KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Today the Knox County Public Health Officer Dr. Martha Buchanan issued an order closing non-essential businesses and encouraging residents throughout Knox County to stay home when possible and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people for non-essential purposes.


Until further notice, all businesses not performing essential services have been ordered closed for 14 days beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24. A complete list of essential service categories can be found at Businesses with questions should call 3-1-1. This new public health measure is an extension of actions the City and County have already taken to reduce public gatherings and contact and is issued in support of our local health care partners to help ‘flatten the curve.’ 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. Knox Countians are urged to continue to exercise caution, adhere to social distancing guidelines and maintain good hygiene practices.


“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.”


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.


In addition, the Tennessee Department of Health has a public information line, 877-857-2945, that is available 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST (10 a.m. – 10 p.m. central time), seven days a week.


For more information on COVID-19, visit: