We will continuously update this page with the latest information, schedule changes, and other data related to the COVID-19 situation in the Tri-Cities and nationwide.

Friday, July 10

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Friday.

*Christian Care Center of Bristol, Tennessee announces 22 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Six staff members are also being treated for the virus.

*Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable announced Friday a mask mandate beginning Sunday. Mask and face coverings must be worn inside all public and retail buildings. Churches are exempt from the order and masks can be removed when eating and drinking.

*Bella’s Pizza and Subs in Abingdon has announced they will temporarily close their shop after a worker tested positive for the coronavirus.

*Johnson County Schools release 2020-21 reopening plans. Schools will operate in either full reopening or forced closed (virtual learning). During full reopening, all schools will start at 7:45 a.m, students will be screened daily, and will not be required to wear a mask. Teachers will only be required to wear a mask when working in close proximity with children. Under forced closure procedures, classes will be held online and students will be responsible for participating in daily assignments and activities. The full reopening plan can be found here.

*Tennessee Supreme Court issues Executive Order requiring all people aged 12 and over to wear a mask inside courthouses statewide at all times. The order takes effect Monday, July 13 and will be in effect until further notice.

*Officials confirm a City of Kingsport employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Employees and other affected employees have not been at work since June 29.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 68,931 cases, 6,675 hospitalizations, 1,958 deaths, and 9,189 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (961) New cases reported in Bland County (1), Bristol (2), Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (3), Galax (1), Lee County (2), Russell County (3), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (2), and Wise County (2).

*Tennessee Valley Authority to provide incentives to businesses and schools who install UV-C lights that can remove viruses like COVID-19. Full story here.

*Tusculum University moving from in-person graduation to virtual graduation next month. Graduation was originally rescheduled to an in-person ceremony set for August 8.

*Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issues mask mandate to take effect Friday at 5 p.m. Mask wearing required in indoor public places, outdoor places where social distancing can not happen. Those exempt include children under the age of 5 and anyone with a disability or mental impairment that prevents them from safely wearing a face mask. The order is enforceable by local health departments. The order will remain in effect for 30 days. The full executive order can be found here.

*Hawkins County Schools releases reopening plans for 2020-2021 academic year. Link to that is available here. School system will operate in three phases, all dependent on active COVID-19 cases in Hawkins County and within the school. Two virtual learning options are also available to students and parents for the upcoming academic year. A link to a survey for enrolling in the online option is available here.

Thursday, July 9

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 57,591 cases, 710 deaths. Local cases (769) Active cases (232) By County- Carter County (22), Greene County (30), Hawkins County (25), Johnson County (7), Sullivan County (77), Unicoi County (3), and Washington County (68).

*Blackbird Bakery set to reopen Friday morning at 6:00 a.m., after being closed following an employee testing positive for COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 67,988 cases, 6,625 hospitalizations, 1,937 deaths, and 9,065 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (942) New cases reported in Bristol (1), Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (2), Washington County (4), and Wise County (1).

*Certain businesses in Washington County, VA are eligible for funding thanks to a grant awarded to Washington County, VA from the federal CARES Act. Complete details on eligibility can be found here.

*State and local breakdown of new US Dept. of Labor unemployment claims report available here.

*Town of Greeneville to re-enter phase 1 of its reopening plan Monday, July 13. Town Hall and EastView Recreation Center will close, but services will be offered by appointment, online, and by phone.

Wednesday, July 8

*TSSAA delays vote on decision for options on having high school football and soccer in the fall.

