TENNESSEE (WATE) — As the novel coronavirus ramps up in Tennessee, state and local officials are issuing new or updated responses and directives on a daily basis.
The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 originated in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Last month, on Wednesday, March 11, the World Health Organization had declared the global coronavirus crisis to be a pandemic. Previously, WHO had declared the coronavirus as a public health emergency on Jan. 30. The first case of the novel coronavirus in the US had been reported on Jan. 20 in Washington state. COVID-19 has since spread throughout the world and into the United States.
Below is a timeline of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts in Tennessee and Knox County.
RELATED | Coronavirus Timeline: March 2020
MORE | Coronavirus information page
MORE | Tennessee Department of Health coronavirus information
4/30: Tennessee governor, President Trump announce new measures to combat coronavirus in nursing homes
- Tennessee Governor Bill Lee was the only state elected official to join President Trump, administration officials, and advocates for seniors at the White House Thursday to announce new measures to keep this vulnerable population safe during the coronavirus crisis.
- “It’s time for us to protect them,” Lee said during the briefing.
- Thousands of COVID-19 deaths have been reported at long-term care facilities across the U.S.
- President Trump had an announcement of his own Thursday: a coronavirus commission, including doctors, patient advocates, and state and local authorities, that will issue further safety recommendations for the facilities next month.
- “To ensure that our nursing homes are prepared for any future outbreaks,” he said.
- President Trump said his administration will also send more personal protective equipment to the facilities and ramp up inspections as states like Tennessee continue to reopen.
4/30: State COVID-19 case count grows to 10,735 with 5,338 recovered
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 10,735 as of April 30, 2020, including 199 deaths, 1,045 hospitalizations and 5,338 recovered.
4/29: State COVID-19 case count rises to 10,366
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 10,366 as of April 29, 2020, including 195 deaths, 1,013 hospitalizations and 5,140 recovered.
4/28: Gov. Bill Lee issues Executive Order No. 30 repealing most previous orders
- A new executive order has been issued by the governor as the state looks to reopen the economy in phases amid the COVID-19 crisis.
- Gov. Bill Lee issued a new executive order on Tuesday that “supersedes and repeals” some previous orders that had been issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new mandate, effective Wednesday, touches on how the state will allow some businesses to reopen with new health restrictions.
- But, some businesses will remain closed.
- The order is for the 89 counties without a locally run county health department (all but Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, and Sullivan).
- The order’s expiration date is also slated for May 29.
MORE: Coronavirus in Tennessee: Gov. Bill Lee issues Executive Order No. 30 repealing most previous orders
4/28: State COVID-19 case count surpasses 10,000
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 10,052 as of April 28, 2020, including 188 deaths, 894 hospitalizations and 4,921 recovered.
4/27: State case count rises to 9,918
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 9,918 as of April 27, 2020, including 184 deaths, 837 hospitalizations and 4,720 recovered.
4/27: Knoxville, Knox County announce phased reopening plan
- Members of the Knoxville/Knox County Joint Task Force on Monday released a phased reopening plan of local businesses.
- Knox County and the city of Knoxville will begin a gradual, phased-in reopening of businesses on Friday, May 1. Phase one of the three-part plan will allow most businesses to open with strict social distancing guidelines in place. Each phase will last a minimum of 28 days.
- The plan highlights the fact that the community will not immediately return to a pre-pandemic “normal” but instead outlines a three-phase approach to reopening.
RELATED: Coronavirus: Knoxville/Knox County phased reopening plan to begin May 1
4/26: COVID-19 case count rises to 9,667
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 9,667 as of April 26, 2020, including 181 deaths, 828 hospitalizations and 4,527 recovered.
4/25: State COVID-19 case count surpasses 9,000
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 9,189 as of April 25, 2020, including 178 deaths, 821 hospitalizations and 4,467 recovered.
4/24: State COVID-19 case count rises to 8,726
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 8,726 as of April 24, 2020, including 168 deaths, 808 hospitalizations and 4,370 recovered.
4/23: State COVID-19 case count surpasses 8,200 with nearly 4,200 recovered
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 8,266 as of April 23, 2020, including 170 deaths, 793 hospitalizations and 4,193 recovered.
