Knox County board of health set to hold first meeting in new advisory role April 21

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County advisory board of health announced its first meeting since being moved to an advisory role after the Knox County Commission voted to strip the board of its power back in March.

The Knox Co. Commission voted 8-3 to strip the Knox County board of health of its regulation-making power on March 29. The commission began those discussions in 2020.

Going forward the board will advise county leaders when making decisions for residents regarding health regulations instead of setting policy.

“This debate has been brewing for several months and the direction it’s going has become more and more clear. So you know as always as I’ve said this whole time no matter who is making the decisions, I will continue to follow public health science and make the recommendations that I think are the most appropriate for our community to keep our citizens safe.”

Knox County Department of Health Director Dr. Martha Buchanan said.

Buchanan, the county’s public health officer, said she will consult with the law director to find out what happens to health policies that are currently in place.

The advisory board’s meeting will be from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, via ZOOM. If you’re interested in watching you can do so at, KCHD YouTube, and

The board has also released its agenda for the meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Establishment of Quorum
  4. Public Forum
  5. Board of Health Member Comments to Public Forum
  6. Set the Agenda
  7. Knox County Health Department Benchmark Presentation by Dr. Buchanan
  8. University of Tennessee Medical Center Knoxville Data Update by Dr. Shamiyeh
  9. Questions for Educational Institutions (presentations sent previously)
  10. Discussion of Organization of New Advisory Board
    • Adoption of Rules
    • Appointment of Officers
  1. Discuss COVID-19 Face Covering Regulation, No. 2021-1
  2. Discuss Restaurant, Bar and Event Occupancy Limitation and Closure Regulation, No. 2021-2
  3. Other Business
  4. Adjourn

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