*Link to framework for reopening of schools in Bristol City, Kingsport City, and Sullivan County Schools can be found by clicking here. Health officials say based on the evolving expert advice of the public health community, schools in Sullivan County will only open with zero to moderate spread of COVID-19 based on cases per 100,000 and health department cluster evaluation. Severe spread of COVID-19 in the county would result in all three school districts operating in a remote method. Other information from the guidelines includes if school were to reopen under minimal to moderate spread of COVID-19 all desks will be arranged facing the same direction, toward the front of the room. Students will either wear face coverings or distance themselves six feet away from others and non essential gatherings of less than 50 students at a time are also discouraged.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 55,986 cases, 685 deaths. Local cases (719) Active cases (206) By county- Carter County (21), Greene County (38), Hawkins County (15), Johnson County (7), Sullivan County (60), Unicoi County (3), and Washington County (62).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 67,375 cases, 6,577 hospitalizations, 1,905 deaths, and 9,011 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (932) New cases reported in Bristol (2), Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (4), Galax (1), Russell County (1), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (2), and Wise County (1). One case decrease in Lee County.

*Washington County, TN Health Department modifies free COVID-19 testing hours. New hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m-2 p.m.

Tuesday, July 7

*Washington County, TN Mayor Joe Grandy mandating that masks be worn inside all government buildings within the county.

*Christian Care Center of Bristol reports a total of eight individuals at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes two workers and six patients—two of which are now in isolation and four are receiving treatment at local hospitals.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update. Local cases (674) Includes 7 deaths, 485 recoveries, and 182 active cases. Active cases by county- Carter County (16), Greene County (37), Hawkins County (15), Johnson County (12), Sullivan County (46), Unicoi County (2), and Washington County (54).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 66,740 cases, 6,512 hospitalizations, 1,881 deaths, and 8,913 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (919) New cases reported in Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (2), Galax (5), Grayson County (1), Tazewell County (5), and Washington County (1). One case decrease from the day prior in Wythe County.

*Auto Dealers Exchange of Memphis in Fall Branch is set to permanently lay off 35 workers on August 1st.

Monday, July 6

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update.

*Tennessee preparing for two sales tax holidays for the first and only time ever. Traditional back-to-school holiday scheduled for July 31-August 2. New restaurant sales tax free holiday set for August 7-9.

*2020 Rhythm and Roots Festival in Bristol canceled.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 66,102 cases, 6,435 hospitalizations, 1,853 deaths, and 8,809 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (905) New cases reported in Carroll County (1), Galax (4), Grayson County (1), Lee County (1), Tazewell County (1), Wise County (2), and Wythe County (2).

*Mask mandate now in effect until August 1 at courts in the Third Judicial District (Hawkins, Hamblen, Greene, and Hancock counties). Exceptions to mask wearing includes witnesses giving testimony, judges who are on their way to the bench, lawyers who are trying their cases or otherwise addressing the court, and clerks seated in the courtroom who are adequately social distanced or clerks who are at their work stations in the clerks’ office and properly social distanced.

*Bristol Public Library, Kingsport Public Library, both reopening to the public beginning today. COVID-19 health guidelines will be in effect at both locations, visit their websites for more details.

Sunday, July 5

*Seven employees at Holston Manor Nursing Home in Kingsport initially tested positive for COVID-19 according to the facility’s Facebook post on Thursday July 2. Over the weekend, Holston Manor announced it had retested all seven employees, and they received negative tests. Holston Manor says it will test the employees one more time before allowing them to come back to work. No reports of any residents at Holston Manor with the virus.

*Barberitos Southwest Grille Campus location closes Saturday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Store remains closed as of Monday as all employees are being tested for the virus. See Facebook post below:

On July 4th around 10:30 A.M., our Campus location (1735 W. State of Franklin Rd) was notified an employee had tested…

Posted by Barberitos Southwestern Grille & Cantina on Sunday, July 5, 2020

*Weekend TN COVID-19 Update: (numbers as of Sunday) 51,431 cases, 2,871 hospitalizations, 646 deaths, 30,254 recoveries, and 600 local cases (150 active cases, and 22 new cases gained from Saturday.

*Weekend VA COVID-19 Update: (numbers as of Sunday) 65,748 cases, 6,418 hospitalizations, 1,853 deaths, and 893 local cases (22 new cases from Saturday)

Friday, July 3

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 64,393 cases, 6,382 hospitalizations, 1,845 deaths, and 8,711 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (863) New cases reported in Bristol (1), Carroll County (1), Galax (2), Smyth County (2), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (1).

