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Knoxville Mayor Kincannon asks Board of Health to close bars, limit indoor dining

In the letter, Kincannon said, “time is of the essence” for taking action against rising COVID-19 cases in Knoxville.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon(WVLT)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 8:32 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon sent a letter to the Knox County Board of Health and asked members to consider adopting the actions recommended by Dr. Deborah Birx and the White House Coronavirus Taskforce.

In the letter, Kincannon said, “time is of the essence” for taking action against rising COVID-19 cases in Knoxville.

Kincannon highlighted that Tennessee is considered a COVID-19 “red zone” and among the top 10 states the CDC projects having the greatest likelihood of rising death rates in the coming weeks.

“In Knox County, the cumulative case count has nearly quadrupled in the past month, and continues to rise,” Kincannon said in the letter. “Most everyone in our community knows at least one person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Hospitalizations are rising, and sadly we are seeing an increase in deaths as well.

Kincannon asked the board of health to follow recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force and Dr. Birx.

During a visit to Tennessee, Dr. Birx said researchers have learned mask-wearing, limiting restaurant capacity and closing down bars can have an impact just as big as sheltering in place.

Kincannon asked the board to close bars, limit indoor dining and restrict gatherings to 25 people or less in Knoxville.

“These actions, in addition to consistent use of face coverings and practicing physical distancing, will prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed, will help us reopen schools and universities more safely, and will protect public health, all of which are essential to our social and economic well-being. Such extreme actions are not done lightly and you will no doubt face criticism. Please remember that it’s the pandemic that is hurting our economy, not the actions we take to curb it.”

Mayor Indya Kincannon

Kincannon ended the letter stating, “The City of Knoxville stands ready to support the Board of Health however we can.”

Knox County Mayor Kincannon sent the letter to the Knox County Board of Health. /
Knox County Mayor Kincannon sent the letter to the Knox County Board of Health. /(City of Knoxville)

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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