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Board of Health extends curfew and social gathering limitations for two more weeks, questions surround the boards future – WATE 6 On Your Side

Posted: February 11, 2021 at 6:50 am


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) The Knox County Board of Health met again Wednesday, voting to keep the 11 p.m. curfew and the social gathering limit in place until March 4. But also, new questions surround the boards future.

This weeks board of health meeting saw a continued decrease in numbers, but gave stern warnings to the public to continue following COVID-19 guidelines.

Again we want to caution folks against accepting a high level of cases as normal. Even though these are lower than they have been in recent weeks. An average of 100 plus cases is still greater than wed like to see in our community. I think we can all agree on that, Dr. Martha Buchanan, director of the Knox County Health Department, said.

Another point brought up during the meeting the state governors Executive Order No. 73 is expiring soon. This order gives Knox Countys locally run health department the power to create rules and regulations to manage the spread of COVID-19. Its set to expire on Feb 27.

If the order is not extended, it raises questions about what will come of the regulations currently in place and the boards power to enforce new ones.

Dr. Shamiyeh pointed out that while the numbers are on a steady decline, its too soon to loosen the reins. Regulations and limitations are still very much needed right now.

We need to be careful about the message were sending that this is still an important time for us to buckle down or it could possibly go in the other direction, Shamiyeh said.

The next health board meeting is Feb 24, three days before the executive order expires.

The board has asked county legal counsel David Sanders to look into whether or not current regulations will be impacted should Governor Bill Lee choose not to extend it.

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Board of Health extends curfew and social gathering limitations for two more weeks, questions surround the boards future - WATE 6 On Your Side

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