Phase 2 of reopening Knox County expected to begin Tuesday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — Officials with the Knox County Health Department said they expect to begin Phase 2 of reopening on May 26, two days ahead of the originally scheduled date.


"Right now we are planning on moving into Phase 2," said Dr. Martha Buchanan during a press conference Thursday. "Our growth rate continues to be very flat. We will know more next week. Our testing continues to go up, our hospital capacity continues to remain positive. So all of these things are pointing in the direction of continuing to opening more things up.”

More businesses can open including bars, food truck parks, child care facilities, pools and libraries.

The health department plans to make a full list available Friday.

The Knox County Health Department issued the following guidelines for Phase 2:


All individuals should engage in the following phase-specific practices when in public and regularly sanitize frequently touched surfaces in their homes:

• Physical distancing of at least 6 feet when in public, except with members of your household – “Farther is Safer.”

• Wearing cloth face coverings when physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.

• Hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitizer if hands are not visibly soiled.

• Cleaning surfaces with soap and water or disinfectant.

• Staying home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine.

• Social settings and gatherings are limited to 50 people maximum.
Avoid social settings of more than 50 people that do not readily allow for maximizing physical distancing.

• Non-essential travel can be cautiously resumed. Follow CDC guidelines regarding travel.

Higher-risk Individuals
• Stay at home as much as possible.

• Continue following the general guidelines for everyone throughout all phases

• Members of households with higher-risk residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home.

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