Covid-19 News To Know

Here is information on Covid-19 you need to know, updated daily.


City of Bristol, Tennessee to distribute cloth masks to residents


The City of Bristol, Tennessee will begin providing free face masks to City residents on Friday as part of Gov. Bill Lee’s plan to provide all Tennesseans with personal protective equipment.


Beginning at 1 p.m on Friday, May 8, the City will be distributing the reusable, cloth masks in the parking lot on the Alabama Street side of the Ida Stone Jones Community Tennis Center.  Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be present to receive a mask.


More than 300,000 masks are being distributed throughout Tennessee’s 95 counties as part of Gov. Lee’s Unified-Command to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging all Americans, even those who feel healthy, to wear a cloth face mask in public.


For additional information, please contact the Department of Community Relations at (423) 764-4171 or

Interactive maps have been developed for our counties, noting businesses that have reviewed and complied with the Governor’s Tennessee Pledge to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help grow consumer confidence, we are asking businesses to follow the guidelines the State Health officials have published, add their business to the interactive maps, and post the TN Pledge notice prominently. Maps are located on the RegionAHEAD website,, and will be promoted.
Governor’s Tennessee Pledge – Click HERE
Sign up and add yourself to the map:  Click HERE 
(You will see a pop-up box with directions)

Best Practices, Reopening Plan & Public Health Order #2


KINGSPORT, TN – As our cities and counties move forward with reopening plans and procedures, local leaders remind citizens that we are not returning to “normal.” Our new normal will look different, with business and health precautions remaining a large part of everyday life. It is more important than ever to continue safe practices to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases. These best practices – as outlined by the CDC and local health departments – have helped to keep the number of positive cases low in our region.

While facilities resume operations, it is imperative that everyone:

  • Keep adequate social distance – maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others when out in public.
  • Limit gatherings – per Gov. Bill Lee, gatherings must be limited to 10 or less people.
  • Wash hands – wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands before eating or preparing food, after using the restroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after going anywhere in public.
  • Avoid touching your face – avoid touching any part of your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a cloth mask – masks not only lower the risk of you breathing in airborne viruses but greatly reduce you spreading a virus, even if you don’t feel ill. We now know that some of those positive for coronavirus are asymptomatic. Please use cloth masks and save medical-grade PPE for medical and frontline personnel.
  • Disinfect surfaces – take time to disinfect all spaces, from work to vehicle to home. Clean frequently used items like mobile phones and keys.
  • Stay home – if you’re feeling sick or think you might be sick, stay home.
  • Avoid nonessential travel – at this time, it’s still best to avoid traveling outside the Tri-Cities area and to only leave your home for essential activities.

Area government leaders and health officials recognize the importance of reopening our area but doing so safely is crucial to its success. The path forward is a cautious one, as the safety and health of our communities remains the top priority.

With the best practices in mind, Kingsport will be following the Sullivan County Regional Health Department’s Public Health Order #2 starting Monday, April 27. Kingsport will issue an amendment next week to the current city declaration to put the order in place.

The order closely follows Governor Lee’s plan and his Tennessee Pledge plan for businesses. Restaurants and retail should follow the Tennessee Pledge plan for their reopening, paying special attention to the protecting employees and protecting customers guidelines.

The Sullivan County Regional Health Department plan lists special situations that our business owners and residents should be aware of. Those include:

  • SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES (e.g. camps) that are currently closed remain closed.
  • VISITS TO SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS shall be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene.
  • LARGE VENUES ( e.g. sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under strict physical distancing protocols while following guidance issued by State of Tennessee specific to type of business. See Tennessee Pledge.
  • Elective surgeries may resume, as clinically appropriate, following CDC protective guidelines, and specific guidance issued by the State of Tennessee.
  • Dental Offices/healthcare practices may open while maintaining social distancing and following CDC recommendations with appropriate PPE and specific guidance issued by the State of Tennessee.
  • Other non-essential businesses may open but adhere to strict social distancing guidelines, use precautionary measure, and follow guidance issued by the State of Tennessee specific to business type.
  • Personal contact business (i.e., barber shops, nail salons, cosmetology business, etc.) that cannot maintain social distancing measures may not reopen until appropriate safety guidelines have been developed by the Tennessee Department of Health.

