CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Joe Pitts will declare a state of emergency in the City of Clarksville on Wednesday to facilitate an effective local response to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The executive order, which will be considered by the City Council at a special called meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, will take effect upon passage of the resolution. It will continue for seven days, and can be extended as necessary in seven-day increments until April 2.
The order will direct all City departments and offices to minimize person-to-person contact “to the maximum extent possible” by using drive-through window service, and electronic, telephonic and mail methods of communication.
The order will close all Clarksville Parks & Recreation activities, programs and facilities to include swimming pools and recreation centers Parks will remain open. The order also authorizes Department heads to direct certain City employees to work from home.
The declaration also includes a City COVID-19 Response Plan that addresses internal engineering, administrative and work practice controls, and personal protective equipment necessary to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the City’s employees.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the fast-spreading novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization declared the disease outbreak a pandemic on March 11. While no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Clarksville or Montgomery County, at least 73 have been reported in Tennessee since the first case was identified in the state March 4. Gov. Bill Lee proclaimed a state emergency for Tennessee on March 12.
“This order will allow us to take legal steps to prepare the City, its employees and our citizens for a potentially long struggle against this viral outbreak,” Mayor Pitts said. “This will provide us some more flexibility to take proactive steps to protect the health and safety of our residents and employees.”
All members of the public and businesses are strongly encouraged to follow and comply with guidance and directives issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and state and local departments of health. The CDC has updated information and guidance available online here. The Tennessee Department of Health has additional information available here.
“All members of the public are strongly encouraged to remain calm, to resist panic purchasing, and to look after and help those most at risk to this pandemic to include the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems,” Mayor Pitts said.