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Statement From County and Cities Addressing the COVID-19 Outbreak

(Posted 03-20-20)

Over the past several weeks, leaders from Sevier County and the cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Pittman Center, along with health experts and emergency responders, have been meeting frequently and communicating daily on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Individuals and local businesses must play a role in limiting the spread of the virus. The CDC and Tennessee Department of Health have directives and guidelines to help slow COVID-19. We encourage everyone to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of the public. The President’s Coronavirus Guidance for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread contains specific guidance for individuals. We implore our citizens to follow these guidelines.

After consulting with our legal advisors, it is not clear that the cities or county have the authority to close businesses at this time, during this stage of the public health crisis. However, we strongly advise that all of our businesses and citizens follow the advice of the CDC and the state of Tennessee.

In addition, the cities and county have been working to create a website with updated COVID-19 information. It should launch soon and contain updates regarding businesses, employees, unemployment, closings, and healthcare.

On Thursday, Sevier County was notified that it was approved for Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance due to the COVID-19 crisis. Please visit Disaster Loan Assistance.

We urge everyone to be safe and to take necessary precautions. Thank you for working to keep our community healthy.