‘It’s Not About Me — It’s About Us’
Montgomery County, TN – MONTGOMERY COUNTY MAYOR JIM DURRETT: Together, with our stay-at-home orders to limit non-essential activity, we have taken effective, necessary steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in our community.
CLARKSVILLE MAYOR JOE PITTS: We want to thank every business, every organization and every family, for buckling down during this stay-at-home period, for making necessary sacrifices and for doing the right things.
MAYOR DURRETT: Now, with a measure of success in our battle against this health crisis, we want to talk about the steps for reopening our community to business and activity. So we have named this reopening plan “It’s not about me — It’s about us.”
MAYOR PITTS: This will be a phased process, allowing many businesses to possibly reopen as soon as Friday, May 1st. And, as we see that the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus remains in control, more and more of our normal activities and gatherings will be able to resume.
MAYOR DURRETT: Our reopening process requires businesses to agree to “Safe Operating Requirements” and do their part to continue safeguards, such as limiting occupancy to maintain social distancing, and using personal protective equipment.
MAYOR PITTS: Everyone must remember, we are not declaring victory, and we are still in a battle against COVID-19 Coronavirus. Even as we strive to bring our community back to a reasonable level of activity, we must continue aggressive efforts to limit the spread of this serious disease.
Health Factors and Statistics
MAYOR DURRETT: Our decision to consider restoring some activity in Phase I is based on the national standard of a downward trend of reported, documented COVID-19 Coronavirus cases over a 14-day period.
MAYOR PITTS: This graph, which provides testing data from the Tennessee Department of Health, based on tests submitted from Montgomery County, confirms a downward trend.
MAYOR DURRETT: Thanks to statisticians at Austin Peay State University (APSU) who analyzed the data and prepared this chart, we can see how the rate of positive tests compares to all tests for coronavirus being conducted in our community.
MAYOR DURRETT: The graph shows a big dip at the end. This is an anomaly in the data because of the testing that opened up to individuals without symptoms in last Saturday’s drive thru at the health department.
MAYOR PITTS: As you can see, this key metric has been declining since our peak percentage of positive tests on April 13. Our rate of infection has also declined since the peak in April. We have been looking at this data every day and are pleased to report the consistent decline.
MAYOR DURRETT: So, here’s how this phased reopening of our community will unfold.
MAYOR PITTS: On Monday, April 27th, Montgomery County and the City of Clarksville will issue new Emergency and Executive Orders that will legally define the terms of the reopening.
MAYOR DURRETT: With the new regulations in place, businesses will get several days — from Tuesday, April 28th to Thursday, April 30th — to apply online for permits to reopen. Some may choose to wait so the application process will remain open.
MAYOR PITTS: The online permit process will spell out in detail what businesses must do to obtain operating permits. On Friday, May 1st businesses that meet the Safe Operating Restrictions outlined in the Emergency and Executive Orders will be able to reopen.
MAYOR DURRETT: Really, what this process does, is make businesses our partners in safeguarding our community and our residents. This makes businesses responsible for living up to the Safe Operation Protocols.
MAYOR PITTS: That’s right. We’re asking businesses to agree to operate in a manner that ensures social distancing, prevents unnecessary contact, and prevents unacceptably large crowds from gathering.
MAYOR DURRETT: And Safe Operations include measures to protect employee health, and to increase sanitation procedures.
MAYOR PITTS: As for enforcement, we plan to have law enforcement and administrative personnel of the City and County inspect businesses as they operate to ensure they are doing what they agreed to do when they obtained a permit.
MAYOR DURRETT: And yes, if businesses don’t comply, their permits and business licenses can be suspended or revoked and other penalty actions allowed by law will be considered.
New Rules In Phase One
MAYOR PITTS: Some new rules also will apply as we enter Phase I. Although we will allow more businesses to open, businesses that were deemed essential and remained opened through the stay-at-home era will be required to increase their safety measures and allow less traffic in their stores.
Let me repeat this point: Businesses that were deemed essential and remained opened through the stay-at-home era will be required to increase their safety measures and allow less traffic in their stores.
MAYOR DURRETT: And those who are most at risk to COVID-19 Coronavirus are asked to continue sheltering at home during this phase. The full details on what Phase 1 will look like for Clarksville, Montgomery County will be provided to the public in the orders issued on Monday, April 27th.
MAYOR PITTS: The health of our citizens is tied directly to the health of our local economy. We know that if individuals do not take responsibility for their behaviors and practices, we could see a graph that looks very different from the one we shared. Everyone — business owners, employees and the public they serve — must observe the rules and regulations and make preventing the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus a day-by-day mission.
MAYOR DURRETT: Our team of government leaders, healthcare professionals and public health experts will continuously monitor data about COVID-19 Coronavirus and make adjustments as indicated. If the trend starts to go in a different direction, we may have to step back and tighten restrictions. The speed at which our community moves forward will come down to individual practices and responsibility.
MAYOR PITTS: In the meantime, it is imperative that you follow the shelter-at-home orders and only go out for essential items like food and medicine. It’s not about me — It’s about us.
MAYOR DURRETT: Following the orders that are currently in place, and the new orders to come, will help us stay on track. We thank you for spending some time with me and my good friend Mayor Pitts.
MAYORS: God bless you.