Our city’s directive is to maintain compliance with the health department’s public health order. Residents should watch for more information to be released next week in regards to the city’s plan for opening city and government facilities.

For more information or for questions, please contact the Sullivan County Regional Health Department at 423-279-2777.


City of Kingsport COVID-19 Information

Sullivan County Regional Health Department Public Health Order #2

Governor Lee’s Tennessee Pledge

Adrienne Batara

Marketing and Public Relations Administrator

City of Kingsport

P: 423-229-9413

C: 423-440-0442

ETSU pharmacy school produces hand sanitizer to combat shortages, COVID-19 spread

JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy is producing hand sanitizer to help ETSU Health clinics and first responders curb shortages and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

With the local need identified, Dr. Charles Collins, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, immediately went to work in the pharmacy school’s compounding lab producing the hand sanitizer.

“During this stressful time, there are numerous instances in providing quality health care when soap and water are not readily or conveniently available,” said Collins. “This hand sanitizer will allow our health care providers and first responders to quickly clean their hands between patients so they do not spread any infection.”

If interested, first responders can contact Collins at to inquire about receiving free sanitizer.

Learn more at

Safer at Home Health Order issued for Sullivan County, local
emergency declared for City of Bristol

Officials from the Sullivan County Regional Health Department have issued a Safer at Home Health Order for the citizens of Sullivan County effective beginning at 12:01 AM EDT on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 that will remain in effect until further notice. The order was signed by Health Officer Dr. Stephen May in order to mitigate the regional impact of COVID-19, reduce the strain on healthcare resources and ultimately save lives. This order urges citizens to shelter at home as much as possible except when engaging in essential activities. These include:
 Trips to the grocery store or pharmacy
 Medical appointments
 Visiting restaurants for take-out or drive-thru service
 Caring for friends and family members in need
 Enjoying outdoor recreation.
CDC guidance on proper hand hygiene and social distancing, such as maintaining a distance of
six feet between people, should continue to be followed at all times.
The order also prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people and orders the closure of businesses not performing essential services as determined by health department officials. Directives are provided for certain essential businesses that remain in operation, and the order does not apply to
activities supporting the critical infrastructure sectors described at
In conjunction with the Safer at Home Health Order, Bristol, Tennessee Mayor Margaret Feierabend and City Manager Bill Sorah also issued an Executive Order proclaiming a local and civil emergency within the City of Bristol, Tennessee. Following declarations by President Donald Trump and Governor Bill Lee that proclaimed emergencies related to the COVID-19

City of Bristol Tennessee

For the full text of these orders, as well as additional information about the City of Bristol’s
response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit

Tri-Cities doctors relieve ER, hospital pressure fighting COVID


In response to COVID-19, Appalachian Orthopedics of Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport will remain open to area residents in need of care while following local and national health authority guidelines.

As the current crisis puts unprecedented pressure on our health system, community orthopedic experts at Appalachian Orthopedics will continue seeing patients in their clinic and urgent care to help reduce traffic in ERs and hospitals for bone, joint and muscle concerns.

If you’re interested in speaking with a member of the practice to learn more about their commitment to our community during COVID-19, please contact me directly so I can coordinate an interview that accommodates your time and your safety.

Mackenzie Groff | (402) 983-7257

Appalachian Orthopedics

ETSU Health to transition drive-through COVID-19 testing site to Health Department

Decision comes as local health department opens testing sites in Washington and surrounding counties

JOHNSON CITY – With an increase in regional COVID-19 testing capacity, ETSU Health will close its drive-through COVID-19 testing site, located at 325 North State of Franklin, effective April 1, 2020. While the drive-through site will no longer be open, ETSU Health will continue to administer COVID-19 testing in its clinics.

“The local health department has just opened their drive-through testing sites in Washington County and the surrounding counties,” said Dr. Jonathan Moorman, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine. “These new sites are open to the public and, along with Ballad Health testing sites, are large enough to handle the demand for testing in our region at this time. These sites will test patients with symptoms of COVID-19 just as ETSU has done. We do not want to duplicate the same services they will be offering at these new sites.”

Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, and shortness of breath can contact the Health Department at 423-979-4689 for screening and further information on testing sites.

Have you recently been displaced from work? Several local employers are now hiring!

Biopure Service

CHILDRESS Commercial Property Maintenance

CVS Pharmacy

Food City


Lowe’s Home Improvement

Walmart Neighborhood Market Kingsport – Lynn Garden Dr

Are you hiring at your business? Contact Nora Davis at to be included on this list.


Your Kingsport Chamber’s Facebook page.

Building Department Open for Business via Online or Phone


KINGSPORT, TN – The City of Kingsport building department has closed its doors to the public in an effort to protect citizens and staff, but is still open for business. The city encourages the development community to keep in contact with Development Services via phone or email to check on the status of a project or with any questions or concerns.

Development Services will do its best to keep all projects moving forward at the best pace possible. It is important to note that there may be a delay in turn-around time for items such as subdivision plats which require original signatures.  This is due to some of our required signatories working from home during this time. These employees will schedule time to come into the office to sign those documents at their earliest convenience.  Also – please note that the County Register of Deeds is only recording documents by appointment at this time.

All applications can be found on the city website at the following links:

Planning/Development related applications:

Building Department related applications:


Contact Information:

Building Division: (423) 229-9393

Planning & Zoning: (423) 229-9485

For more information, please visit

City Department Responses to COVID-19

Please read through to learn what steps police, fire, public works and customer service are taking to keep the public and employees safe


KINGSPORT, TN – Essential services to the citizens of Kingsport are being altered to take precautions with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The departments that deal primarily with the public have taken steps, expected to be in place for the next 6-8 weeks, to protect both employees and residents.

Kingsport Police Department

In light of current events, citizens should rest assured that the Kingsport Police Department is still responding to emergencies and other citizen calls for service and will continue to do so. With that in mind, for the time being, citizens may notice some minor changes in police interactions. For example:

  • Whenever possible, routine reports, especially those non-criminal in nature, may be handled over the telephone.
  • Whenever possible, officers may avoid entering homes, and instead communicate with citizens outside, unless it is absolutely necessary to enter the residence.
  • Whenever possible, officers will try to observe the recommended 6-foot distance from citizens and avoid shaking hands.
  • The Kingsport Justice Center will remain open; however, citizens are respectfully requested to not come to the Justice Center unless absolutely necessary. If your need can be handled via telephone, please call.
  • If you absolutely need to come to the Justice Center, please consider remaining in your vehicle, calling upon arrival, and allowing an officer to come out to you.

We currently are and will continue to follow CDC recommended guidelines, particularly those involving hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE), and social-distancing. Some internal precautions that have already been put into place include:

  • All non-essential training and travel has been suspended.
  • Disposable equipment is being utilized as much as possible.
  • Disinfecting stations have been created for proper cleaning of persons, vehicles, and other equipment.
  • Community relations programs such as citizen ride-alongs and Justice Center tours have been suspended.

To reiterate, none of these changes will affect the Kingsport Police Department’s ability to respond to emergencies or other citizen calls for service.

For questions regarding K.P.D., please reach out to Tom Patton at 423-229-9433.

Kingsport Fire Department

The K.F.D. is making every effort to limit the exposure to employees.

  • All business travel has been suspended; supervisors will question employees on travel plans from now until the end of June; recommend self-quarantine if employee shows any signs or symptoms
  • All public education programs have been suspended
  • Routine fire inspections, unless vital, have been suspended
  • Recruitment school has been suspended
  • Only in-house and online training permissible
  • All stations have secured main entrances – no guests beyond the foyer and bay doors to remain closed at all times
  • All employees must enter through main entrance each shift and complete the health questionnaire and have their temperature taken

For questions regarding K.F.D., please reach out to Barry Brickey at 423-224-2820.

Kingsport Public Works

The Kingsport Public Works Department is essential to providing basic services to the citizens of Kingsport on a daily basis. The city is committed to the health and safety of all citizens and customers so all essential services will continue to operate throughout this event.

Understanding that access to clean water is key to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, Kingsport will keep water on for all customers despite unpaid utility bills during this event. 

