COVID-19 UPDATES

Welcome to our COVID-19 information center. See below for information and press releases from the City of Gatlinburg as it relates to the pandemic.

Visiting Gatlinburg soon? Check out the following resources from the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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Also, you may view our social media platforms for more information on the pandemic, as well as other City-based communications.

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Sevier County Health Department expands vaccine eligibility and offers extended hours to increase access to COVID-19 vaccination


Gatlinburg continues to monitor COVID-19
Posted: March 13, 2020 - 5:30 p.m
Modified: April 6, 2021

The City of Gatlinburg continues to monitor the COVID-19 virus, commonly called the Coronavirus. As of April 6, 2021, there have been 12,924 confirmed and probable cases, 65,769 negative tests and 77,983 total tests administered in Sevier County, with 12,574 inactive and recovered cases, 271 total hospitalizations since the outbreak began and 172 deaths, per the Tennessee Department of Health.  There are 178 active cases in Sevier County. The Tennessee Department of Health updates its case list between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT daily.

On Thursday, September 3, the Department of Health changed its reporting of active cases. As of September 3rd, the State will no longer report "Recovered" cases. Instead, the Department will now report the number of "Inactive/Recovered" cases. "Inactive/Recovered cases" will include cases who are 14 days or more beyond their illness onset date and who are not deceased. 

As of Friday, June 12, the Department of Health is releasing more information, including probable cases. A probable case is an individual who may have tested negative or may not have been tested at all, but has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and may have other risk factors. As of April 6, 2021 there have been a total of 1,802 total probable cases in Sevier County, which is included in the total cases for the county.

Click here for more information on how Tennessee determines how COVID-19 cases are counted.

As of March 26, 2021, 28,119 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been issued in Sevier County and 19.42% of the county's population has received as least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 9.92% of the county's population has received two doses of any manufacturer or one Johnson and Johnson dose. 

Sevier County’s team of local health experts, government leaders and emergency personnel continue to work together to share information and to be prepared to work together. We have distributed information to our City employees to help educate and keep them safe, as well as to keep our citizens and visitors safe. Our Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau has distributed information to our business community to help educate our workforce and keep our City, our citizens and our visitors safe.

The City encourages all of its residents and visitors to follow CDC guidelines to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

Those guidelines are:
  • Stay home when sick, except to get medical care, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with tissues and throw them in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces with a disinfectant.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • When in public, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from other people.



More information on the virus is available at http://www.coronavirus.gov or http://www.TN.gov/health.

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Sevier County face covering requirement extended through April 15, 2021
Updated: February 27, 2021 - 3:16 p.m.

On Saturday, February 27, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters signed an Executive Order, which extends the current, county-wide, face-covering mandate through April 15, 2021.

The mandate intends to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, reduce hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, and to protect the health of the residents, employees, and visitors of Sevier County.

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Sevier County Health Department expands vaccine eligibility and offers extended hours to increase access to COVID-19 vaccination
Posted July 17, 2020 - 2:02 p.m.
Updated March 24, 2021 - 9:10 a.m.

The Sevier County Health Department is expanding vaccine eligibility and offering extended hours to increase access to COVID-19 vaccination in the community.

Sevier County is now vaccinating all residents 16 and older. The Sevier County Health Department offers COVID-19 vaccination by appointment. To book your appointment, visit vaccinate.tn.gov and click the blue “Proceed to COVID-19 questionnaire” button at the bottom of the page to start your registration. If you need help scheduling your vaccination, please call 866-442-5301.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in individuals 16 and older. Individuals 16 and older may call 866-442-5301 or visit vaccinefinder.org to find a site that offers the Pfizer vaccine (individuals under age 18 must have parental consent). You must be 18 or older to receive the Moderna vaccine.

Beginning March 31st, the Sevier County Health Department COVID-19 vaccination site at the Sevier County Health Department will be open to provide vaccinations from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays each week.

“We’re eager to offer these additional opportunities for people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations in a way that works more conveniently with their schedules,” said Emma Davis, Sevier County Health Director. “The more people in Sevier County who choose to get their vaccinations, the sooner our community can return to normal day-to-day activities.”

The Sevier County Health Department reminds all Sevier County residents that in addition to vaccination, wearing a face mask, maintaining social distance and getting tested when exposed or sick are critical to controlling the pandemic. Tennessee’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan focuses on those most at risk for serious illness and death from COVID-19. Learn what phase of the vaccination plan you’re in at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines/eligibility/.

The Sevier County Health Department will also continue COVID-19 testing at its facility. Testing will be conducted in a self-test format, by appointment only, between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

Individuals opting to test via the self-test method will call to make an appointment and be advised when to arrive at the Health Department. Public Health Staff Members will provide these kits to adults upon arrival. Individuals will remain in their vehicles while completing the paperwork and collecting their samples, which will be submitted for testing. The self-test kits are only approved for those over the age of 18. Individuals can schedule an appointment for testing by calling 865-429-6232.

Standard drive-thru testing will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.

All vaccinations and testing is conducted at the Sevier County Health Department, which is located at 719 Middle Creek Road in Sevierville. The Health Department requests anyone arriving for testing to enter at the rear of the facility at the Blanton Drive access point to drive to the testing location. Traffic will exit the property onto Middle Creek Road.

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Sevier County officials release further clarification on Face Coverings Executive Order
Posted July 9, 2020 - 5:12 p.m.

Sevier County officials released further clarifications to Executive Order No. 23, which requires facial coverings from July 10 through August 3.

SEE FULL CLARIFICATION

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Sevier County Officials Require Face Coverings in Public Beginning July 10
Posted July 7, 2020 - 4:16 p.m.

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to keep local businesses operating, all Sevier County (Tennessee) residents, employees, and visitors are required to wear face coverings in public beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 10, per the Sevier County Mayor's Executive Order 23. The order is set to expire on Monday, August 3.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order 54 on Friday, July 3, 2020, permitting certain county mayors, including Sevier County’s, to issue local face covering requirements. Mayor Waters issued Executive Order 23 after consultation with government leaders across the county, including Sevierville Mayor Robbie Fox, Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear, Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner, Pittman Center Mayor Jerry Huskey, county commissioners, city managers of each city, emergency and law enforcement officials, tourism and economic officials, and state and regional health officials.

“After discussion with local, regional, and state officials and leaders, we have determined that ordering a face covering mandate is in the best interest of Sevier County,” Waters said. “We are doing this for the health and safety of our residents, employees, and visitors. We are also doing it to prevent another interruption or shutdown of businesses, and so our schools can open this fall.”

“We understand that this measure may be an inconvenience, but it is necessary as we continue to seek a balance between a healthy community and commerce. Requiring the wearing of face coverings helps mitigate the possibility of the state placing further restrictions or closures on our local businesses.”

The county-wide executive order requests businesses to post signage at public entrances informing patrons of the face covering requirement.

Per Executive Order 23, the Tennessee Department of Health is required to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak in Sevier County and provide detailed weekly updates to Mayor Waters. If the county mayor, along with the mayors and officials from the respective cities within Sevier County, deem the order ineffective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 as demonstrated by data provided by the Tennessee Department of Health, this order can be rescinded earlier than Aug. 3.

The order lists 13 instances, listed below, in which the face covering order does not apply:

• Within one’s residence or motor vehicles (unless transporting others for hire, carpooling, etc.), hotel and motel rooms while rented to and solely occupied by guests registered to the room, overnight rentals while rented to and solely occupied by guests registered to the rental;

• By a child twelve (12) years of age or younger;

• By someone who has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face covering;

• By someone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance;

• By someone with conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a face covering;

• While actively eating or drinking;

• While outdoors. Persons outdoors are encouraged to follow Tennessee Pledge and maintain social distancing;

• While participating in indoor athletic events or indoor exercising, as permitted by the Tennessee Pledge and orders from the Governor, while maintaining proper social distancing where possible;

• While working at location of employment under conditions where appropriate social distancing or protection from others (others is defined as outside of the person’s household) is substantially maintained;

• In situations in which wearing a face covering poses a safety or security risk;

• While in a house of worship unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged (for more information on worship, we encourage churches to follow the Tennessee Pledge);

• The Sevier County School System is exempt from this order as it will formulate its own reopening guidelines.

• Private businesses may implement stricter guidelines (for example, requiring face coverings outdoors on private property, etc.).

Sevier County Executive Order 23 intends to increase the wearing of face coverings to protect the health of residents, visitors, and employees and to ensure the state does not take further measures to disrupt local businesses and the economy. The County Mayor requests first-time offenders of this order be given a warning and educated on the purpose of such order.

READ THE FULL EXECUTIVE ORDER HERE

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The Tennessee Pledge
Updated May 8, 2020 - 12:38 p.m.



Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has outlined The Tennessee Pledge for reopening the economy safely. 

By following the above link, you can view the Tennessee Pledge sections for various sectors of the economy.

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