*Carter County Schools posts a letter to parents, students, and teachers, stating they plan to return to classes based on plan previously approved by the school board. An online option is available to those interested, and the application for the Carter County Online Academy can be found here.

*The Washington County, TN Board of Education has approved their school reopening plan. Three different options of the reopening plan include a full reopening, a staggered schedule reopening, and a fully online reopening. A specific option has not yet been selected. To read the Washington County, TN Schools reopening plan, click here.

Thursday, July 2

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update–available by clicking here. Local cases (525), Active cases (120) By County- Carter County (14), Greene County (26), Hawkins County (13), Johnson County (13), Sullivan County (23), Unicoi County (3), Washington County (28).

*Town of Unicoi launching Farmers Market on July 7 following month long delay due to COVID-19 spike in county.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 63,735 cases, 6,333 hospitalizations, 1,816 deaths, and 8,496 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (855) New cases reported in Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (1), Galax (5), Grayson County (1), Russell County (1), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (1), and Washington County (1).

*US Department of Labor weekly jobless claims report for July 2- (1.42 million initial first time claims nationwide). TN (22,256 new claims (21,155 claims last week, 1,101 claim increase) VA (33,062 new claims (25,293 claims last week, 7,769 claim increase)

Northeast TN (984 new claims for the week ending June 27) (14,615 continued claims)
By County:
Carter County- 78 new claims (1,197 continued claims)
Greene County- 182 new claims (2,422 continued claims)
Hawkins County- 127 new claims (1,598 continued claims)
Johnson County- 49 new claims (318 continued)
Sullivan County- 273 new claims (4,599 continued)
Unicoi County- 29 new claims (473 continued)
Washington County- 246 new claims (4,008 continued)

*TN Gov. Bill Lee has signed an executive order granting healthcare providers limited COVID-19 liability protection. Includes hospitals, nursing homes, and health care workers. Other entities like businesses and schools are not yet protected, and that will have to happen with approval from the General Assembly.

Wednesday July 1

*2020 Racks by the Tracks Festival canceled.

*The TSSAA Board of Control has developed four options in an effort to salvage the 2020 high school football season.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update. Local cases (508), Active cases (112) By County- Carter County (19), Greene County (27), Hawkins County (10), Johnson County (12), Sullivan County (13), Unicoi County (2), and Washington County (29).

*JJ’s Restaurant in Abingdon, VA to close until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test found in a significant other of an employee.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 63,203 cases, 6,262 hospitalizations, 1,786 deaths, and 8,131 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (839) New cases reported in Carroll County (7), Galax (3), Grayson County (2), Smyth County (2), and Wythe County (3).

*Free COVID-19 testing will be available today for residents in Tazewell County, VA from 12-3 p.m at the Tazewell County Fairgrounds. Appointments are not required, but encouraged. To set up appointment, call 276-988-5585.

*Johnson City Schools have released reopening guidelines. Schools will return to session for in-person learning on August 4th, but parents can choose between in-person and remote learning for their students. That decision must be made by Friday, July 17. For complete information on the latest reopening updates, click here.

*Virginia enters phase three of the state’s reopening process. Easing of restrictions include increase in social gathering limits from 50 to 250 people, indoor fitness centers can expand operation to 75% capacity, and recreation and entertainment venues can operate at 50% capacity. The state’s mask mandate on wearing a face covering in indoor public settings remains in effect.

Tuesday, June 30

*Recently completed survey shows majority of Greene County parents want their children to return to school for in-person instruction. An online option will also be available and no fees will be associated with the program.

*Total cases of COVID-19 in Northeast TN have reached the 500 mark. Local case breakdown after release of numbers Tuesday by the state department of health- 500 total cases, 7 deaths, 386 recoveries, and 107 active cases. Active cases by county- Carter County (17), Greene County (27), Hawkins County (10), Johnson County (11), Sullivan County (13), Unicoi County (2), and Washington County (27).

*Minor League Baseball canceled for 2020 season, including Appalachian League’s 2020 season.