Within Public Works Operations, the primary focus at the present time is to prevent the spread of the virus among our employees. The steps that have been taken include:

  • Suspended all large group meetings
  • Limited group gathering to the crew level size
  • Offset shift schedules in larger divisions by increments of 30 minutes
  • Assignment of work tasks remotely via the Cartegraph system
  • Increased disinfectant of surfaces at division locations
  • Increased signage encouraging preventative measures (social distancing, hand washing, coughing/sneezing etiquette)

The following actions have been taken to limit public interaction:

  • Suspension of the Historic Zoning Commission and Gateway Commission
  • Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals have moved to the Civic Auditorium to provide adequate social distancing standards
  • Earlier in the year, to secure the building and provide limited access to the building division, planning division and GIS was completed

Emergency preparation is underway to ensure critical staffing levels are maintained within the water, wastewater and sanitation divisions.

For questions regarding public works, please reach out to Ryan McReynolds at 423-229-9471.

Kingsport Customer Service

Kingsport Customer Service is essential to city operations. Several steps are being taken to protect employees and customers.

  • Effective March 16, all late payments and all penalties are suspended to minimize the public traffic at city hall. While service will not be terminated during the extended period, customers will still be billed for water and wastewater services and past-due balances will continue to accrue if payment is not made.
  • When operations return to normal, customers will be asked to sign a payment agreement for any unpaid water/utility bills. An extension from 6 months to 12 months for the agreement timeframe has been put in place.
  • For customers needing new service, customer service will try to work with the customer to get the needed documentation through email and text.
  • As of March 18, a plexiglass barrier was installed to separate employees from customers to reduce spread of germs.
  • Enhanced cleaning routines have been established throughout the customer service department.

Customers have several options available to pay their utility bills:

  • Pay in person at the Justice Center
  • Pay online at the city website gov
  • Pay over the phone by calling (423) 343-9860
  • Drop box located outside city hall
  • Mail to PO Box 880, Kingsport, TN 37662 or 225 W Center Street, Kingsport, TN 37660

For questions regarding customer service, please reach out to Lisa Winkle at 423-229-9335.

For more information, please visit

Building Department Open for Business via Online or Phone


KINGSPORT, TN – The City of Kingsport building department has closed its doors to the public in an effort to protect citizens and staff, but is still open for business. The city encourages the development community to keep in contact with Development Services via phone or email to check on the status of a project or with any questions or concerns.

Development Services will do its best to keep all projects moving forward at the best pace possible. It is important to note that there may be a delay in turn-around time for items such as subdivision plats which require original signatures.  This is due to some of our required signatories working from home during this time. These employees will schedule time to come into the office to sign those documents at their earliest convenience.  Also – please note that the County Register of Deeds is only recording documents by appointment at this time.

All applications can be found on the city website at the following links:

Planning/Development related applications:

Building Department related applications:


Contact Information:

Building Division: (423) 229-9393

Planning & Zoning: (423) 229-9485

For more information, please visit

Bristol, Tennessee municipal buildings closing to public



Bristol, Tennessee municipal buildings will close to the public at 5 p.m. Friday, March 20, and remain closed until further notice.

City Manager Bill Sorah announced the decision Friday afternoon as the City continues to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the region.

“While we realize this may require us to utilize alternate methods for conducting city business, it is a vital step to protect the health of City employees and those we serve,” Sorah said. “We are fortunate to live in an era that allows us to work remotely and communicate effectively without face-to-face contact. We encourage residents to use the resources in place but want to assure them that someone will be available by phone should they need assistance.”

The Slater Community Center and Steele Creek Nature Center closed earlier this week, and now public access to all other City buildings will be restricted. Community members still will have access to the lobby of the Bristol, Tennessee Police Department, however, and may use a phone available there to request an officer. Additionally, City transit buses will continue to operate on a regular schedule, with fees suspended to ensure transportation to vital community resources remains available. Transit buses will be restricted to 10 passengers at a time.

While City buildings are closed, residents may use a variety of bill-paying options and electronic forms to conduct business.

