Knoxville businesses that fail to comply with public health regulations could lose their beer licenses. Those outside the city limits are not affected.
KNOX COUNTY, Tenn – In Knox County, health leaders are closely monitoring some promising trends in COVID-19.
Current hospitalizations for the virus are at their lowest since late November. Active cases have declined by nearly 50% since January 11.
“The hope is that, yes, we could get better,” said Dr. Patrick O’Brien, who serves on the Knox County Board of Health. “But that still means we really have to double down and do the five main actions.”
The Health Council has passed a series of COVID-19 regulations to help slow the spread. These include limiting the capacity of “all restaurants, bars and similar catering establishments” to 50% of the occupancy rate, maintaining six feet between parts of different households and shutting down consumption on site. at 10 p.m.
“We’re trying to make a difference right now in the community and trying to get this thing taken care of,” Dr O’Brien said. “[We need to] wear masks and social distancing until we get through it all, and it will take several more months to get there.
A spokesperson for the Knoxville Police Department said “the vast majority of businesses have remained compliant with the Board of Health curfew without the need for law enforcement intervention of any kind. . “
RELATED: City of Knoxville Takes Action to Punish Bars for Breaking COVID-19 Curfew Rules
The two companies that have repeatedly violated the curfew order – Paul’s Oasis and Billiards and Brews – are facing the suspension of their beer licenses.
Outside of city limits, however, there are no repercussions for businesses that do not adhere to public health regulations.
“The sheriff has not decided at this point to apply a constitutional public health rule,” said Dr. O’Brien. “I would like him to reconsider.”
Dr O’Brien said the council sent emails directly to the sheriff, as well as messages through intermediaries.
“The attempted conversations did not take place,” he said. “I also believe that law enforcement should only be done in extremely serious circumstances. When you organize big gatherings, concerts, stay open late, that meets those criteria. “
In early January, the Cotton Eyed Joe hosted two large concerts with little to no masks and no social distancing, in direct violation of county COVID-19 regulations.
On Saturday, the Cotton Eyed Joe hosted Mitchell Tenpenny for another concert that conflicts with public health guidelines.
“I understand the financial pressure, but hosting and attending large indoor gatherings is immoral and illegal,” said Ani Roma, another member of the Knox County Board of Health. “This pandemic has killed members of the Sherriff’s Office family, our healthcare staff and hundreds more in Knox County and events like this are likely to result in more deaths and long-term health consequences.
A risk calculation tool developed by researchers in Georgia Tech The university showed that a gathering of 500 people in Knox County had a 99% chance of having a COVID-19 positive person present.
“I support our citizens and business owners who continue to make sacrifices for the well-being of our community,” Roma said. “I appreciate our courageous healthcare workers, who continue to risk their own health and their lives for others every day.
A spokesman for Mayor Glenn Jacobs said law enforcement fell outside his role as county mayor or board member of health.
News Highlights Finance
- According to the source “I would like him to reconsider” | Knox Co. board of health frustrated by sheriff’s lack of enforcement of public health regulations
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