*TSSAA announces the start of football and girls soccer will be delayed due to COVID-19.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report.

*Exchange Place in Kingsport has canceled its annual Fall Folk Arts Festival scheduled for September.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 62,787 cases, 6,203 hospitalizations, 1,763 deaths, and 8,08 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (822) New cases reported in Carroll County (5), Lee County (2), Russell County (1), Washington County (1), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (1).

Monday, June 29

*Staff member at Christian Care Center in Bristol tests positive for COVID-19.

*Governor Bill Lee extends COVID-19 State of Emergency until Aug. 29 by signing Executive Order 50 on Monday.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update.

*Bristol Public Library set to reopen to the public next Monday. Visit the library’s website for complete details.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 62,189 cases, 6,164 hospitalizations, 1,740 deaths, and 8,023 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (811) New cases reported in Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (1), Galax (1), Smyth County (1), and Russell County (2).

*COVID-19 data in TN not released on Sunday due to an unplanned shutdown of the data reporting system.

*Weekend COVID-19 Update VA: Sunday totals include 61,736 cases, 6,136 hospitalizations, and 1,732 deaths, with 803 local cases.

Friday, June 26

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 60,570 cases, 6,071 hospitalizations, 1,700 deaths, and 7,868 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (760) New cases reported in Galax (5), Grayson County (3), Washington County (2), and Wythe County (1).

*Virginia Department of Social Services announces funding is available for those affected by the pandemic to help with their utility cooling bills for the summer months.

*Movies on Main in Jonesborough set to return next Friday. Movies will be displayed by drive-in each Friday night in July at the Washington County Courthouse.

Thursday, June 25

*ETSU announces changes to fall 2020 semester- includes class start date of August 24, in-person and online classes, classes to end on campus November 21, remaining portion of semester to be taught online (Nov. 30 – Dec. 4 and for Final Exams Dec. 5-10.)

*Sloopy’s Diner in Kingsport closes due to positive COVID-19 test found in employee.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 37,235 cases, 932 new cases.

*Organizers of the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee have canceled the 2020 edition of the event.

*Officials with Elizabethton City Schools have created a survey seeking input from parents on the best way to reopen schools this fall amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The link to the survey can be found here.

*Free COVID-19 testing available in Tazewell County, VA next Wednesday at the Tazewell County Fairgrounds from 12 p.m-3 p.m. Testing is available to all Virginia residents age 18 and older (adolescents accompanied by parent or guardian and able to cooperate with test collection may be tested with parent/guardian consent) Appointments are not required, but to avoid waiting in line, the Cumberland Plateau Health District encourages individuals to call 276-988-5585 to pre-register so that forms can be completed in advance and to receive an appointment time. You may drive-thru or walk up for testing. If someone is interested in testing is to walk up, please wear a cloth face covering or mask and practice physical distancing. If driving, the department of health encourages those wishing to be tested to sit at a window. For the safety of the testing staff, please keep windows rolled up until told otherwise.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 59,946 cases, 5,995 hospitalizations, 1,675 deaths, and 7,818 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (755) New cases reported in Carroll County (4), Galax (15), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (2), and Wythe County (2).

*Weekly jobless claims report: 1.48 million new jobless claims filed across America for the week ending June 20. TN (21,155 new claims filed last week, an increase of 1,742 from the week prior. 1,012 new claims filed locally last week) VA (26,072 new claims filed last week, a decrease of 1,114 claims from the week prior). The full US Department of Labor report can be found here.

*Renovations to the Washington County, TN Health Department is causing a change in access the department’s parking lot on Princeton Road. Starting Monday June 29th, anyone seeking a COVID-19 test at the health department will need to turn onto College Road from Princeton Road and follow signs to the drive-thru site. Testing continues to be available at the Washington County Health Department Monday-Friday from 9 a.m-12 p.m.

*The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled it will not block a judge’s order offering a by-mail voting option to all eligible voters during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the AP’s full story here.

*Tennessee State Museum in Nashville reopening to the public next Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. It will operate at 75% capacity, admission is free, and guests will be required to receive a temperature check/wear a face covering.