4/22: State COVID-19 cases rise to 7,842 with 166 deaths
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 7,842 as of April 22, 2020, including 166 deaths, 775 hospitalizations and 4,012 recovered.
4/21: State COVID-19 cases rise to 7,300+
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 7,394 as of April 21, 2020, including 157 deaths, 760 hospitalizations and 3,828 recovered.
4/21: Knox County Parks: House Mountain to reopen Friday
- House Mountain will reopen on Friday and remain open from 7 a.m. until sunset.
4/20: Gov. Lee announces April 30 expiration date for safer-at-home order; phased reopening of businesses
- Monday, Governor Bill Lee announced the order for Tennesseans to remain at home will expire April 30, with the majority of businesses in 89 counties allowed to re-open May 1.
RELATED: TN governor announces safer-at-home order to expire April 30
4/20: More recoveries than active cases for COVID-19
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 7,238 as of April 20, 2020, including 152 deaths, 730 hospitalizations and 3,575 recovered.
4/19: Protestors gather at West Town Mall calling for reopening of TN
- Protesters gathered outside of West Town Mall on Sunday afternoon in favor of reopening the economy.
- The goal of the protest was to express frustration with the continued closure of Tennessee’s economy. There were nearly 100 people present, the group made up mostly of small business owners and furloughed employees. They say their constitutional rights are being infringed upon.
RELATED: Protesters rally at Knoxville’s West Town Mall in favor of reopening economy
4/19: State case count for COVID-19 surpasses 7,000
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 7,070 as of April 19, 2020, including 148 deaths, 724 hospitalizations and 3,344 recovered.
4/18: State case count rises to 6,700+
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 6,762 as of April 18, 2020, including 145 deaths, 719 hospitalizations and 3,234 recovered.
4/17: Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas answers questions about closing
- Knox County Schools Bob Thomas spoke to WATE 6 On Your Side after Gov. Bill Lee made the recommendation that schools across the state close for the rest of the year. Thomas spoke about grades, graduation and what students should be doing until the 2020-21 school year starts.
4/17: Sevier County Mayor Waters working on reopening plan
- Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said he is working a plan to reopen the county’s heavy tourism and service economy.
4/17: TDH: More than 3,000 recovered from COVID-19 in state
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 6,589 as of April 16, 2020, including 142 deaths, 711 hospitalizations and 3,017 recovered.
4/17: Mayor Jacobs announces furloughs for Knox County employees
- Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs announced Friday a temporary furlough for county government employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “The decision to furlough employees was incredibly difficult and the hardest move I’ve made as Mayor,” he said in a news release. “We held off as long as we could and do not take this lightly because we know it affects real people’s livelihoods.
MORE ONLINE: What Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said in announcing furloughs of county employees
- The furlough will affect a yet-to-be-determined number of employees in the fee offices and every executive branch department, according to a news release from Knox County.
- Furloughed employees will continue to receive health coverage and other benefits from Knox County in addition to up to $275 per week from the State of Tennessee and $600 from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relieve and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for a total of up $875 per week while unemployed.
4/16: TDH confirms 6,262 cases and 141 deaths from COVID-19
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 6,262 as of April 16, 2020, including 141 deaths, 691 hospitalizations and 2,786 recovered.
4/15: Tennessee Health Department: 6,079 cases and 135 deaths from coronavirus in state
- The number of coronavirus cases and deaths continued to rise on Wednesday with 6,079 cases and 135 deaths, according to data released by the Tennessee Department of Health.
- Deaths rose by 11 – or 9% – and cases were up by 256 – or 4% – from Tuesday.
RELATED: Tracking the spread of coronavirus in the United States
- There have been 663 hospitalizations attributed to the coronavirus in Tennessee and 2,196 people have recovered. There have been 80,896 tests administered in the state.
4/14: State case count increases to 5,800+ with 124 deaths
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 5,823 as of April 14, 2020, including 124 deaths, 633 hospitalizations and 1,969 recovered.
4/13: Gov. Bill Lee extends statewide ‘Stay-at-Home’ order
- Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has announced he has extended the existing statewide ‘Stay-at-Home’ order requiring citizens to stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities.
- The previous order was expected to expire Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.
- Gov. Lee has extended the order to Thursday, April 30, with plans in development for a “phased” reopening of the state’s economy.
