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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) – Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland has issued a “Safe at Home” order for the city amid COVID-19 concerns.

The order goes into effect at 6 p.m. Saturday and will remain in effect until 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.

“As of March 28, Rutherford County had 46 confirmed cases by the Tennessee Health Department, but we know it will get worse. We need to continue to be proactive to stop the spread and save lives,” Mayor Shane McFarland said in a statement. “Our top priority is protecting the health and safety of our citizens. Whether these local and state orders closing schools, restaurants, fitness centers and now smoking lounges must be maintained beyond April 4, I wish I could answer. We just don’t know at this time.”

Things you should know about the new order include:

  • Cigar Bars and Hookah Lounges:  Orders all cigar bars, hookah lounges, and other establishments whose business involves offering a place for people to gather and smoke tobacco and similar products to close and remain closed to any member of the public, (effective at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020), except for the sale of tobacco and related products to be used or consumed at a location other than the establishment’s premises;
  • Safe at Home Guidance:  Strongly encourages all individuals living within the City to remain at their place of residence except as is necessary to maintain their health and economic well-being. While this Order does not mandate sheltering in place, individuals must comply with all other provisions of this Order and any other law, order or rule related to the containment of COVID-19 whenever it is necessary for them to travel away from their residence. Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternative location;
  • CDC Guidelines:  Strongly encourages all members of the public to comply with the guidance and directives issued by the federal CDC pertaining to the containment of COVID-19, which can be found by clicking here
  • Social/Physical Distancing:  Strongly encourages individuals using shared or outdoor spaces to maintain physical distancing of at least six (6) feet from any other person with whom they do not share a residence;
  • Mass Gatherings:  In accordance with Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order No. 17, social gatherings of more than ten (10) people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.  This provision does not prohibit the gathering of members of the same household;
  • City Parks:  Prohibits sporting events, athletic practices or games, or any other gathering involving ten (10) or more people (who do not resident together) from taking place in any City park or on the property of an elementary or secondary school within the City. The City’s greenways and other park facilities remain open, provided individuals using the greenways comply with Section 10 of this Order and abide by the physical distancing requirements recommended by the CDC. 

The orders under the original state of emergency issued on March 21 remain in effect, including:

  • Restaurants and On-Site Food and Alcohol Service:  Orders that establishments whose primary business is alcohol service or food service remain closed for on-site consumption as required by Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 17 or as may be required by any subsequent order of the Governor amending or superseding Executive Order No. 17 The order does not prohibit pick-up, take-out, delivery, or drive through service that is conducted in accordance with Executive Order No. 17.  In addition, the order does not apply to non-profit or government organizations providing food at no cost to individuals who are homeless or are otherwise in need of such services;
  • Gyms and Exercise and Fitness Facilities:  Orders that all gyms and exercise and fitness facilities within the City remain closed until this Order is withdrawn;
  • Authorizes the City Manager to take reasonably necessary steps to limit person-to-person contact, including limiting public access to City offices and facilities and to develop and implementing alternative work arrangements and schedules to protect City employees during this pandemic;
  • Suspends certain procedures and formalities otherwise required under the Murfreesboro City Code or Tennessee law pertaining to how the City conducts its operations;
  • Encourages all members of the public and businesses to follow and comply with guidance and directives issued by the federal CDC as well as the Tennessee and Rutherford County departments of health ; and
  • Encourages all members of the public to remain calm, to resist panic purchasing, consider their neighbors who have need, and to look after and help those most at risk to this pandemic to include the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems.

Lastly, Murfreesboro urges all residents to follow CDC-recommended practices:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough and sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Stay home when you are sick and call your physician or the County Health Department at 615-898-7880 for guidance.
  • Stay home if you come into contact with someone who is sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects (e.g., cell phone, computer) and high touch surfaces. 
  • Make sure you continue to have adequate supplies, such as medications, if needed.

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WSMV Digital Content Producer

A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to and follow him on Twiiter @EthanIllers_TV!

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