Story by Kristi Jones / Contributing writer
As COVID-19 continues to spread in the state of Tennessee as well as Rutherford County, Murfreesboro Mayor declared a local State of Emergency Saturday that will be effective starting Monday.
Mayor Shane McFarland issued the order to gain access to special emergency power from the Tennessee state government.
“While Rutherford County only has five confirmed cases by the Tennessee Health Department, we need to be proactive to stop the spread and save lives, so I am taking strong action ahead of additional cases,” said McFarland in a press release. “Our top priority is protecting the health and safety of our citizens.”
The city of Murfreesboro is urging all residents to follow the Centers for Disease Control practices including: washing your hands often, covering coughs and sneezes and avoid touching any part of your face with unwashed hands.
The declaration orders that establishments whose primary business is alcohol or food service other than take-out or drive-through will be closed for on-site consumption beginning 12:00 a.m. on Monday, March 22.
All gyms and fitness facilities within Murfreesboro will also be closed starting Monday. All orders will be enforced until the order is withdrawn.
McFarland is enforcing the CDC’s social distancing and limiting person-to-person access. This includes implementing alternative work arrangements to protect City employees and their families during the pandemic.
“The City will continue to deliver critical services throughout the emergency period,” City Manager Craig Tindall said. “Some non-critical service may be limited, and facilities may be closed or have limited access. Those limitations and closures will be communicated on the City website and updated continuously.”
Police, Fire, Water, Utilities, Solid Waste, emergency management and communications will be unaffected. The Murfreesboro Airport is also remaining fully operational and City Schools will continue the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse food program.
The City of Murfreesboro sends out thank yous to the community partners and everyone that has cooperated in this challenging time.
“We want to make sure our residents and employees are safe as we work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provide essential services, follow CDC guidelines and adhere to recommendations of Governor Lee and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency,” McFarland said.
If someone believes that they are sick, call the physician or County Health Department at 615-898-7880 immediately and stay home. The State Information Hotline is 1-877-857-2945 for continual guidance.
To follow up on the City of Murfreesboro actions and closings and cancellations please visit https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/1690/Coronavirus-Information and https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2831
For information announced by the Governor and Tennessee Department of Health please visit
To follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 webpage for the most up to date information and guidelines please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
To contact News Editor Savannah Meade, email email@example.com.
For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News