Knox County Health Dept. issues 'safer at home' order

Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 12:47 PM EDT
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The Knox County Health Department issued a 'safer at home' order Monday afternoon.

The order will be effective beginning at 12:01 a.m. on March 24 and last for 14 days.

During this period, all businesses not performing essential services have been ordered to close. Businesses with questions should call 3-1-1. To see a full list of essential businesses, click

Knox County residents are urged to stay home whenever possible and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people for non-essential purposes.

“We understand the significant and, in many cases, devastating impact this will have on our families and local businesses, but we are hopeful this action will help save lives,” said Knox County Health Department Senior Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan. “Now is a time for our community to come together and support each other in several ways: protecting those most at risk of serious illness and finding creative ways to support individuals and businesses most affected by this order.”

Dr. Buchanan said the decision to make the order came after an increase in coronavirus cases in the region over the weekend.

Mayor Indya Kincannon applauded the Knox County Health Department’s Safer at Home Order, saying, “This is a necessary, pro-active step to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Thank you, Dr. Buchanan, and thank you all for your cooperation and understanding during this unprecedented time. We will get through this together.”

Residents with questions about their health should contact their primary care physicians. Those without a primary care physician may call KCHD public information line at 865-215-5555 or toll-free at 888-288-6022. The information line is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Call volume is expected to be high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.

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