Health Department Provides Reopening Information, Examines Epi-linked Cases, and Offers Free Masks

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN – The Hamilton County Health Department continues to follow reopening guidance provided by TN Governor Bill Lee. Several sectors are addressed in this release.

“We know information is very important as we begin to open,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes, “We are pulling this information together to make it easier for our residents to find and utilize, but our COVID-19 hotline (423) 209-8383 remains one of the best day-by-day resources.”

Overnight Camps:

  • Overnight camps will not be allowed to operate under Governor Lee’s Executive Order 30 (EO-30). EO-30 prohibits social or recreational gatherings of 10 or more persons, among which are listed overnight camps. Also prohibited, but not limited to, are youth and adult sporting events, parades, festivals, and fairs.

Day Camps:

  • Under the authority of EO-30, the Hamilton County Health Department has prohibited day camps until further notice. These include, but are not limited to sports camps.

Swimming Pools:

  • Under the authority of EO-30, the Hamilton County Health Department has prohibited the opening of public pools until further notice. This also includes public Jacuzzis and whirlpools. The COVID-19 virus does not survive in a properly chlorinated and maintained pool, rather it is the social gathering of people around pools that could promote the spread of COVID-19.

Billiards and Darts:

  • Under the authority of EO-30, the Hamilton County Health Department has prohibited billiards and darts. Bars and nightclubs continue to remain closed under EO-30.

Hair, Nail Salons, and Other Personal Services:

  • Under the authority of Executive Order 33, the Hamilton County Health Department has allowed the reopening of close contact personal services that were originally closed by EO-30. The following services are allowed to reopen on May 6, 2020: barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons or spas, spas providing body treatment, body-art facilitates or tattoo services, tanning salons or massage-therapy establishments or massage services. These services are subject to the Close Contact Business Guidelines as stated in the Tennessee Pledge.


COVID-19 Transmission Update:

The Health Department adds an additional 21 positive cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 213. Health Department contact tracing revealed that 15 were epi-linked between family and/or coworkers. This demonstrates the need to review within your family and work environment ways in which the virus could spread.

In the home, if someone is sick, they should be isolated to a room and, if possible, given their own bathroom, or sanitize the common bathroom after use. They should be served meals in isolation and clean any utensils they use. Anyone attending to them should wear a mask and wash hands after attending to the sick person. While being attended to, the sick person should wear a mask. Keep children from entering the room or interacting with the sick person. Look for other ways to prevent the virus from spreading in the home. Get tested by your provider or at a Health Department testing site.

In the work place, do not allow sick persons to come to work. If employees have to work closely with each other, they should all wear masks. All businesses should have an illness policy and should insure all employees are familiar with it. Consider taking temperatures of all employees daily and not allowing those with a fever above 100.4F in the work place. If you become sick, do not go to work or leave your home. Review how employees and customers use the work space and look for other ways to prevent the virus from spreading. If businesses would like more specific guidance than what is given above, they are welcome to call the Health Department COVID-19 hotline.

This is an urgent reminder that the pandemic is not over. As our community cautiously begins to open, it is even more important to social distance, and wear a mask in places where six feet distance is difficult to maintain. Wearing a mask is a cultural shift that we must all make in order to protect those around us. Wearing a mask means you care.

Governor Lee’s Unified Command Group distributed face masks to the Hamilton County Health Department through a new statewide initiative. These masks are available for pick-up at the Health Department’s east and west entrances in the circle during hotline hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00AM-6:00PM, Saturday from 10:00AM– 3:00PM, and Sunday from 10:00AM– 2:00PM. For details, contact our COVID-19 hotline at (423) 209-8383.

The public may also pick-up a mask at the COVID-19 drive-through and walk-up testing site at Clinica Medicos. The Health Department will open additional pick-up locations throughout the county and distribute masks to congregate living sites and places of worship, as supplies last. 

Reopen Responsibly.

For COVID-19 information, visit the Health Department’s COVID-19 website or call the hotline at 209-8383.

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