WILSON COUNTY, TN (WSMV) – Wilson County has declared a State of Emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Randall Hutto issued the following letter to residents:

Dear Friends,

This is an unsettling time for our country and our community, as we are in a public health emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Your elected leaders and public health officials are working around the clock to slow the spread of the virus and provide care to those who need it. It is important to remember that we need to be prepared, not scared. Heed the advice of public health experts who agree that the most effective way to “flatten the curve”, or slow the spread of the virus, is to practice social distancing. Below is some helpful information regarding COVID-19:

How can you be infected?

  • Coronavirus can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Because these droplets can travel up to six feet, public health experts advise maintaining six feet of distance from others.
  • The virus can also remain on a surface or object and enter the body through the mouth, nose, or eyes. Therefore, it is important to wash your hands before touching your face.

How long does it take to show symptoms after being infected?

  • It takes 2 to 14 days to develop symptoms after exposure to the virus. The average is about 5 days.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath

When should you seek testing?

  • Per Vanderbilt and the Wilson County Health Department, call your healthcare provider or you can call the following hotlines:
  • Vanderbilt Hotline, (888)-312.0847, 7 days a week, 7am-10pm
  • Tennessee’s COVID-19 Public Information Hotline, (833)556.2476 or (877)857.2945, 7 days a week, 10am-10pm
  • Please consider if you do not have symptoms and would not ordinarily see your doctor based on how you feel now, you do not need evaluation or testing for COVID-19.

Except in the case of an emergency, please call your healthcare provider before seeking treatment in person.

While it is normal to feel anxious, there are ways to take control of the situation and be prepared. I urge you to take the following precautions to keep yourself and our community safe.

What is the difference between “Safer at Home” and “social distancing”?

Safer at Home is a stricter form of social distancing. There are some differences. Safer at Home means:

  • Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others)
  • Only go out for essential services
  • Stay six feet or more away from others
  • Don’t gather in groups

It is important during this national emergency that we unite as a community, follow the advice of experts, and take responsibility for our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

It is important to note that each entity within county government is in its own jurisdiction. This is why you will see cities and counties declaring a state of emergency. The county’s jurisdiction does not supersede the cities. The powers of the county Mayor in a state of emergency are limited to evacuation of the unincorporated areas of the county or suspending procedures and processes pertaining to the procurement and contracting for the continued provision of government and emergency services. The County Mayor is also responsible for county buildings, except the jail, courthouse and landfill. Outside of theses specific areas, the County Mayor does not possess the authority to close or restrict private business or the movement of the citizens of Wilson County, TN.

As the Mayor, I support the actions of the Governor of Tennessee and Mayors of the cities of Wilson County in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concerning everything you have read or heard on COVID-19, if you have a treadmill and don’t use it, it is of no value to you. The same is true with this information. We ask that everyone act responsibly in their daily life to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We must all pay attention and be aware of our surroundings. Our children, parents, grandparents and other loved ones are counting on us. Please show that you care about yourself and others by complying with their requests.

We will continue to monitor our situation and look for better ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The situation changes daily, and we will have to as well. This situation has our full attention and we ask that it has yours as well.

Make the most of your time at home with family. Tell stories about your past to carry along history. Teach your children how to cook, clean, check the oil on a car or gauge tire pressure, write a check , balance a check book, make out a budget, address an envelope, write a thank you note or letter, plant something like a flower or a tomato or spring starts, thread a needle and sew something, clean out a closet, and give away things to the Community Help Center or Haven House. There are so many life lessons that can be taught at home that we are normally too busy to teach. Take this opportunity and make the best of it.

Let’s work together for a safe and healthy community.


Randall Hutto Wilson County Mayor


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