Utility bills, property taxes, and citations can be paid via a drive-through drop box located outside the Municipal Building on 8th Street. Payments will be collected from this site periodically each weekday. Checks, cashier’s checks, cash and money orders will be accepted.

Other options for paying bills include:

  • By phone using a credit or debit card. Utility customers should call (877) 768-5046 and have their account number ready. Property taxes can be paid by phone at (877)768-5048. A non-refundable convenience fee is added to all phone payments.
  • Online by going to and choosing the appropriate link. Online payments are accepted for utility bills, property taxes, and citations. A non-refundable convenience fee will be added.
  • By mail to P.O. Box 1348, Bristol, TN, 37621-1348. Utility bills, property taxes, and citations can be paid by check, cashier’s check, or money order only.
  • By automatic bank draft. An electronic form is now available online at for customers who would like to set up bank draft for monthly utility bills.

A long list of applications routinely used in planning, zoning, codes enforcement and other divisions within the City’s Department of Development Services also are available online at Fees associated with these applications can be mailed to 104 8th Street, Bristol, TN, 37620.

Residents are reminded that all City parks remain open, and gate fees at Steele Creek Park are currently waived.

For additional information or assistance with these and other services provided by the City, please call (423) 989-5500. Concerns and requests for help also can be submitted online after regular business hours using the Request Tracker button on the City’s webpage at

The City will continue to provide up-to-date information on its website at

Citizens of Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport and all of Sullivan and Washington counties:

Our communities are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, there is only one case in our region and no evidence of community transmission—but it is crucial that our region takes definitive steps to prepare for the coming weeks.

Our highest priorities are the health and safety of our citizens as well as continuity of government and service delivery. This includes emergency services, water and utilities, and waste collection. We confer with Health Department officials, meet with our key personnel, and talk with each other on a daily basis to ensure our response is appropriate, adequate and aligned.

Mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 is critical and that is why, per the recommendation of our health departments and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we are suspending events and programs in our cities as well as closing recreation centers and other facilities that draw crowds. Other services, such as public transit, will operate as regularly as possible based upon the guidance from our public health officials.

We do not take the decision to cancel programs or close facilities lightly. Our hope is that these proactive steps will slow the spread of the virus, particularly among our most vulnerable neighbors and loved ones. Taking action now will help limit the duration of these interruptions so we can return to normal operations as soon as possible. 

Our cities and counties are dedicated to maintaining healthy and safe work environments for our personnel. It is in everyone’s best interest for our employees to remain healthy and able to provide essential services. Sanitation efforts have increased significantly. First responders are taking extra precautions, and 911 dispatchers are collecting additional information to further assess the needs of callers and first responders. Should we need to deploy them, we have internal plans that will allow for modified schedules and remote work options. We have canceled all non-essential meetings and are limiting face-to-face contact. With that in mind, we strongly encourage citizens to conduct business with us online or via phone. Limiting walk-in traffic will go a long way in keeping our facilities open and safe.

We are often asked for guidance on what our communities could or should do. While we defer to health officials for much of that information, we can offer the following: 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Wash for at least 20 seconds and with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain 6-8 feet between yourself and others. Avoid large groups or crowds.
  • Use curbside pickup and delivery options! Local businesses are modifying operations during this time. We urge everyone to “Distance Socially, Support Locally.” Visit these Facebook pages: @believeinbristol, @BristolChamber, @JCGoAllLocal, and @KPTSTRONG for information on changes to local businesses and how you can still support them.
  • Utilize online services as much as possible. Check city websites for online payment and autodraft options, permit applications, etc.
  • Stay home if you feel ill or if you are considered high risk. The CDC defines “high risk” as older adults and people with chronic medical conditions. These individuals should consider avoiding large gatherings like church services, birthday parties, or funerals.
  • Check on neighbors who are considered high risk. Pick up necessities like groceries and medications for them so they don’t have to go into public places.
  • Spend time outdoors! Enjoy city parks. Unplug. Breathe in fresh air.
  • Business owners and employees should know that we are working closely with state officials on timely assistance and relief options. We are evaluating all the ways in which we may offer support during this challenging time. Please sign up at RegionAhead.comto be included in a business directory that will be a great resource moving forward.

