The state of emergency in Monroe County will continue for another week after a proclamation by Monroe County Mayor Mitch Ingram.

The original state of emergency declaration came as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and was set to expire on Monday. Prior to the expiration of the original order, Ingram extended it through April 6.

There have been no new confirmed cases of the virus in Monroe County since the original order was declared, but cases have increased steadily throughout the state and nearby counties — such as Loudon, McMinn and Meigs — have seen increases in that time.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump also announced that his social distancing guidelines were being extended through April 30.

Ingram originally described the state of emergency as an attempt to “maximize efforts to protect the health and safety of county employees and all Monroe County residents and visitors,” according to the order.

With the declaration extension, Ingram is continuing to order the following:

• All county departments/offices, to the maximum extent possible, shall limit person-to-person public access; instead, utilization of drive through window service and electronic, telephone and mail methods of communication shall be used whenever possible.

All doors should be posted with signage indicating office phone numbers, extensions, email and other pertinent information for the public if necessary.

Department heads are authorized to develop and implement policies and procedures to carry out any necessary measures to protect the public and employees during this pandemic while allowing person-to-person to access as may be absolutely necessary for the conduct of county business and as may be required by law.

• Certain court functions and filings will still occur, pursuant to the order of the State Supreme Court. In addition, there will be limited public access to the courthouse.

All doors should be posted with signage indicating office phone numbers, extensions, email and other pertinent information for the public if necessary.

• All constitutional officers/elected officials are urged to limit physical, in-person access in county facilities beginning Tuesday, March 24. It is recommended that all exterior office doors should be posted with signage indicating office phone numbers, extensions, email addresses and other pertinent information to provide the public with all means to communicate with the office involved.

• All members of the public and businesses are strongly encouraged to follow and comply with guidance and directives issued by the president of the United States, governor of the State of Tennessee as well as federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local departments of health.

• All members of the public are strongly encouraged to remain calm, to resist panic purchasing, consider their neighbors who have need, and to look after and help those most at risk to this pandemic to include the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems.

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