On the heels of the news breaking that Rutherford County received its first confirmed case of COVID-19, Mayor Bill Ketron called County officials together Friday afternoon to update the Countys “Plan of Action.”

“While we do not want to put our employees or the general public into panic mode, we do recognize the seriousness of the current health situation in our state and around the globe. We want to make sure that everyone is on the same page and certainly that the citizens we serve remain informed of any changes to our service,” said Ketron. “The main priorities are to decrease the potential spread of the virus while maintaining the level of service that our communities expect.”

Signs have been placed at the Judicial Building notifying the public that admission to the building is limited in response to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 16-31, 2020. The notice states that, “Lawyers with jail cases will be admitted and any necessary persons, as determined by the trial judge.” The offices can be contacted for resetting court dates or for emergencies. Chancery pleadings may be filed electronically at http://go.tybera.net/tncis or faxed to 615-691-5964. For Circuit Criminal, Circuit Civil, General Sessions Criminal, General Sessions Civil, and Juveniles fax numbers and court costs, inquirers are urged to visit www.circuitcourtclerk.rutherfordcountytn.gov. Fax filing fees will be waived for the duration of the closure.

Rutherford County Schools has relayed messaging to parents that schools will be closed for one week beginning March 16. More information can be retrieved by visiting: rcschools.net.

The Rutherford County Sheriffs Office has implemented measures to protect inmates and citizens per a release issued from Public Information Officer Lisa Marchesoni Friday afternoon. RCSO is canceling video visits at the Adult Detention Center until April 1 but allowing inmates to have two free remote visits per week. The department is “looking for additional methods for inmates to communicate with their families at no or lower costs.”

All departments are working with County Leadership and the Office of Information Technology to create contingency plans to minimize or alleviate any impact of service to citizens.

Emergency Medical Services Director Carl Hudgens and Fire & Rescue Chief Larry Farley continue to evaluate response posture to ensure that they are complying with the Center for Disease Controls guidelines. Both departments urge those exhibiting respiratory symptoms to contact their primary healthcare providers rather than attempting to be seen in the emergency room. Persons wanting more information about the virus or who are concerned about their health may also contact the Tennessee Department of Healths Information Line at 1-877-857-2945.

Mayor Ketron concluded the meeting by saying, “We are Rutherford County. We are strong. We will get through this. We are family.”

County updates will continue to go out to local media, will be updated on official websites, and will be posted on social media.

For the most up-to-date information from the Tennessee Department of Health, please visit: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.