Coronavirus: Knox County Board of Health approves going forward with state’s plan for reopening

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Members of the Knox County Board of Health unanimously voted Wednesday to go with the state’s plan for reopening amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic after a 14-day transitionary period in the current phased county plan.

This means the local Knox County Health Department’s phased benchmark plan will no longer apply to the reopening process for Knox County after that transitionary period. This new direction essentially has become the county’s “phase 3.”

PREVIOUS STORY: Board of Health’s role adjusted going forward after COVID-19 pandemic

Three major decisions were voted on by the board via a Zoom call meeting for how the county will move forward in guiding the public and local businesses in the continued reopening process amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those decisions were: Going with the TN Pledge (the state’s plan for reopening), maintaining the benchmark plan set by the Knox County Health Department to operationally inform decisions during the 14-day period, and the frequency of the board’s meeting times.

The board, according to Knox County Deputy Law Director Myers Morton, is the only legal governing body for implementing a plan or phases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Knox County Health Department had been giving operational direction to the public since the pandemic arrived to the area in March.

The board also agreed in a unanimous vote to a meeting every two weeks to discuss the COVID-19 response and benchmarks that will be maintained by the Knox County Health Department. For the next two weeks, the county remains in its local Phase 2 plan with the benchmarks in place, until it transitions to the state’s plan or TN Pledge.

This is a developing story. Stay with WATE 6 On Your Side as we learn more and update accordingly.

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