Mar 20 2020
01:17 pm

Knox Co. Health Dept. Announces Order to Combat COVID-19
Order calls for closure of bars and reduction of capacity for restaurants

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Knox County Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan issued a Health Directive ordering the closure of bars and limiting capacity at restaurants.

Knox County bars, or businesses licensed to serve food whose primary business is alcohol service, shall close for business until further notice.

Restaurants whose primary business is food service shall limit capacity to half the seating capacity of their dining area, as outlined by their Knox County Health Department (KCHD) permit, or 100 patrons, whichever is lower. Tables should be spaced, and seating arrangements coordinated, following the public health guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)—which is maintaining a distance of at least six feet between persons.

Restaurants with an attached bar—also known as a food service establishment permitted as an auxiliary food service operation—shall limit capacity for the bar area to 10 percent of the capacity specified in their KCHD permit with no standing allowed in the bar area.

The order has no impact on a takeout or drive through services.

These new measures are being taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the general public and impact in Knox County and surrounding areas. COVID-19 is an evolving situation, but Knox Countians are urged to exercise caution and maintain good hygiene practices as serious risks still exist for our vulnerable populations.

Social distancing is highly encouraged and those who are returning to the community from spring break travel should self-isolate in accordance to guidelines issued by the CDC. Travelers should only call the Knox County Health Department hotline if they have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever of 100.4 and shortness of breath or fever of 100.4 and a cough) or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Knox Co. Health Department


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