Sheriff Jim Hammond is urging residents to stay in to try to halt the coronavirus.
He said, “In light of Governor Bill Lee’s updated executive order asking citizens to stay at home, it is very important our residents and businesses in Hamilton County adhere to this order and help reduce the spread of the coronavirus in our community.
"Many in our community are understandably worried amidst growing concerns over the coronavirus. Let me assure you that those of us in law enforcement stand ready to accept the challenges and issues that have and could potentially arise as a result of this serious health issue.
"As we have said before, we have emergency plans and procedures in place to help us operate safely and efficiently during times of natural disasters and health related incidents.
'Please take heed to the Governor’s order and comply with the following safety recommendations:
Work from home whenever possible
Avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people
Avoid discretionary travel and social visits
Practice good hygiene
Wash hands consistently especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces
Use masks when available.
The sheriff said, "In accordance with the directives above, we have taken steps to limit exposure at our facilities and safeguard our personnel, the inmates we house, and the citizens we serve from the potential to come into contact with those exhibiting signs of coronavirus.
"Undoubtedly, as the virus spreads, we may have to enact more precautionary measures to safeguard our personnel and the citizens we serve. When that time comes, we will make sure to notify you of those changes via our social media pages and our local news outlets.
"Until then, I along with our personnel urge you to stay strong, remain vigilant, and help those in need. In times like this, it is important for us to show compassion to those in need and courage for those who are weak. Support your neighbors and let us embrace humanity during this challenging time.”
If you have questions about the coronavirus, the Hamilton County Health Department opened a COVID-19 Hotline Call Center that is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The Hot Line number is 423-209-8383. You may also visit the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.