4/13: 5,600+ COVID-19 cases and 109 deaths in state
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 5,610 as of April 13, 2020, including 109 deaths, 579 hospitalizations and 1,671 recovered.
4/12: TDOC: 13 staff members, 6 contract employees test positive for COVID-19
- The Tennessee Department of Corrections says 13 staff members and six contract employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
- TDOC says the testing happened at two of their facilities: Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville and the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex in Pikeville. The testing was conducted on Friday, April 10.
- All of the employees were asymptomatic at the time of testing.
4/12: Case count climbs, death toll the same in COVID-19 related cases
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 5,308 as of April 12, 2020, including 101 deaths, 567 hospitalizations and 1,504 recovered.
4/11: Tennessee lawmakers divided on when safer-at-home order should end
- With Gov. Bill Lee’s executive ‘safer-at-home’ order approaching its expiration, Tennessee lawmakers are wondering if now is a good time to reboot.
- State Rep. Jason Zachary shared his thoughts in a tweet Saturday, saying it’s time to open the economy.
- But other state representatives feel differently. State Rep. Gloria Johnson says it’s still too soon to stop social distancing practices.
- The executive order expires at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14. Johnson, a Knoxville Democrat, says she hopes the governor will extend it.
4/11: More than 100 deaths and 5000+ COVID-19 cases in Tennessee
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 5,114 as of April 11, 2020, including 101 deaths, 556 hospitalizations and 1,386 recovered.
4/10: 98 deaths and 4,862 cases of COVID-19 in the state with more than 1,000 recovered
- Friday’s state COVID-19 numbers showed some small glimmers of hope in that 1,145 patients had recovered from the virus. The death toll continued to climb, but with only four new deaths related to coronavirus complications.
- The state also began sharing the list of nursing homes and long-term care facilities that have two or more positive COVID-19 cases confirmed.
4/10: Ijams Nature Center announces e-learning activities for children
- Ijams Nature Center announced a social distancing e-learning activities for kids.
- “Physical distancing doesn’t mean we can’t be social! There are lots of things we can do to stay active, learn, and have fun in nature, and sharing them through social media can help us stay connected.”
- Find the Ijams e-learning activities here.
4/10: Knoxville Pridefest and Parade postponed to 2021
- The East Tennessee Equality Council announced on Friday that the 2020 Knox Pride events that had been scheduled for June were postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus concerns.
- “To all of our followers, partners, and friends, we are living in a time of uncertainty and intense concern for day-to-day health. We value the health of all citizens, ally or not, and we want to put the public’s best interest first,” organizers stated in the social media announcement post.
- However, a new Knox Pride event has been added to the calendar: KnoxPride’s Fall Festival in September.
4/9: 94 deaths and 4,634 cases of COVID-19 in state
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 4,634 as of April 9, 2020, including 94 deaths, 505 hospitalizations and 921 recovered.
4/9: Website launched to support local businesses in the Smokies
- The Greater Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce developed a website that allows visitors to
purchase discounted gift cards for future use from some businesses in the Smokies region.
- The chamber encourages anyone interested in helping support local businesses in the
Smoky Mountain region to visit the website at www.SupportSmokies.com and to also help
spread the word and show support for the #SupportSmokies movement.
- Area businesses
wanting to participate are asked to visit the site and click on the Add Your Business / Offer link.
4/8: 79 deaths and 4,362 cases of COVID-19 in state; gender, race and ethnicity data also shared
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 4,362 as of April 8, 2020, including 79 deaths, 449 hospitalizations and 592 recovered.
- The state health department also shared gender, race and ethnicity data of the infected for the first time beginning Wednesday.
RELATED: Coronavirus in Tennessee: State health department to release ethnicity data on COVID-19 cases
4/7: 72 deaths and 4,138 cases of COVID-19 in state
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 4,138 as of April 7, 2020, including 72 deaths, 408 hospitalizations and 466 recovered.
4/6: 65 deaths and 3,802 cases of COVID-19 in state
- The Tennessee Department of Health said Monday the number of COVID-19-related deaths is at 65 – up 48% from Sunday – and the number of coronavirus cases is 3,802.
- The number of deaths is up by 21 from Sunday and the number of cases is up by 169 — or 5%, one of the lowest case increases in recent days.
