Rick Blough, President, Tellico Village POA Board

By now, I’m sure that all of you have heard of Governor’s Lee’s most recent Executive Order and may be wondering what it is and how it affects life here in Tellico Village. Executive Order 23, which was issued yesterday afternoon, was in response to changes that have been observed since the issuance of Executive Order 22 on Monday. First, the number of COVID-19 cases has increased significantly. Statewide as of today April 3, cases stand at 3,067. Urban population centers have been especially hard hit while more rural locales have more moderate rates of infection. Loudon County reports 12 cases and Monroe County 5. Second, State officials have noted that Tennesseans are starting to travel more extensively, promoting spread of the virus.

In light of these factors, the Governor issued Order 23 which amends Order 22. The change is small (one word) but significant. Where 22 “urged” us to stay at home, Order 23 “requires” us to stay at home. The new order goes on to state that, “All remaining provisions of Executive Order 22 remain in full force and effect.” This means that all guidance of Order 22 relating to what is an Essential Service or an Essential Activity remains in place. The POA has been and will continue operating in conformance with those guidelines.

So, what is included? Essential Services include governance functions (e.g., POA Board activities and POA staff operations) and infrastructure operations including Public Works activities and home construction. Included as essential services are operation of food and medicine stores, household consumer products stores, medical establishments and stores engaging in the selling of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Essential Activities, among other things, includes delivery or curbside delivery of online or telephone orders (including from restaurants) and engaging in outdoor activity such as driving or riding in a vehicle, walking, hiking, running, biking, swimming, golf, etc. The only caveat is that CDC health guidelines must be followed (see www.cdc.gov/coronavirus). If you are not engaging in services or activities that are deemed “essential,” the order mandates that you MUST stay at home. These orders expire on April 14. Nonetheless, the POA is following Federal guidance in adhering to the guidelines through April 30. Our primary objective is to keep everyone safe.

The POA Board and staff operations have been following the guidelines for some time and have strictly enforced the social distancing mandates. If you’re a golfer, you have no doubt noted these operational changes as well as any of you who have used delivery or carryout options at the Blue Heron or the Kahite Pub & Grill. If you play golf or use our hiking or walking trails, please observe the social distancing rules.

You may also note some other changes. POA has directed some employees to work from home or, if not immediately needed, to be on-call at home. This means that responses to inquiries or requests may be slower than normal and that certain non-essential functions may be performed less expeditiously than in the past. Some examples include leaf and brush pick-up, grass mowing and non-critical maintenance.

Your POA Board and staff continue to work for you during this critical time. I am available to answer your questions either by phone or email. In the meantime, I urge you to stay at home unless engaged in essential activities, follow the CDC guidance, catch-up on your “To-Do” list, and above all, stay safe.

You may click here to view Governor’s Executive Order 23.

Please click here for factual information and resources from the CDC.