The Knox County Health Department alongside Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, and leaders of Knox County hospitals announced today the closure of all nonessential businesses. The order goes into effect for 14 days beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
The following essential activities will remain open:
- Federal and state offices and services, including post offices and airports
- Essential Knox County government functions including law enforcement, transportation, and businesses that provide government programs and services
- Food and beverage: grocery and beverage stores, farmers markets, food banks, catering, convenience stores selling food, agriculture, food processing, feed mills, and other businesses that directly support the food supply
- Health care, mental and behavioral health, and biomedical research and businesses that directly support the healthcare industry including health information technology, staffing and supplies
- Sanitation and waste removal businesses and services
- Energy, water, and sewage businesses and services
- Pharmacies and medical supply businesses, and other businesses that directly support the drug and medical supply pipeline
- Vehicle fuel, support, service stations and businesses
- Banks, savings and loans, insurance companies, accounting businesses, and other business that directly support the insurance and financial services sector
- Legal and judicial services
- Laundromats/laundry/cleaning services
- Home and business repair, hardware supply
- Warehousing and storage
- Construction and facilities design businesses
- Product logistics, transport, and distribution businesses
- Parcel transportation and delivery businesses
- Veterinary and pet supply business and services including agricultural services and the caring and feeding of all livestock and farm animals
- Home and business cleaning and maintenance services
- All businesses which rely upon deliveries may continue, including florists
- Internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services)
- Print, online and broadcast media
- Certain other business and services the Knox County Health Department in coordination with Knox County Legal and the Office of the Mayor determines are essential for the continued safety and security of Knox County.
- Daycare and childcare business will remain open, but will prioritize children of parents working in essential services.
- Hotels and commercial lodges will remain open, but must end entertainment or dining services in restaurants or group settings. Pick-up and room-service food services may continue.
- Housing and rental services may continue, but agents should practice social distancing, hold no open houses, or gather in groups larger than 10.
Essential services listed above may continue as long as appropriate distancing is physically possible and encouraged. These businesses will adhere to CDC guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene in the workplace, including encouraging work-from-home and allowing employees when possible to work on-site in shifts to optimize social distancing in the workplace.
All essential services, especially grocery stores and pharmacies, will make best efforts to establish hours when only available to senior citizens or otherwise vulnerable populations.