Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced his support of Gov. Bill Lee's most recent executive order, which requires Tennesseans to stay at home when not participating in essential activity to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, on Friday.
Coppinger has not passed any enforceable action for the county to curtail the spread of the virus, but has "strongly encouraged," the same behaviors mandated by both Lee and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke in recent weeks.
Shortly before Lee's order was signed on Thursday afternoon, Coppinger said the county would abide by any such directive from the state, but that mandates were only as good as the enforcement of them.
"I haven't seen Governor Lee's or Mayor Berke's press releases as far as what they're ordering, but I will say this, it's got to be really restrictive to keep people off of the street," Coppinger said. "And in order to do that, it also has to be, I think, something that's enforceable...again, that's always been the issue. Who enforces that?"
In a press release Friday, after Lee's order was signed, Coppinger doubled down on his support, reiterating the governor's mandates to county residents.
"By following the Governor's mandates, we are hopeful that we can return to a sense of normalcy while also minimizing the risk and danger of contracting the COVID-19 virus, which has infected many Tennesseans," Coppinger said in the release.
Coppinger's statement doesn't add any additional regulations to county residents, but supports those guidelines established by Lee.