Wednesday, June 24

*Cases of COVID-19 reach the 400 mark in Northeast TN.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 750 new cases, 2,336 hospitalizations, 11 new fatalities, 542 total deaths.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 59,514 cases, 5,955 hospitalizations, 1,661 deaths, and 7,765 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (731) New cases reported in Carroll County (3), and Tazewell County (2).

*The Carter County Health Department is changing COVID-19 testing hours effective today, new hours are Monday-Friday between 9:00 am -12:00 pm. The health department is located at 403 East G Street, Elizabethton, TN. Please call Monday through Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm for further information. Phone: (423) 543-2521

*City of Elizabethton employee tests positive for COVID-19.

Tuesday, June 23

*Gov. Ralph Northam announces Virginia will move into phase three of reopening process beginning next Wednesday.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 451 new cases, 5 new deaths, 531 fatalities.

*Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN holding food distribution event this Thursday at Nuclear Fuel Services Training Center, located at 1650 Jackson Love Highway in Erwin, TN from 4-6 p.m. Click here for more details.

*The Johnson County Chamber of Commerce has canceled the 4th of July Fireworks celebration, in addition to The Carolina Truck and Tractor Pull event scheduled for July 25th.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 58, 944 cases, 5,913 hospitalizations, 1,645 deaths, and 7,725 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (730) New cases reported in Carroll County (4), Galax (3), Grayson County (1), Scott County (1), Smyth County (1), and Wythe County (2).

*Tennessee Dept. of Education releases videos on classroom restructuring that take COVID-19 precautions ahead of school districts planning to reopen in the fall. The link to those videos can be found here.

Monday, June 22

*Contura Energy lays off over 100 miners at two mines in West Virginia, has also cut capital costs to strengthen the company’s financial performance for the remainder of the year.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 656 new cases, 35,102 confirmed, 2,291 hospitalizations, 526 deaths.

*The Town of Jonesborough to hold a 4th of July block party from 10 a.m-6 p.m along Main St. from Fox St. to First Ave.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 58,465 cases, 5,869 hospitalizations, 1,620 deaths, and 7,663 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (718) New cases reported in Carroll County (1), Galax (1), Grayson County (1), Norton (2), and Smyth County (1).

*Domtar to keep Kingsport mill idle through August, 304 workers affected since mill’s temporary closure in April.

Sunday, June 21

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 35,102 cases, 2,291 hospitalizations, 526 deaths, and 23,067 recoveries. Local cases (376) Active cases (35) Active cases by county- Carter County (7), Greene County (0), Hawkins County (5), Johnson County (3), Sullivan County (3), Unicoi County (0), and Washington County (17).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 57,994 cases, 5,840 hospitalizations, and 1,611 deaths. Local cases (712)

Friday, June 19

*Town of Boone, NC requiring all individuals to wear a mask in indoor public places beginning Saturday.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 34,017 cases, 2,238 hospitalizations, 515 deaths, and 22,531 recoveries.

*All 38 Scott’s Strawberry and Tomato Farm employees that tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 56,793 cases, 5,797 hospitalizations, 1,602 deaths, and 7,563 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (691) New cases reported in Bland County (1, case now recognized by state), Carroll County (9), Galax (6), Grayson County (5), and Smyth County (2).

*Virginia Highlands Community College is the latest local college to announce reopening plans for the upcoming fall semester. Full story here.

*The Town of Greeneville has issued health guidelines ahead of its revamped 4th of July celebration:

*A limited supply of masks will be available at Gosnell’s Stereo and Music on Tusculum Boulevard, where the celebration will kickoff with a concert by Aaron Walker Band at 6 p.m. Audience seating at Gosnell’s will adhere to social distancing guidelines throughout the show, which will end with a performance by Strong Ties gospel bluegrass, beginning at 6:45 p.m.

*Hand sanitizing stations will be located at Gosnell’s and the final concert location of the evening, Hardin Park. To social distance at Hardin Park, each individual or family is asked to bring a blanket to designate their seating area at least six feet from their neighbors while enjoying the show. The Hardin Park concert will feature Flying Js at 7:30 and Imperial Inc. at 8:15.