- There have been 352 hospitalizations attributed to the coronavirus in Tennessee and 356 people have recovered. There have been 47,350 tests administered in the state.
4/5: State COVID-19 case count rises to 3,633
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 3,633 as of Sunday, April 5. (Due to a data error in the April 4 report, the recovered calculation decreased).
4/4: Coronavirus deaths in Tennessee rise to 43 while cases swell to 3,321
- The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 has grown to 43 while the number of cases is 3.321, The Tennessee Department of Health said Saturday.
- The number of deaths is up by six from Friday and the number of cases is up by 254.
4/4: Knox County confirmed cases increase to 97, total of recovered now 58
- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Knox County went up to 97 on Saturday, according to new information from the Knox County Health Department.
- Knox County reported a total of 97 positive local cases on the health department website Saturday after 93 were reported on Friday.
- 58 cases have now recovered. Knox County reported a total of 50 recoveries on Friday. The total number of tests conducted grew to 1409.
4/3: Second Harvest suspending volunteer opportunities through April 30
- Second Harvest For the safety and health of Second Harvest staff, agencies and clients, all volunteer opportunities will be postponed Saturday, April 4, through Thursday, April 30. In order to still meet the increased need of partner agencies and East Tennesseans, Second Harvest is hiring five temporary staff members to pack Emergency Food Boxes eight hours per day. After April 30, regular volunteer shifts will be reevaluated.
4/3: BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee waiving all member cost for COVID-19 treatment
- BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee says it will waive all member cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments, including hospitalizations, through May 31, 2020. If a BlueCross member is diagnosed as having COVID-19, they will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment administered through in-network providers, including at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility and emergency room, as well as related inpatient hospital stays.
- This benefit is available for BlueCross members in fully insured group, individual, Medicare Advantage and BlueCare Tennessee plans. BlueCross will encourage its self-funded employer group customers to participate in waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments for their employees during this health crisis. However, self-funded groups will have the ability to opt-out of this decision.
4/3: Sevierville closes City Hall to public, modifies city services
- Sevierville is making changes to city services and facility schedules in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fire Department’s response to medical calls will be limited to within the city limits; recycling containers will not be available; roll-off containers will not be emptied or delivered. Litter Pickup will be performed on a limited basis.
- Brush and bulk waste collection will continue but citizens should expect a longer than usual wait. Residents/businesses are strongly encouraged to refrain from placing junk/bulk waste at curbside until the Sunday prior to scheduled collection.
- The following facilities are closed indefinitely: all city parks (city greenways remain open); the Sevierville Golf Club, courses, practice facilities and Mulligans Restaurant; City Hall will be closed to the public; Sevierville Community Center; Sevierville Civic Center; Public Works building lobby; Fire Department lobby and other areas are closed to visitors; and Police Department lobby.
RELATED: Sevierville COVID-19 webpage
4/3: State case count grows to 3,067
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 3,067 as of April 3, 2020, including 37 deaths, 293 hospitalizations and 248 recovered.
4/3: Tennessee state parks to close Saturday
- The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced it will close all 56 Tennessee state parks and state-owned state natural areas to the public effective April 4 through April 14, in support of Gov. Bill Lee’s ‘Stay at Home’ order.
RELATED: All Tennessee State Parks to close on Saturday
4/3: Gov. Lee visits Knox County, says ‘tremendous challenge’ ahead as state prepares for expected COVID-19 surge
- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee met with Knox County leaders Friday to lay out the local plan for the expected surge in coronavirus patients across the state.
- State Sen. Becky Duncan Massey of Knoxville, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs met with the governor to talk about expanding health care capability across the state and locally.
- The task for the Knoxville and Knox County government is to work with local health care providers on how to implement care at the Expo Center and other facilities if needed. The Expo Center will have 350 beds and will serve low-acuity COVID-19 patients that will not require a high level of care, Lee said. Beds are expected to be up in three weeks he said.
- Lee said projections for the state are calling for about 1,900 ventilators. There are currently 950 ventilators statewide not being used, and 500 have been ordered and expected to arrive before the surge. Lee also said by stopping elective surgeries across the state there are approximately “a couple hundred” ventilators available for use.
