Carter Sheriff's Department answers questions about safer at home enforcement

John Thompson • Apr 7, 2020 at 9:05 PM

ELIZABETHTON — With Carter County Mayor Russell Barnett extending the local state of emergency and the safer-at-home directive for another seven days, people are adjusting to the both the local orders to remain at home and to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s statewide orders maintaining public safety during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

But people still have a lot of questions and Thomas Gray, public information officer for the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, said in a tweet, “We’ve received a ton of questions regarding enforcement of the safety at home order and COVID-19. Because of this, we’ve put together a FAQ page to answer some of the most common concerns, along with some other resources.”

Here are some of the citizens’ most common questions and the sheriff’s department answers:

Is there a curfew?

“No, there is no curfew. You are allowed to leave your home and/or travel for essential purposes. There is no limit or what time you may do that.”

Am I allowed to go to work?

“If you are a worker for an essential business or industry, you are allowed to work. Please read the county mayor’s order to see which fields are considered essential (it’s probably more than you think).”

Will I have to carry papers showing I am an employee of an essential business/industry to travel to and from work? 

“No, we will not demand proof of employment from you.”

Is there a fine for being outside?

“No. In fact, the county mayor’s order specifically lists going outside (even in public places) as a permitted essential activity as long as you follow social distancing guidelines (state 6-feet away from other people, no groups larger than 10, etc.).”

Will you be stopping or checking travelers at the North Carolina border?

“No, we will not be stopping traffic in and out of the county. In fact, travel into and out of the state of Tennessee is listed as essential travel under Governor Lee’s executive orders.”

If I’m traveling home from outside Carter County, will I be allowed back in?

“Yes, we are not stopping traffic into or out of the county.”