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Bedford County Mayor Extends State of Emergency

Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham has signed another seven-day extension to his March 20 proclamation declaring a local state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Tennessee. This extension will run from Friday, April 3, through Friday, April 10.
The City of Shelbyville has notified Graham that it is also extending its declaration.
State law allows seven-day emergency declarations, which may be extended for additional seven-day periods as deemed necessary. Under this new extension, the county will adjust its staffing policies to help protect county employees and ensure continued operation of county government. In many cases, departments will send half their staff home for two weeks, working from home or on call, while the remaining staff continues to operate from county offices. The two groups would then swap every two weeks.
Not every department can adopt this particular method, due to each department’s unique situation, but all departments are being challenged to adopt procedures to protect their employees.
The purpose of an emergency declaration is two-fold. It allows the governments greater flexibility in responding to the emergency, if necessary waiving policies or procedures governing contracts, expenditures, hiring, and access to government buildings.
In addition, there are some forms of state or federal emergency assistance that are available only to, or for which preference may be given to, areas where a local state of emergency has been declared.
On Thursday, Gov. Bill Lee announced a new executive order which would give his previous “safer at home” recommendations the force of law. Bedford County has no additional restrictions beyond those ordered by the governor.
The state of emergency began on Friday, March 20, with the signing of the original city and county proclamations. Under state law, it applies for seven days unless it’s rescinded sooner, but can be extended for additional seven-day periods as deemed necessary.
Federal, state and county officials urge all citizens to remain at home as much as possible and avoid social contact or groups. Although grocery stores and restaurants are open to the public, shoppers should go to the store alone, without other family members, and should avoid socializing with others while shopping.
It’s also critical to practice good sanitary habits. Wash your hands often, for 20 seconds, with soap and hot water. Avoid touching your face. Frequently clean and sanitize household surfaces as well as personal electronics.
If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, or that you have been exposed to someone with the disease, contact your health care provider by telephone. Do not go to your doctor’s office, an urgent care clinic, emergency room or health department without calling first, and only go when and if you’re instructed to.
Bedford County has COVID-19 links and information at a special website, http://www.ASaferBedfordCountyTN.org, and has established a telephone hotline, 931-735-6923, for citizens with questions. The hotline is manned from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

luckyknott@gmail.com

luckyknott@gmail.com

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