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On Friday, March 20, 2020, department heads and local government officials met to discuss Tipton County’s response and precautions in reference to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus and hopefully limit local impact, the Tipton County Board of Commissioners, in conjunction with the Tipton County Health Department, Tipton County Emergency Management, and the City of Tipton, has declared a “local emergency disaster” for Tipton County.
This declaration translates to temporarily closing and temporarily curbing certain categories of businesses. The affected categories of businesses named in the resolution are ones in which there is a high volume of close person-to-person contact and likely spread of virus contamination. Other businesses, which are deemed essential to the quality of life, are permitted to remain open, but it is recommended to these businesses to take extra precautions while operating. After countless hours of around the clock research and discussion, officials used guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State Board of Health, and Governor Holcomb’s office to form the elements of the aforementioned resolution. The resolution becomes in effect on Monday, March 23, 2020, at 7 a.m.
“It is my concern for the safety of the people in the City of Tipton, and all of Tipton County, regarding the COVID-19 virus pandemic. I support the resolution and ordinance adopted today by the Tipton County commissioners to assist us locally with taking preventative measures to reduce the effects of the virus amongst our citizens. I would like to reinforce the importance of following common-sense precautions of limiting unnecessary interaction, travel, and close-quarters contact. Also, please adhere to a much higher level of sanitary methods, which may mean the difference between life and death for a friend or family member,” stated Tom Dolezal, City of Tipton Mayor.
In addition to the resolution, a travel ordinance was enacted to better protect the health and well-being of Tipton County citizens. There are three levels of a travel ordinance: advisory level (YELLOW), watch level (ORANGE), and warning level (RED). Tipton County is going to move to an advisory level (YELLOW) travel ordinance, which is the lowest level, to caution residents and visitors of the potential risks associated with traveling and being in public around other people. This is simply a precautionary measure and not intended to cause public fear or panic. The travel ordinance becomes in effect on Monday, March 23, 2020, at 7 a.m.
“I would like to commend the Tipton County Incident Management Team, Tipton County elected officials, and City of Tipton elected officials, for the long hours and hard work that they have been involved with over the last week to make difficult decisions, which will assist in slowing down the spread of COVID-19, locally. The Tipton County Communications Dispatch Center recognizes the uncertain times that we, as a community, are facing from the COVID-19 virus. We are here to ensure, for all citizens, that we will continue to provide quick, efficient, and professional responses throughout these difficult times,” Chuck Bell, Emergency Management Director, 911 Communications Director, said.
Tipton County Sheriff Tony Frawley stated, “The Coronavirus has affected each and every one us. The action taken today by the Tipton County Board of Commissioners is intended to help stop the spread of the virus. I ask each of us to do our part and follow the mandate of the ordinance. We as a community must come together as one.”
As of the close of business on March 20, 2020, Tipton County has had zero confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus; however, due to increasing numbers of confirmed cases throughout the state of Indiana, it is believed that virus spread has not yet peaked and will likely do so in the coming days or weeks. It is imperative for citizens of Tipton County to take this matter seriously, take proper precautions and preventative measures, and help end the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Tipton County Health Department, local government officials, and aforementioned agencies will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and reserve the right to alter the documents contained herein. Questions may be forwarded to the Indiana COVID-19 Call Center (877-826-0011), IU Health Tipton Hospital (765-675-8500), or Tipton County Health Department (765-675-8741).