4/3: TWRA: Turkey season to start as scheduled; lakes, rivers open
- Tennessee’s 2020 statewide spring turkey hunting season will begin Saturday, April 4, as scheduled and the state’s lakes and rivers and access areas controlled by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will remain open.
- “Governor (Bill) Lee’s Executive Orders 22 and 23 identifies outdoor activity as an essential activity provided that individuals follow Health Guidelines,” Kurt Holbert, chairman of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, said. “I want to assure all sportsmen that Tennessee’s turkey season will open Saturday as scheduled and public lands controlled by the TWRA will remain open. Likewise, lakes and rivers and access areas controlled by the TWRA will remain open to anglers and recreational boaters.”
4/3: KCHD: Knox County cases increase to 93
- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Knox County went up to 93 on Friday, according to new information from the Knox County Health Department. Fifty cases have now recovered. The total number of tests conducted grew to 1,363.
- Deaths from COVID-19 in Knox County remained at one Friday. The first Knox County death was announced on Monday. Fourteen of the 93 cases have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. This figure does not reflect the number of patients currently hospitalized in the county.
4/2: Gov. Lee issues order requiring Tennesseans to stay home
- Gov. Bill Lee issued a new executive order Thursday requiring that Tennesseans stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities as data shows citizens are not staying at home.
- Data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation analyzed traffic patterns for March 2020. While safer at home measures and further restrictions on businesses showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement from March 13-29, data beginning on March 30 indicates travel is trending upwards, again.
- Executive Order 23 will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. April 14, 2020.
4/2: Aluminum production plant, Arconic Tennessee Operations announces facility idling
- The international aluminum production company, Arconic Tennessee Operations said Thursday its Tennessee facilities would be temporarily idled starting Monday, April 6 because of reduced orders during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Arconic operates a facility in Alcoa, Tenn. where products like automotive, industrial and commercial transportation aluminum sheet/coils are made. Arconic released the following statement Thursday night:
- “Beginning Monday, April 6, Arconic Tennessee Operations will enact a temporary idling of its facilities due to reduced orders from several large customers that have extended their shutdowns in response to COVID-19.”
4/2: Young-Williams dog adoption event extended
- The Bissell Pet Foundation has extended the national “Empty the Shelters” event, so Young-Williams Animal Center is now offering $25 adoptions for all adult dogs through Wednesday, April 8. More than 30 dogs have found their forever homes since March 26.
- You can apply online by visiting www.young-williams.org/adopt-a-pet. Pets are available for curbside adoption at the main shelter at 3201 Division St., off Sutherland Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a break from 1-2 p.m. for animal quiet time.
4/2: State case count grows to 2,845
- The Tennessee Department of Health said Thursday the COVID-19 case count for the state is now 2,845 as of April 2, 2020; this includes 32 deaths, 263 hospitalizations and 220 recovered.
4/2: Smokies extend closure through April 30
- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is extending its closure through at least April 30 because of the coronavirus. The national park had been scheduled to reopen Monday, April 6. The Foothills Parkway and Spur (U.S. Highway 441 from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg) will remain open.
4/2: DENSO plant in Maryville reports case of COVID-19
- DENSO said Thursday it has learned an employee in its Maryville operations has tested positive for COVID-19. The company has closed Building 102 and other areas where the individual may have been. A third-party cleaning service has been hired to clean the area. The company asked employees who are ill or who may have symptoms to stay home and do not report to work.
- “We have reached out to all individuals who may have been in contact with this person (within six feet for more than 30 minutes) and have requested they self-quarantine for 14 days. The individual last reported to work March 25 and became symptomatic on March 27,” the company said in an email.
4/2: Plans for drive-thru testing site in Knox County finalized
- The Knox County Health Department has finalized its plans for a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site. KCHD, along with the City of Knoxville and Kroger, will host the event from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4, in the Zoo Knoxville parking lot, 3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive. You must qualify to be tested and have an appointment. You can find more details here.
RELATED: List: COVID-19 assessment sites in East Tennessee
4/2: KCHD: 85 positive cases of coronavirus in county, recovered cases count encouraging
- The total number of cases in Knox County is now up to 85, according to new data released Thursday by the Knox County Health Department. That number is up from 77 reported Wednesday. Forty-two total cases have recovered, up from 28.
