County executive Jeff Huffman declared a state of emergency for Tipton County and wants citizens to know he’s trying to keep everyone safe.

A global pandemic, the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Tipton County is concerning to government and healthcare officials. Four cases had been confirmed by Saturday.

“For the first time in Tipton County, we are now, likely, experiencing community transmission of the virus,” he said. “This means that the virus is no longer only being transmitted from someone who has traveled outside the county. Considering that, I have taken these dramatic and unprecedented steps to keep the citizens of Tipton County safe.”

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Hours earlier he declared a state of emergency limiting business operations for restaurants, bars and gyms. It allows for alternative models, such as take-out or delivery and digital programming, but does not permit these businesses to allow congregation inside their facilities.

The declaration also means Tipton County can seek federal and state funding for assistance, among other things.

“I want our business owners, workers, church leaders and the citizens of our county to know this was not an easy decision. I know this is creating a hardship on some businesses and individuals. But, at the end of the day, the health considerations must override the economic considerations. I must do all I can to keep our citizens safe.”

Sunday morning, Gov. Bill Lee signed executive order no. 17 which limits the number of people allowed to gather in a group. Huffman is urging Tipton Countians to abide by recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“This virus is going to peak and then decline. We will get through this and my prayer is that once this emergency has passed, the people of Tipton County will swarm to local businesses to do their shopping and support the many, small, local businesses that have been devastated by this health challenge.

“Let’s just watch out for and take care of each other. If we do that, we will be fine.”

Schools remain out for spring break, and many businesses, churches and organizations have closed or cancelled events in response to the outbreak.

“I want everyone to know that I am doing everything possible to protect the people of this county and I will bring all of this county’s resources to bear on fighting this disease,” he concluded.

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