Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little declared a state of emergency Friday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The No. 1 priority is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community, the cities reported. In Franklin, this declaration, following Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's state of emergency on the state level, will be effective Friday, March 20, at midnight, while Brentwood's declaration will be effective starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 21.
Restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers are directed to close their facilities to the public in both cities, and Franklin salons and spas are urged to limit operations to comply with CDC guidelines.
The city of Franklin advises church services to be held virtually if possible, and Brentwood officials ask other businesses to limit their operations and comply with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These actions are based on emergency authority granted to local officials under Tennessee state law.
“While this suspends dine-in service, there are a variety of ways the Franklin community can support our businesses and employees," Moore said. "Buy a gift card for dining or salon services later in the year, or order take out. Franklin is working to set up designated pick-up parking spots for restaurants in downtown Franklin to make it convenient for citizens to stay in their cars.”
Little seconded this recommendation, calling on the community to continue to support local businesses while remaining within the CDC precautions.
The mayors also advise those returning from a vacation during spring break to self-isolate and use physical distancing for 14 days, especially those who were in large crowds or flying.
Little urged residents to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect the area's most vulnerable citizens of all ages and not overwhelm local hospitals.
“As we strive to protect the most vulnerable in this fight against COVID-19, I encourage everyone to love and respect their neighbor by doing what is asked of us by medical experts and those trying to protect us individually and as a society,” he said.
Moore added the only way to contain the virus is to act now.
"Williamson County currently has the second highest number of cases in the State of Tennessee," he said. "The safety and health of our community are the city’s top priority, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time."