Rutherford county leaders prepare for more COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Much like other parts of Tennessee, Rutherford County is seeing an increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19.

“As the president said yesterday, we’ll probably see those really escalate over the next two weeks so we’re bracing for that and trying to be prepared as quickly as possible,” said Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron. “We’re just now beginning to get those tests in. We knew that our numbers would go up after people start taking the test.”

On Wednesday, the county ranked 5th in Tennessee with COVID-19 cases after 68 people tested positive as of Tuesday afternoon.

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic tested well over 200 people after opening a drive-through test site on March 26th. People are screened first by calling the Rutherford County Health Department at 615-898-7880.

“Our biggest concern is acquiring ample PPE’s – our personal protection. We need gowns. We need shields. We need gloves. I think we’re okay on masks. Hand sanitizer is big right now. I’m hearing that from all of our different facilities – hospitals, our EOC – which is our emergency command operation has been active so we’re trying to gather all that information as quickly as possible,” the mayor said.

He is working with mayors across the county to prepare for any possible surge in cases.

“Trying to be prepared as quickly as possible. We’re doing everything we can. Okay, if it does happen – if a surge does hit us – where are we going to take all the people,” Mayor Ketron said. “Right now our two hospitals have very low occupancy but they too are prepared.”

The mayor also said he is in contact with Nissan to help get more supplies.

“I just contacted Nissan. They’re making face-guards down at the plant here and I contacted their government relations person and I said I want the first palette that comes off the assembly line right here in Rutherford County before you start selling them to other parts of the country,” Mayor Ketron said.

He urged the community to wash their hands, don’t touch their faces, and stay home.

“We’re asking everybody to stay home and keep that 6 foot distance when you’re talking to anybody,” Mayor Ketron said. “We’ll get through this. Rutherford County is strong and so is Tennessee.”

Rutherford County essential offices will be open with limited staffing, but closed to the general public beginning Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. Officials said business can still be conducted via phone, email, and online.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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