Tennessee to distribute 5 million masks to local health departments

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Tuesday, the governor announced plans to help businesses reopen safely across Tennessee, as dentists open their doors this week and other businesses begin to reopen.  

Governor Bill Lee announced several new resources to help state businesses reopen. Lee announced the state has secured five million cloth masks, which will be distributed to each county health department. Those are available for anyone who wants one.   

Also, all business owners are eligible for up to 10 free thermometers from the state to screen employees returning to work.  

Finally, the state has teamed up with Battelle, which is a company that sterilizes N-95 masks so they can be reused for things like elective surgeries.   

The governor had some words of caution as the state continues to reopen.  

“Social distancing works and it’s more important now than ever as Tennesseans open their businesses safely, take the Tennessee Pledge, and if Tennesseans will continue to practice thier social distancing habits and measures, then we can continue to move forward,” Governor Lee said. 

The Knox County Health Department said they have received a shipment of cloth masks from the state and will begin distributing them on Wednesday.

The public can visit the KCHD building at 140 Dameron Ave during business hours to obtain a mask while supplies last. One mask will be given per person and you must be present to obtain a mask. Officials reiterate that these are not medical masks and they should not be used for medical or commercial use.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus COVID-19 videos

Trump's convention demand comes amid Charlotte virus surge

Thumbnail for the video titled "Trump's convention demand comes amid Charlotte virus surge"

Virus expands grip in many areas, as US nears 100,000 deaths

Thumbnail for the video titled "Virus expands grip in many areas, as US nears 100,000 deaths"

3 West Knoxville Kroger employees test positive for coronavirus

Thumbnail for the video titled "3 West Knoxville Kroger employees test positive for coronavirus"

Tellico Village restaurant forced to close

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tellico Village restaurant forced to close"

College graduates struggling with job market during pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "College graduates struggling with job market during pandemic"

Farragut cancels Independence Day parade

Thumbnail for the video titled "Farragut cancels Independence Day parade"

Three test positive for COVID-19 at Newell plant

Thumbnail for the video titled "Three test positive for COVID-19 at Newell plant"

Athens nursing home says 14 have died from COVID-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Athens nursing home says 14 have died from COVID-19"

UT Knoxville announces fall semester changes

Thumbnail for the video titled "UT Knoxville announces fall semester changes"

Knox County Health Dept.: Increase in active COVID-19 cases

Thumbnail for the video titled "Knox County Health Dept.: Increase in active COVID-19 cases"

Restaurants getting closer to normalcy during reopening phase 2

Thumbnail for the video titled "Restaurants getting closer to normalcy during reopening phase 2"

Knox County Health Department briefing on the first day of phase 2 reopening in the coronavirus pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "Knox County Health Department briefing on the first day of phase 2 reopening in the coronavirus pandemic"

People pack into DC war memorials despite pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "People pack into DC war memorials despite pandemic"

Distance rules 'hard to enforce' on beaches

Thumbnail for the video titled "Distance rules 'hard to enforce' on beaches"

Appalachian Trail reopens with precautions

Thumbnail for the video titled "Appalachian Trail reopens with precautions"

Hancock County records first COVID-19 case

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hancock County records first COVID-19 case"

Drug overdoses in Memphis spike during virus outbreak

Thumbnail for the video titled "Drug overdoses in Memphis spike during virus outbreak"

Dept. of Health and Human Services addressing money sent to closed hospital

Thumbnail for the video titled "Dept. of Health and Human Services addressing money sent to closed hospital"

Safe Space among nonprofits feeling pinch during COVID-19 pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "Safe Space among nonprofits feeling pinch during COVID-19 pandemic"

ETSU Tennessee Poll shows support for Republican candidates, split on mail voting

Thumbnail for the video titled "ETSU Tennessee Poll shows support for Republican candidates, split on mail voting"

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter