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Joint Press Release Regarding Business Operations and COVID-19

(posted 3-22-20)

The mayors and city managers of Sevier County, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Pittman Center, and Sevierville are requesting and strongly urging non-essential businesses and services in Sevier County to temporarily close to the public due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This request coincides with Governor Lee’s Executive Order 17, which is in effect through April 6.

 Essential businesses and services, as defined by the state, include:

  • Food and beverage: grocery and beverage stores, farmers markets, food banks, catering, convenience stores selling food, agriculture, food processing, feed mills, and other businesses that directly support the food supply
  • Health care, mental and behavioral health, and biomedical research and businesses that directly support the healthcare industry including health information technology, staffing and supplies
  • Sanitation and waste removal businesses and services
  • Energy, water, and sewage businesses and services
  • Pharmacies and medical supply businesses, and other businesses that directly support the drug and medical supply pipeline
  • Vehicle fuel, support, service stations and businesses
  • Banks, savings and loans, insurance companies, accounting businesses, and other business that directly support the insurance and financial services sector
  • Legal and judicial services
  • Laundromats/laundry/cleaning services
  • Home and business repair, hardware supply
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Construction and facilities design businesses
  • Product logistics, transport, and distribution businesses
  • Parcel transportation and delivery businesses
  • Veterinary and pet supply business and services including agricultural services and the caring and feeding of all livestock and farm animals
  • Home and business cleaning and maintenance services
  • All businesses which rely upon deliveries may continue, including florists, Internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services)
  • Essential city, county, state and federal government functions including law enforcement, transportation, post offices, airports, and businesses that provide government programs and services
  • Certain other business and services that the Office of the Mayor determines are essential for the continued safety and security for the citizens of Sevier County.

Metro governments, such as Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, operate under different laws and charters and have the authority to order the closure of certain businesses. Sevier County and the cities do not have the same authority; however, we again strongly urge our citizens and businesses to adhere to this request.

Earlier Sunday, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order 17, which called for businesses to use alternative business models.