Gateway to the Big South Fork

Mayor’s Saturday coronavirus update

March 21, 2020

From Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals:

Just a brief update on happenings since yesterday. The Health Department completed its contact investigation to determine the extent of the confirmed case contact. My original statement that the family was self quarantined for a week was incorrect. It was 4 days. The HD has given me the advice to reopen the old courthouse. But as a continued precaution, those offices will remain closed until Wednesday. Please remember that even though the offices will soon be open, most of the services they provide can be done through the mail, phone calls or email.

Since yesterday’s announcement, quite a few businesses and organizations that have gatherings of 10 or more have closed reducing the risk involved with face to face interactions. Most restaurants have closed their dining areas and are solely providing their menu thru drive thru or curb side services. Some churches have suspended services while others have gone to digital broadcasting of their services. And a number of bars will be voluntarily closing.

When this pandemic made its way to Scott County many citizens became upset that I didn’t force businesses to close to prevent the spread. A county mayor does not have that power. I only have the power of persuasion through recommendations. The authority of the Board of Health is quite different in the 4 metropolitan areas of TN versus the rural areas like SC. That more powerful metro authority is how Nashville and Knoxville achieved the closures as they have.

As you are all aware, the numbers across the state and SC will continue to rise as more testing kits become available. Therefore, do not be surprised if you see an increase.

In closing I’ll state once again, be smart, avoid unnecessary gatherings, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching of your face, assist your elderly and do not panic buy supplies.

Read more: Coronavirus in Scott County

Last modified: March 21, 2020

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