Knoxville Mayor Kincannon issues executive order closing bars, gyms, clubs; puts limits on restaurants


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon issued an executive order Friday closings bars, gyms and commercial event venues amid growing concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The order will allow restaurants and bars to offer delivery and take-out service. All gyms are to close by 8 p.m. Friday.

The restrictions imposed by the order do not apply to grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, gas stations, retail stores, and charitable food distribution sites to the extent they sell or distribute prepared food. However, on-site consumption of food or beverage within these facilities is prohibited.

“Our goal is to encourage people to comply,” Kincannon said Friday in a press conference. “This is a very fluid situation and we’re responding to things as they unfold.”

RELATED: COVID-19 cases in Tennessee hit 228, according to state health department

Kincannon also said the order is to help encourage the community to practice social distancing to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

RELATED: Knox County orders closure of bars, Sevier County requests restaurant seating limits

Health care facilities, child care facilities, residential care facilities, cns1s shelters, or similar facilities, and restaurants inside McGhee Tyson Airport are also exempt.

The order takes effect immediately and will be in effect until midnight April 3 unless extended, modified or rescinded by further mayoral action as circumstances require.

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