*Following the concerts, and prior to the fireworks how, a caravan-style Andrew Johnson Bank Parade will be held throughout town. Organizers have received approximately 70 requests of locations for the caravan to pass. The route is being mapped and will be announced soon.

*To social distance at the fireworks show at Greeneville High School, individuals and families are asked to stay with their vehicles or bring blankets to designate their seating areas in the same manner as at Hardin Park.

*Everyone is welcome to wear their own masks and bring their own hand sanitizer to the celebration.

*East Tennessee State University has announced changes to its academic calendar for the upcoming semester amid continuously changing COVID-19 precautions:

The university will be open and classes will be held on Labor Day (September 7) and Veterans Day (November 11);
Fall Break will be rescheduled to Thanksgiving week;
Last day of in-person classes will be November 20 (11/21 for Saturday classes);
The university will be closed for Fall/Thanksgiving Break the week of November 23-27; and
Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, December 12; more information on the format for that event will be provided later.
Remote instruction for all classes will take place November 30 – December 4 and for final exams between December 5-10.
The Gatton College of Pharmacy will alter its start date but will follow the university schedule beginning in September.
The Quillen College of Medicine will maintain its regular schedule.

Thursday, June 18

*VA Governor Ralph Northam introduces phase three reopening guidelines, which includes an increase of 50 to 250 people able to gather, fitness centers expanding occupancy to 75%, and recreation and entertainment venues can operate at 50% capacity, or up to 1,000 people. No targeted date for phase three reopening has been announced Full details available here.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 32,595 cases, 2,209 hospitalizations, 509 deaths, and 21,949 recoveries. Local cases (364) Active cases in Northeast TN (38).

*Dolly Parton’s Stampede is set to resume operations next month with first shows July 3rd. Precautions will be in place including crowds will be limited to 50% capacity and all guests as well as staff will be required to wear a face mask. Full story here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 56,238 cases, 5,744 hospitalizations, 1,586 deaths, and 7,483 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (668) New cases reported in Carroll County (1), Galax (3), Grayson County (1), and Smyth County (2). Reported case in Bland County not yet added to state totals.

*US Department of Labor Unemployment claims report 6/18: TN (19,925 first time claims, 983 less than last week) VA (28,804 first time claims, 1,147 less than last week)

Wednesday, June 17

*Gates to the Rhododendron Gardens have reopened by the US Forestry Service. Video available here.

*The Mount Rogers Health District reports the first COVID-19 case in Bland County, which now means all Southwest VA counties have at least one virus case.

*The 2020 International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough scheduled for October is moving to an online format. Full story here.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 31,830 cases, 20,710 recoveries, 2,146 hospitalizations, 493 deaths.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 55,775 cases, 5,692 hospitalizations, 1,583 deaths, 7,425 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (661) New cases reported in Carroll County (2), Galax (2), Grayson County (2), Russell County (1), and Smyth County (4).

*Education leaders in Sullivan County continue to work on reopening plans for the upcoming academic year. A letter was issued to parents and students which covers several topics like graduation, three scenarios of learning operation, the school’s reopening date, extracurricular activities, and community use of school facilities. A survey will be soon be issued to allow parents and students to respond to the reopening guidelines. All guidelines will be presented to the Board of Education during a meeting on July 9. The link to the letter can be found here.

Tuesday, June 16

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 31,830 cases, 20,710 recoveries, 2,146 hospitalizations, 493 deaths.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 55,331 cases, 5,643 hospitalizations, 1,570 deaths, and 7,344 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (652) First COVID-19 case reported in Dickenson County. New cases reported in Carroll County (2), Galax (1), and Smyth County (2).

*Organizers have canceled the 2020 Umoja Festival in Johnson City due to the pandemic, according to a statement issued Tuesday.

