East Ridge Mayor Brian Williams released the following statement on Friday regarding the city’s efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
We have been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak over the last couple of weeks. We have also taken into consideration the guidance from the CDC and the direction from the White House which dictates that in no uncertain terms, public gatherings of any size may spread the virus.
We understand that together we are facing challenging times, but after much thought and deliberation, a difficult but necessary decision has been made to temporarily close gyms, fitness centers and dine-in service at restaurants within the City Limits of East Ridge. This decision is made solely to protect the health and wellbeing of our citizens.
Many of our businesses have already heeded the recommendations of County Mayor Jim Coppinger to refrain from inside dining and gathering at our establishments, for which we are thankful.
Our thoughts are with the many owners and employees who rely on these jobs.
Please keep these establishments in your thoughts and support those that remain open for delivery, curb side take-out, and drive-through.
Our goals and hopes are that you, your family and neighbors stay healthy during this time. This shall pass and once it does, we hope that you will patronize these businesses when they reopen.
We have been inspired and very thankful by numerous individuals, organizations and churches contacting us offering to help with shopping, deliveries and supporting individuals that are self-quarantined or uncomfortable leaving their home.
Please stay informed and keep in contact with your neighbors and loved ones during this period.
Feel free to reach out to the city with any questions, concerns or to provide information.
We sincerely appreciate the understanding during this difficult time and together we can aid in slowing this pandemic. Remember your safety is of the upmost importance.
The city’s proclamation follows:
MAYOR BRIAN W. WILLIAMS
CITY MANAGER CHRISTOPHER J. DORSEY
CITY OF EAST RIDGE, TENNESSEE JOINT CIVIL EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION AND EXECUTIVE ORDER
WHEREAS, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory illness that appears to occur through respiratory transmission and presents with similar symptoms to those of influenza; and
WHEREAS, as of March 19, 2020, COVID-19 has spread throughout China and to 150 other countries and territories, including 13,314 cases and 199 deaths within the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all states and territories implement aggressive measures to slow and contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States; and
WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern related to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared that a public health emergency exists nationwide as a result of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States; and
WHEREAS, as of March 19, 2020, there were 154 positive tests in Tennessee and reportedly five (5) Hamilton County residents having tested presumptively positive for COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, implementation of basic precautions of infection control and prevention, including staying at home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene, are necessary to slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a communicable disease with significant morbidity and mortality, and presents a severe danger to public health; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to City of East RidgeCharter, Section2, subparts 22 and 23, the City of East Ridge has the power to regulate, prohibit and limit business practices to, among other things, protect the health, safety, security and welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality and to exercise general police powers.
WHEREAS, pursuant to City of East Ridge Charter, Section 5-I, the City Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the City; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Tennessee Code Ann. § 38-9-102,the chief administrative officer for a municipality may proclaim in writing the existence of a civil emergency as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 38-9-101, which proclamation shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality; and
WHEREAS, after proclamation of a civil emergency, the chief administrative officer, in the interest of public safety and welfare, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 38-9-104, may order the closure of certain establishments and issue such orders as are necessary for the protection of life and property due to the current civil emergency; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Tennessee Code Ann. § 58-8-104, the mayor of a municipality may declare a local state of emergency affecting the mayor’s jurisdiction by executive order; and
WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, the Governor of Tennessee signed and caused the Great Seal of the State of Tennessee to be affixed to Executive Order No. 14 declaring that a state of emergency exists to facilitate the response to COVID-19.
NOW, THEREFORE, it is hereby proclaimed by the City Manager of the City of East Ridge, by virtue of Tennessee Statutes and the City Charter, that a public health civil emergency exists in the City of East Ridge, Tennessee.
MAY IT FURTHER BE PROCLAIMED by the City Manager of the City of East Ridge, by virtue of Tennessee Statutes and the City Charter, that in order to respond to this civil emergency, the City Manager issues the following ORDERS for the City of East Ridge:
Section 1. In response to this civil emergency, the City Manager finds it is necessary to advise people in East Ridge, Tennessee who have traveled to an area for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued Warning Level 3 or Alert Level 2 Travel Health Notice, or have been in close contact with a person who has traveled to such an area, and who develop symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing within 14 days of such travel or close contact, that they should immediately contact their health care provider and self-isolate until advised otherwise.
Section 2. Based upon the proclaimed civil emergency, the City Manager Orders those establishments whose primary business is alcohol service or food service (other than pick-up, delivery or drive-thru service) within the City of East Ridge to close for on-site consumption effective at 12:01 A.M.on March 21, 2020, and shall remain in effect until this Order is withdrawn.
Section 3.Based upon the proclaimed civil emergency, the City Manager Orders all gyms andexercise and fitness facilities within the City of East Ridge to close effective at 12:01 A.M. on March 21, 2020and shall remain in effect until this Order is withdrawn.
Section 4. The Building Official, the East Ridge Police Department and the East Ridge Fire Marshall are authorized by this Order to enforce and close those businesses in violation of this Civil Emergency Order in our City until this Order is withdrawn.
MAY IT FURTHER BE PROCLAIMED BY THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF EAST RIDGE, by virtue of Tennessee Statutes,that a local state of emergency affecting the City of East Ridge, Tennessee, does hereby exist.
JOINTLY Issued this 20th day of March 2020, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 38-9-101, et seq., Tenn. Code Ann § 58-8-104, and Tenn. Code Ann § 58-2-110(3) by the City Manager for the City of East Ridge, Tennessee and the City Mayor for the City of East Ridge, Tennessee.