with that website will be handled securely and encrypted. 

3) Create strong, memorable, and individual passwords. Shopping quickly to get the deals is convenient, especially when you use the same password on all the shopping sites. However, taking this shortcut could cost you in the long run. Never use the same password for all your Cyber Monday and holiday shopping websites. Create a unique password for each. If you’re like most shoppers and can’t remember a different password for each website, use a password manager app.

4) Use your credit card. Never shop with your debit card. Use a credit card to put a level of protection between you and the website. If you use a special credit card, you can cancel it if one of your Cyber Monday websites gets hacked. This will also make it easier to spot weird activity on the card. There are several free pre-paid credit cards and App-based credit cards to isolate your account information.

5) Watch out for fake shopping and “deal” apps. Many of us shop on our mobile devices, so be careful about downloading any new Cyber Monday deal apps. One of the worst are copycat apps that appear to be legitimate deal apps but their sole purpose is to infect your phone and steal your personal information.

6) Share as little information as possible. Websites that ask for more than your email address and credit card info may be asking for too much. Always try to provide the bare minimum personal information. While it may be convenient to set up an account with an online retailer to make future shopping easier, you don’t have to and if that’s the only way to buy from the website, look elsewhere.

7) Search safely. We all can spend hours searching Google, Bing and other websites to find the absolute best price on the most wanted gifts, but there’s also a lot of bad or sketchy links out there. Most search engines do a good job of keeping you away from the bad links, but aggregation websites are scraping the internet for products and pricing. Some bad guys know how this works and set up websites that look like legitimate shopping websites, but they may actually be designed to steal your identity. If the website lacks the security lock icon or is hosted outside the U.S., take a moment to consider the other options.

Crime Stoppers is Seeking Public’s Assistance

MT. JULIET, TN – The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying suspects responsible for theft of miscellaneous items totaling an approximate value of $500.00 from an affiliate with Big Brothers. Big Brothers, one of the nation’s largest donor- and volunteer-supported mentoring networks, creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

On 11/24/2019, a deputy responded to an address around the 400 block of Quarry Road regarding a complaint of stolen goods. The complainant, who is affiliated with Big Brothers, stated that the stolen items were taking out of semi-trailers sometime between 10 a.m. and later that evening.

Anyone with information which leads to the successful identification, prosecution, and conviction of the person(s) responsible in this incident could be entitled a cash reward of up to $500.00. Please call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers at 615-444-5245 with any information that would assist in the investigation of this incident or any crime, callers can remain anonymous.