Tennessee to distribute 5 million masks to local health departments


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.  

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