Livewiretricities - Local News

The City of Kingsport is increasing limitations for employees traveling outside of the region due to COVID-19 concerns.City officials sent out a notice to all employees Thursday morning essentially banning travel to Knox County.This expands an earlier order that blocked travel of more than 100 miles which was issued a couple of weeks ago.

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Apparently both Tennessee and Virginia are doing a poor job of social distancing, according to data reporting company Unacast.Unacast has compared current location data to data collected before the COVID-19 pandemic began.The data includes changes in time spent around the home and total distance traveled.Both Tennessee and Virginia have a score of a “D”.The United States as a whole received an average score of a “C.”In Northeast Tennessee, Greene and Cocke County received an “F,” while Washington County and Johnson County have received a “C-” and “C”.

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Abingdon officials are asking the public to stop calling 911 to ask questions about Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order, calling it improper use of the 911 emergency management system.Washington County dispatchers estimated they received more than 20 calls from Monday to Thursday from citizens asking about closed roads, travel restrictions or to report individuals gathering or otherwise not complying with the executive order. Police say when you call 911 and you’re tying up a 911 line, that’s tying up a line for a true emergency.”In a press release and in social media posts, officers are asking citizens to read the executive order instead of calling the police for clarification or permission to travel over state borders.

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Ballad Health announced on Thursday that they will be implementing a new process for recycling and re-sterilizing N-95 masks.Chief Operating Officer Eric Deaton said that the resterilization of the masks will give the much-needed equipment a longer life at the facilities.Deaton said the resterilization process will allow masks to be used twice. The process is expected to begin next week.

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The Scott County Virginia Sheriff’s Office is offering to do welfare checks for the elderly citizens in the county during the state’s stay at home order.According to a post from the sheriff’s office, anyone who would like deputies to check on a senior citizen should call dispatch at 276-386-9111.After calling, you will have to provide the name, address and phone number of the person who needs to be checked on. Afterward deputies will respond to see if the person needs groceries or assistance.

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Bristol Virginia Public Schools updated its COVID-19 Response Plan by canceling the system’s spring break and postponing events like graduation and prom.According to an updated response plan from Superintendent Keith Perrigan, the school board voted on Tuesday night to officially cancel spring break, originally scheduled for April 6-13.Since spring break is canceled, the schools will continue to provide student meals during that week.

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In a post on social media, it was announced that Fuddruckers in Johnson City will be closing its doors for good.The post said in part, “Due to unfortunate events, a heavy hearted decision was made that we are to close permanently. We are sorry for any inconveniences.” The post says it’s been a great 20 years and for everyone to stay safe.

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ETSU Health has closied its drive-thru COVID-19 testing site.ETSU Health will continue to administer testing at its clinics.“The local health department has just opened their drive-through testing sites in Washington County and the surrounding counties,” said Dr. Jonathan Moorman, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine. “These new sites are open to the public and, along with Ballad Health testing sites, are large enough to handle the demand for testing in our region at this time. You can also call the health department at 423.979.4689 for more information.

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Access points to the Appalachian Trail through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are temporarily shutting down.“We realize our communities and our visitors value the recreation opportunities the forest has to offer,” said Joby Timm, George Washington and Jefferson National Forest Supervisor. “A lot of consideration went into this decision. The health and safety of our employees and the public remain our top priority.”Parking lots dedicated to the AT are closed at this time.

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The Animal Shelter of Sullivan County reported that all animals have been “safely transitioned to foster homes, rescue organizations, or adopted into their furever homes!”If you’d like to adopt a pet, you can still do so. The process can be found online. All paperwork is done digitally or virtually.

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