COVID-19 Information for Blount County
Amendments Made to In-Person Court Proceedings
On November 24, the Blount County Circuit Court filed an order that details continuing amendments made to court procedures due to COVID-19. These amendments include the suspension of Blount County General Sessions Court criminal dockets from December 1, 2020 until January 29, 2021, subject to the following exception: Proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants, including bond-related matters, plea agreements for incarcerated individuals that will result in jail release, and and stipulations of probation violations that will result in jail release. Additional measures are included in the order; the full text is available below.
Blount County Government Buildings Alter Access - EXTENDED
County Buildings, including the Courthouse, Justice Center, Operations Center, Animal Center and Adult Probation & Recovery Court, are continuing to limit in-person services. Government will continue to operate and employees are continuing to work for our citizens. Normal business hours at the Courthouse and the Justice Center are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The County Clerk's Office does not require an appointment and is available for walk-in transactions.
All other Departments continue to operate by appointment only, and most Departments have on-line or alternative options for completing transactions. We respectfully ask that you call the Department you need to do business with directly to discuss your needs. The "Online Services" tab at the left of this page has more information about services available by Department.
Blount County Mayor COVID-19 Update
My office has not rested during this time, and we have worked every day to learn more about this virus, review new data, and discuss COVID-19 with both local health officials and regional mayors. We are continuing to work hard to get information to our citizens in as many ways as possible, especially through our website.
I will continue to strongly urge citizens to take personal responsibility and care for each other throughout the duration of this pandemic. Please understand that my decision not to mandate masks at this time does not mean I am against the use of face masks. It is true that many people are relaxing far too much in the face of the growing threat of this pandemic. This is not the time to take off your mask, travel unnecessarily, or attend large gatherings. It is also important to be mindful of small, household gatherings. At the end of the day, it is up to each person to embrace personal responsibility and make the wisest decisions that we can. We are in control of the places we choose to be, the people we choose to be around, and our behavior with regards to social distancing and mask-wearing. We have the opportunity to choose to protect our neighbors, our family, our children’s teachers, and our healthcare workers. Your decision to be responsible, wear your mask, and stay home as much as possible saves hospital capacity for those who need it most, keeps schools open so that children can receive in-person instruction, and saves the lives of your elderly neighbors.
With that said, I take my responsibility to our County very seriously. I take our freedoms very seriously. I take the health and safety of our citizens very seriously. I am in constant communication with local health officials, continuing to evaluate data and assess the best decisions for Blount County day-by-day. My decisions will always be made with the best interest of all of Blount County in mind and not based on election votes. There is no room for politics during this COVID-19 pandemic. This is a health crisis. I will do everything I am authorized to do within the oath of my office to keep Blount County safe.
Blount County has a reputation for doing things the right way. Our County facilities are often toured by other counties to learn more about how we operate. Our departments win awards for the excellent service that they provide our citizens each and every day. The citizens of Blount County have done a very good job of responding to this pandemic. This has taken a lot of hard work and sacrifice on the part of individuals. Wearing a mask is easy, but limiting your contact with loved ones, avoiding large gatherings, and learning to live with pandemic restrictions is hard. Until an effective vaccine is widely available, we must continue to work hard.
I ask Blount County to continue moving forward responsibly and cautiously. I urge you to join me in wearing a mask where social distancing cannot be achieved. This simple action is a courtesy to your neighbors that helps keep others safe as we move about our community. Let’s continue to do all the things that make Blount County the best place to live.