Mike Callis

Mayor Mike Callis declared Portland a State of Emergency on Monday, March 23 which allows him to make decisions on how to operate the city government during the COVID-19 crisis period.

The move will only last seven days and then will have to be renewed. He is making an effort to post a video statement daily. The time is dependent on when he receives information which does not come at designated times.

According to Callis, they are is evaluating which city employees can work from home. He encouraged residents to be safe at home, but if you have local business to stay six feet apart and not to gather in groups of more than 10. Much of that business can be handled online, by phone, or by using drive-in windows to avoid contact with employees.

The city is looking into ways to hold meetings electronically for safety reasons. The mayor’s final advice was to stay at home, practice social distancing, and continue to wash hands often to see the spread of the virus lowered.

Callis said that there are cases of the COVID-19 in Portland. The city is running low on personal protection equipment (PPE) for first responders, firemen, and police. He has reached out to local industries, who have sent some equipment. He has asked local industry to evaluate employee safety, and suggested that they stagger break room schedules so there are not too many employees in the room at one time.

The city park programs have been cancelled. The walking tracks are open but bathroom facilities will not be available. He asked citizens to research what is closed or mandated to be closed. He encouraged citizens to be careful with information that begins with “somebody said.”

Callis referred the citizens to the executive orders being posted by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. These orders can be found by going to the Secretary of State’s web page at or by googling the governor’s office for a link. The governor is holding a daily press conference at 3 p.m. CDT and can be accessed through the secretary of state’s office on line.

County information can be found at County Mayor Anthony Holt has issued a statement regarding Sumner County.

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