Each City is maintaining a webpage with up-to-date schedule changes and information. Please check them often:

We are a resourceful, resilient region of citizens who care deeply about their neighbors. We will get through this challenging period together. Thank you for doing your part to keep the Tri-Cities safe.

Bill Sorah    

City Manager, Bristol, Tenn.     

Margaret Feierabend   

Mayor, Bristol, Tenn.

Richard Venable

Mayor, Sullivan Co.

Pete Peterson

City Manager, Johnson City 

Jenny Brock                                                             

Mayor, Johnson City                                   

Joe Grandy  

Mayor, Washington Co.

Chris McCartt                                                  

City Manager, Kingsport                               

Pat Shull

Mayor, Kingsport

Dear Members,

The Governor has requested a presidential declaration for a major disaster (Coronavirus) by submitting a written request to the president through the FEMA regional office. We expect the declaration to be made in the next day or so. 

Here are three ways KOSBE can help you navigate the Coronavirus pandemic:

1.) We can help you document your economic injury and explore ALL of your financing options (including whether you are eligible for the SBA disaster loan).

2.) If you are eligible, we can review the SBA disaster loan application and process with you, so you are fully prepared to submit your own request online quickly and with ease.

3) We can help you brainstorm ideas and develop a plan for recovery and resiliency for your specific business. 

To connect with us, go to

Important Links:

Learn more about small business guidance and loan resources: 

Schedule a 1-1 appointment or phone call with KOSBE TSBDC: 

Review loan paper forms in advance:

Search Presidential and SBA Agency Declarations: 

Apply now for a disaster loan online: 



Here is what is meant by ECONOMIC INJURY for purposes of any loan to be provided, once the COVID 19 declaration is done for TN:

“Businesses can only seek assistance for economic injury (not physical damage) as a result of the incident [COVID 19]. 

Substantial economic injury occurs when a business concern is unable to meet its obligations as they mature or to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses.  

Establishing economic injury is a comparison between the financial information from the period in the prior year to the injury period of the current year – this period must be associated to the [IMPACT OF COVID 19] and cannot be attributed to a downturn in local economy or other unrelated issues. 

For example, if [employees are unable to work; or major conferences cancelled from which the business received revenues; or if a restaurant experiences substantial reduction in customers due to social distancing or because local or state officials are asking or ordering businesses to temporary close or reduce services (e.g., take out only)] and the business [will] not able to be re-established for two months, the business should consider how long it will take for things to normalize. 

If it’s three months, the analysis [for a loan would] show the financial data for the same three months of last year and the anticipated financial data for the same period this year. 

The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits, rather they are intended to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses that could have been paid had the [IMPACT OF COVID 19] not occurred. 

Analyzing a drop in sales, the length of time the business will be impacted, the type of business and typical business cycle of the industry, provides the SBA [loan officers] with the requisite data needed to determine if the economic injury is considered substantial.”


Aundrea Y. Wilcox, MBA, CEcD

Senior Business Counselor

Tennessee Small Business Development Center

ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office

400 Clinchfield Street

Suite 100

Kingsport, TN 37660

Ph: (423) 392-8825

Fax: (423) 392-8839

City to Close Library, Aquatic Center, Community Centers

All city facilities will close Thursday at 5 p.m. until further notice


KINGSPORT, TN – At the recommendation of the CDC and the Sullivan County Regional Health Department, the City of Kingsport will close the Kingsport Public Library and all other community centers, effective 5 p.m. on Thursday until further notice. Additionally, all rentals of city facilities are suspended until at least April 3.

This decision comes from City Manager Chris McCartt. All programs, classes and events were suspended indefinitely on Monday. At this time, all other city offices remain open.

This information is subject to change as the city continues to monitor the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19. Kingsport looks to the SCRHD and the CDC for recommendations and additional information.

