COVID-19 Information for Blount County
Blount County Government Buildings Alter Access via Appointment Only - 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.
We respectfully ask that you call the Department you need to do business with directly to discuss your needs and make an appointment only if the business is essential and time-sensitive. Entry into all County buildings will be by appointment only. Most Departments have on-line or alternative options for completing transactions.
Blount County Mayor COVID-19 Update
Our office has not rested during this time and has been working to get information to our citizens in as many ways possible, especially through our website. There are a lot of questions about local authority and how the Governor Orders apply to Blount County and our neighbors. Tennessee’s 95 counties are split into two groups:
The Governor has delegated authority to Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby and Sullivan Counties, the state’s 6 metro counties, which have their own locally run county health departments and their own Public Health Official. These counties have the authority to create their own plan for reopening separate from what the Governor issues.
The remaining 89 counties (including Blount) abide by the Governor’s orders for a Statewide reopening plan. This includes Tennessee Pledge guidelines. These 89 counties do not have the authority to implement alternative plans to those put forth by Governor Lee.
According to a recent Attorney General Opinion, "political subdivisions may not take any action that undermines the executive orders. Thus, a political subdivision may not take any action that is either more restrictive or less restrictive as to the subjects addressed in the orders. Such action would be at cross purposes with the orders and, therefore, constitute an impermissible legal conflict."
Details can be found in the Governor’s Tennessee Pledge for Restaurants, Retail Stores, Exercise Facilities, Close Contact Services, and more. The Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives issued guidance for gathering together in Houses of Worship.
We ask Blount County to move forward responsibly and with caution. As your Blount County Mayor, along with your municipality Mayors here in Blount County, we are glad to hear the plans for a safe, slow and phased reopening of our economy. Our community has sacrificed so much and our economy has suffered. We recognize our citizens need to work to support their families and we are encouraged by the communities response.
We appreciate so much the partnerships and cooperation we have with all of these Mayors here in Blount County, and throughout this Region. We all want the best for our citizens. Balancing our economic concerns with the health of our citizens means we begin reopening our economy WHILE adhering to all recommended physical distancing, sanitizing and safety measures in place. Again, we encourage our Blount County citizens to move forward slowly, stay local, continue to be diligent, and continue to be considerate of your neighbors. As we try to regain some normalcy, let’s all take our individual responsibility seriously to keep the spread of COVID-19 slow. We do not want to undo all the progress we have made under the Executive Orders and invite restrictions back on our citizens. Let’s continue to do all the things that make Blount County the best place to live.