Despite a stay at home order from Gov. Bill Lee going into effect last week, no changes in enforcement are expected in Monroe County, according to Monroe County Mayor Mitch Ingram.
According to an article by The Associated Press, Lee strengthened his stay-at-home recommendation to an order on Thursday, April 2.
The story noted that “Lee said that a recent uptick in ‘movement around the state’ forced him to order individuals to avoid all non-essential travel until April 14 because of the global pandemic.”
Previously, according to The AP’s Adrian Sainz and Jonathan Mattise, “the first-term governor had only ‘strongly urged’ people to stay at home, saying he was stopping short of a statewide mandate because he wanted to ‘protect personal liberties.’”
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen decreases in movement around the state as Tennesseans socially distance and stay at home,” said Lee in a news release. “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 Tennessee Department of Transportation analyzed traffic patterns for March 2020.
According to the release, the data showed there was a “steep drop-off” from March 13-29, however they noticed an increase in traffic beginning on March 30.
“The month of April stands to be an extremely tough time for our state as we face the potential for a surge in COVID-19 cases,” said Lee in the release. “Every Tennessean must take this seriously, remain at home and ensure we save lives.”
Ingram stated the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department had made a post stating their intents with the new order.
“The sheriff’s department has posted on their Facebook page that they will not be stopping anyone and that there is no letter or documentation required to move in Monroe County,” said Ingram. “Nothing has changed ... We do encourage folks to stay at home if at all possible with non-essential activities and to adhere to the social distancing.”
Ingram hopes the citizens of the county will continue to look after each other during the current pandemic.
“We get new information every day, this thing changes every day with our number of positive cases, and obviously as things come down from the governor’s office and from Washington,” said Ingram.