Facility List

  • Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium: All park buildings—Nature Center, herpetarium, etc.—will be closed, but the park itself will remain open to the public. The Nature Center bathrooms, accessible from outside the building, will remain open.
  • Kingsport Aquatic Center: Closed until further notice.
  • Kingsport Carousel: Closing Wednesday at noon (previously released).
  • Kingsport Farmers Market: The market will delay its opening until Saturday, May 2.
  • Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts: All programs and classes are suspended.
  • Kingsport Public Library: The library will close to the public. Due dates on materials currently in possession will be extended, and late fees will not apply. Holds and donations will not be available during the closure. Visit for access to digital resources at any time, including e-books, audiobooks and other virtual programs.
  • Kingsport Parks and Recreation: All of Kingsport’s parks and on-site bathrooms will remain open to the public, but all programming including athletics are suspended. Lynn View Community Center and the V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex will close. Ballfields, including Brickyard and Domtar Park, will also close.
  • Kingsport Senior Center: Closing Wednesday at noon (previously released)
  • Renaissance Center: Closing Wednesday at noon (previously released)

Rental Recommendations
If you have rented a city facility between now and April 3, please contact the facility. As of March 17, the CDC recommends that for the next 15 days, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events of 10 or more people; and for the next eight weeks, cancel events of 50 or more people. If anyone who has already booked a rental has questions or wishes to cancel, please reach out to the facility directly.

For up-to-date information on the city’s response to COVID-19, please visit

City Hall and Public Facing Departments Close Locations &

Encourage Online and Phone Options

An update to the city locations and services that have direct interaction with public


KINGSPORT, TN – Within the public facing departments, important services to the citizens of Kingsport will be altered at noon today, March 23, to take precautions with the current COVID-19 pandemic. These alterations are expected to be in place for at least the next 6-8 weeks, to protect both employees and residents.

Kingsport City Hall – Customer Service

The customer service center will close to the public at noon. Please review the changes below.

  • For customers who need new service, customer service will work with the customer to get the needed documentation through email and text. Call 423-343-9860.
  • Utility payments can be made in person at the Justice Center. Enter through the main entrance, and you will be directed to the correct window.
  • Customers have several other options available to pay their utility bills. Kingsport encourages the use of these during this time.
    • Pay online at the city website
    • Pay over the phone by calling 423-343-9860.
    • Drop box located outside city hall.
    • Mail to PO Box 880, Kingsport, TN 37662 or 225 W. Center Street, Kingsport, TN 37660

Improvement Building – Building, Development Services, Code Enforcement

For customers that need permits, inspections, planning and zoning or code enforcement, please follow the guidelines below. All the departments listed below can be found on the city website,

  • For new permits, please call 423-229-9393 or use the online permit application found here.
  • For planning and zoning, please call 423-229-9485.
  • For code enforcement, please call 423-224-2633.
  • For metro planning organization, please call 423-229-9332.
  • For public works administration, please call 423-224-2465.

Sullivan County Offices located in City Hall

The offices located in City Hall are the Sullivan County Clerk, Chancery Court and Law Court. For more information, please contact the offices directly.

  • Sullivan County Clerk: 423-224-1726
  • Chancery Court: 423-224-1790
  • Law Court: 423-224-1724

For more information, please visit

Johnson City Public Library Closes Wednesday, March 18 Until Further Notice

JOHNSON CITY – Following guidance from the White House coronavirus task force, Johnson City Public Library will close on Wednesday, March 18 until further notice. This closure includes the cancelation of all events occurring at the Library. The Library is taking this step to ensure the health and safety of its users and employees.

People are encouraged to wait to return library materials until the Library reopens; the due dates of checked-out items will be extended through the closure period and no late fees will be applied. Holds that are placed will be ready for pick-up after the Library reopens. Donations of books and media items will not be accepted until the Library reopens.

The Library’s many online resources, such as ebooks and audiobooks from Tennessee R.E.A.D.S., are always available at

As the coronavirus outbreak develops, stay up to date on the Library’s plans and continue to access its digital resources by visiting and following Johnson City Public Library on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

The Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt originally scheduled at Southwestern Baptist Church, 1112 Cherokee Road in Johnson City, has been canceled due to coronavirus. Contact Rebecca at 423-928-5521 for more information and details.

Dear Appalachian Power Customer,

We hope this note finds you and your family safe and well.

At Appalachian Power, we understand the critical nature of the electric service we provide and are committed to the health and safety of our customers, communities, and employees. We prepare for all types of emergencies and have updated our plans for the COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring the situation and don’t anticipate COVID-19 will disrupt our ability to provide electric service for our customers.


