Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch issued an executive order Thursday afternoon that adopts the state “stay at home” executive order issued a few hours earlier by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. The order, Executive Order 23, requires Tennessee residents to stay home unless they are engaging in an activity that is considered essential.
Mayor Gooch urged Oak Ridgers to stay at home except to carry out essential activities.
“It is time for all of us to stay home, starve the virus, save lives, and support local businesses for your essential activities,” Gooch said. “Stay positive and remember, we are in this together, and we will win this war against an invisible enemy.”
The city’s local state of emergency ordinance implemented on March 23 regarding COVID-19 has been updated to adopt the new executive order, a press release said. The local state of emergency was declared in order to prevent the spread of, and to facilitate the containment of, the COVID-19 disease, the press release said.
“After six extremely busy weeks of planning and preparation, the city is ready for the full implementation of this executive order,” said Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson. “We ask for patience with our public safety and personnel as we respond to this ever-changing situation.”
According to the state, data showed an increase in citizen movement across the state.
Data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation analyzed traffic patterns for March 2020. While safer at home measures and further restrictions on businesses showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement from March 13-29, data beginning on March 30 indicated travel, as of Thursday, was trending up again.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen decreases in movement around the state as Tennesseans socially distance and stay at home,” Lee said. “However, in recent days we have seen data indicating that movement may be increasing and we must get these numbers trending back down. I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities.”
The executive order remains in effect until April 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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