KNOXVILLE MAYOR ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSING RESTAURANTS, BARS, GYMS AND COMMERCIAL EVENT VENUES
An executive order was issued by the city mayor effective Friday, March 20, 2020, to close area restaurants, bars, gyms, and commercial event venues amid growing concerns over COVID-19.
The order allows restaurants and bars to offer delivery,pick-up, and take-out service.
Steps were taken today by the Knox County Health Department, which applies across the County.
Those consulted include Dr. Kathleen C. Brown, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor and Director of the UTK MPH Program in the Department of Public Health, and Dr. Marcy Souza, DVM, MPH, and Professor at the UTK Department of Public Health and College of Veterinary Medicine, agree with these proactive measures.
The doctors said, “We support the actions of Mayor Kincannon to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The CDC had recommended keeping any gatherings to less than 10 people because of the high transmissibility and large numbers of individuals with mild or no symptoms. Converting restaurants to take-out only and temporarily closing bars and gyms will help achieve this directive. This action will serve the greater good of our community as we deal with this unprecedented pandemic.”
Support also comes from UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman who said this morning, “I urge UT students to stay home, commit to social distancing, and keep themselves and our larger community healthy.”
The YMCA of East Tennessee also backs this decision. YMCA President Jim Dickson said, “With the people coming back from spring break this weekend, the YMCA will continue to provide emergency childcare for our current families, medical staff, first responders and work with other community agencies to efficiently serve our community through this crisis.”
The City of Knoxville will be designating metered parking spaces in front of restaurants and relaxing meter enforcement to help expedite pick-up service for restaurants and bars.
Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to tap into the resources and guidance being offered by the Small Business Administration and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
This executive order will go into effect at 8 pm, Friday, March 20, and will remain in effect for 2 weeks.
The executive order can be found at www.knoxvilletn.gov/emergencyorder.