- Thirteen of the 85 cases have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. This figure does not reflect the number of patients currently hospitalized in the county.
- The total number of tests conducted grew to 1,115. The total number of tests conducted surpassed 1,000 Wednesday.
- The health department also gave an update on the unnamed assisted-living that had positive cases for COVID-19. One of the three tests the health department was waiting to receive from yesterday has come back positive for the coronavirus and one of the three residents who tested positive has been “reclassified” as inconclusive. Charity Menefee, director of Communicable and Environmental Disease and Emergency Preparedness with KCHD, said they are awaiting the results of a follow-up test for that resident. The facility now has two staff members and two residents who are confirmed positive as of Thursday afternoon.
4/1: Doctors predict Tennessee will hit COVID-19 peak in April
- Data compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Tennessee will see the most cases of COVID-19 in late April.
- “Every 4 days the number is doubling. Let that sink in,” explains Dr. James Hildreth, President and CEO at Meharry Medical College.
- Data collected predicts, at Tennessee’s peak, 192 people will die in one day alone. While these numbers are projections, Dr. Hildreth believes they’re accurate.
4/1: Volkswagen Chattanooga extends production suspension
- Volkswagen Chattanooga has announced that they will remain closed next week, extending their production suspension from March 21.
- They say that the health and safety of their team remains their highest priority.
- VW Chattanooga plans to resume production Sunday, April 12 at 10 p.m.
- “We will continue to pay all Volkswagen Chattanooga employees in full next week; however, all employees will be required to take paid time off on Friday, April 10. Hourly and salary non-exempt employees will have the option to take “no pay-no penalty” for this day, and salary exempt employees may use comp time.”
4/1: Great Smoky Mountains National Park extends closure to support regional COVID-19 prevention efforts
- GSMNP officials announced that all park areas (excluding the Foothills Parkway and Spur) will remain closed until further notice.
- “All access to the park, including trails and roads, were originally closed on March 24 through April 6, in alignment with efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 across the region. The park is extending the closure in response to Executive Order 121 issued by NC Governor Roy Cooper, Executive Order 22 issued by TN Governor Bill Lee, and ‘Stay at Home’ orders in local communities surrounding the park.”
- The Park says that during this extended closure, visitors can experience the park using their social media platforms and website where near real-time views can be seen via park webcams at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.
4/1: Sevier County offering COVID-19 testing
- The Sevier County Health Department is reminding residents they offer COVID-19 testing. The Sevier County website says people who have concerns that they could have symptoms can call the county health department at 865-453-1032.
4/1: New drive-thru testing site open in Greene County
- People living in Greene County now have another option to get tested for COVID-19. A drive-thru testing site has been set up at the Greeneville Greene County Public Health Department at 810 West Church St..
4/1: State case count at 2,683
- The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee on Wednesday, April 1 was at 2,683 including 24 deaths, 200 hospitalizations and 137 recovered.
4/1: KCHD: 77 cases of COVID-19 in county, drive-thru testing coming Friday, Saturday
- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Knox County went up to 77 on Wednesday, according to new information from the Knox County Health Department.
- KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan announced during the department’s Wednesday briefing that Kroger and the city of Knoxville are working to offer a drive-thru testing site for the coronavirus this Friday and Saturday.
- Buchanan also said an assisted-living facility in Knox County now has three residents and a staff member who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Three other staff members are awaiting their test results. The remaining residents and staff members have tested negative for COVID-19.
- The health department is taking reports of nonessential businesses and giving them information on the importance of following the CDC and TDH guidelines. The KCHD is not closing nonessential businesses at this time.
4/1: City of Knoxville’s Safer at Home order goes into effect
- The city of Knoxville’s Safer at Home order allowing for “regulatory authority” and “corrective action” within city limits began Wednesday, April 1 in order to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- Mayor Indya Kincannon said Tuesday night that the order was issued because the number of coronavirus cases doubled in Knox County in the last few days and locals seemed to be ignoring previous orders issued by the city and the county last month.
- The order gives city of Knoxville employees who have enforcement and regulatory authority the ability to take corrective action within Knoxville city limits against those violating Safer at Home orders.
- This new executive order only applies to the city of Knoxville and not Knox County.