To ensure our ability to continue serving you, we have taken significant steps to keep our employees healthy. Our line workers and other employees critical to maintaining service are working in smaller teams, adjusting work schedules, practicing physical distancing, monitoring themselves for any symptoms and taking other prevention measures recommended by the CDC. All employees who can are working from home to help prevent the spread of the virus.


As state and local governments are moving swiftly to combat the spread of COVID-19, we are working with them to ensure that our essential employees are designated as critical responders and are able to travel as necessary to keep the lights on. We are also working to make sure that equipment suppliers and support industries essential to our business can continue operating.



Because we know that many people are facing unusual financial hardships, we have temporarily suspended all service disconnections for non-payment. We urge you to try to keep your account current. If you are having trouble paying your bill, you should contact us on 1-800-956-4237, through your account, or through Facebook or Twitter to discuss payment options.


We have restricted outside visitors to all of our facilities (with the exception of delivery trucks), restricted all business travel that is not business critical, and restricted participation in face-to-face meetings – both internally and hosted by outside groups.



This is a rapidly evolving situation. We are continuously educating our employees about COVID-19 and collaborating with other companies in our industry, government experts, and public health agencies to adjust our response. We’re also continually monitoring and working to heighten employee and customer awareness of scams as well as cyber security risks.

We are monitoring any coronavirus tests, diagnoses, and exposures of our employees and their household members, as well as personal international travel and international visitors staying in their homes. Some team members will be asked to self-monitor or self-quarantine depending upon their exposure.

We are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and continually reviewing our responses and the guidance we are providing to our employees.


The American Electric Power Foundation is donating $1.5 million toward coronavirus relief, including $288,000 to agencies providing COVID-19 relief efforts across Appalachian Power’s three-state service area.

Thank you for taking time to learn about our response to COVID-19. We appreciate your ongoing trust in Appalachian Power as we work to keep your electric service safe and reliable

Bristol, TN Parks & Rec offering online exercise videos and social media activities while encouraging use of city parks


A series of exercise videos and social media activities designed to keep community members active during the coronavirus outbreak have been introduced by officials from the Bristol, Tennessee Department of Parks and Recreation, along with a reminder that more than 30 scenic city parks remain open to the public.

And while Slater Community Center and the Steele Creek Nature Center are currently closed, all City parks remain open to the public, said Parks & Recreation Director Terry Napier.  Gate fees at Steele Creek Park are currently being waived, allowing the public to enter for free, and Steele Creek Golf Course is operating during regular business hours with standard fees. The only change is that shelter and equipment rentals, including golf carts, have been suspended, he said.

A full list of City parks and the amenities featured at each is available at

For those with a creative streak, the department recently announced an Easter Egg Art Contest for community members of all ages. To enter, create an egg using the materials and medium of your choice, take a digital photo, and attach the photo to the entry form. Winners in a variety of categories will be awarded prizes bearing the city’s brand logo. Additional details are available at 

Facebook users are invited to share an uplifting message in sidewalk chalk this weekend through the Chalk the Walk event. You may find details on the City’s website at A Quarantine-o-ween event will be announced Sunday on the City’s Facebook page.

For additional information about these and other programs offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation, please call (423) 764-4023.

Postponed: Registration for Summer Program

Kingsport, TN – The Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department is postponing registration for their summer program due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Parents who are interested in enrolling their child or children should check the parks and recreation website for updates.

If you have any questions, please contact Renee Ensor at 423-224-2489.

For more information, please visit

City Playgrounds Closing per Safer at Home Order


KINGSPORT, TN – Per the Executive Order from Governor Lee and at the decision of the City of Kingsport officials, playgrounds within the city will begin closing tomorrow, April 1. The playgrounds will be closed until further notice.

City park spaces, including Bays Mountain Park and the Greenbelt, will remain open and residents are encouraged to visit in small groups and continue practicing social distancing.

Kingsport would like to remind all residents to continue to follow the best practices, including washing hands correctly and as often as possible, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, leaving home only for necessary trips and of course practicing social distancing in public spaces.

For more information, please visit