*Stone Mountain Health Services offering COVID-19 testing by appointment only on a first come, first serve basis for health service patients today at the William A. Davis Clinic, 1389 Dante Road, St Paul, VA 24283-3658, from 9 a.m-1 p.m.

*Gate City, VA DMV scheduled to reopen next Monday following temporary closures of DMVs statewide due to COVID-19. Customers will be served by appointment only. Below is the DMV’s schedule: Monday-Friday 8 a.m-5 p.m; Saturday 8 a.m-12 p.m.

*Link to Washington County, TN Schools reopening survey available here.

*Link to Bristol, TN City Schools reopening survey here.

Monday, June 15

*Motorsport.com is reporting that due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race will be moved to Bristol Motor Speedway next month. The event is currently scheduled for Wednesday, July 15 at 7 p.m. A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend, according to the report. The race will be broadcast and streamed on Fox Sports 1.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 31,160 cases, 2,106 hospitalizations, 483 deaths, and 20,062 recoveries. Local cases (345) New case reported in Johnson County. Active cases (23)- Carter (0), Greene (0), Hawkins (0), Johnson (4), Sullivan (3), Unicoi (3), and Washington (13).

*Parents of Tennessee students can apply for additional help to pay for their child’s meals due to potential financial hardship from the coronavirus. Story here.

*2020 Meet the Mountains Festival in Johnson City canceled. Organizers now working on 2021 event.

*The Hamblen County Department of Education has announced the 2020-2021 school year will begin on July 31st. Parents will have the choice of sending their children to in-person instruction or online learning, according to a report.

*A local drive-in theater in Marion, VA is planning to project a country music legend on its screen as part of a nationwide drive-in concert series. Garth Brooks will be one of many musicians performing recorded shows in the coming months with crowds currently unable to attend live performances due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Park Place Drive-In Theater will be one of hundreds of drive-ins across the country planning to show Garth’s concert. Tickets will be available for purchase through Ticketmaster, with a costs of $100 per vehicle of up to 6 people inside. Tickets go on sale June 19th for the concert scheduled for June 27th.

*Scott Strawberry and Tomato Farm stands reopen following COVID-19 disruption at farm facilities. More information here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 54,886 cases, 5,588 hospitalizations, 1,552 deaths, and 7,230 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (646) New cases reported in Carroll County (2), Galax (1), Scott County (1), and Smyth County (2).

*Dollywood set to reopen for season pass holders today and tomorrow, for all other guests Wednesday.

*Free COVID-19 testing hours to be modified at select Northeast TN health departments beginning today:

Church Hill Health Department is located at:
247 Silver Lake Road, Church Hill, TN
Testing is Monday-Friday between 10:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
Phone: (423) 357-5341

Rogersville Health Department is located at:
201 Park Boulevard, Rogersville, TN
Testing is Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Phone: (423) 272-7641

Hancock County Health Department is located at:
178 Willow Street, Sneedville, TN
Testing is Monday-Friday between 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
(423) 733-2228

Johnson County Health Department is located at:
715 West Main Street, Mountain City, TN
Testing is Monday-Friday between 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
(423) 727-9731

Sunday, June 14

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 30,432 cases, 2,087 hospitalizations, 475 deaths, and 19,896 recoveries. Local cases (344). 26 active cases- Carter County (0), Greene County (0), Hawkins County (0), Johnson County (4), Sullivan County (4), Unicoi County (4), and Washington County (14).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 54,506 cases, 5,536 hospitalizations, 1,546 deaths. Local cases (640)

Friday, June 12

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 28,340 cases, 18,922 recoveries, 471 new cases, 441 deaths.

*Emory & Henry College has announced their Fall 2020 semester will begin on August 17 and conclude on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

*Kingsport Mack Riddle American Legion Independence Day Parade has been canceled for 2020.

*Ballad Health Urgent Care on West Elk Avenue in Elizabethton, TN has now reopened after temporarily closing for consolidation purposes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

*2020 Thirsty Orange Beer Festival postponed until April 2021.

*Emory & Henry College has announced preliminary plans for the upcoming fall semester. The college will start classes on August 17th and will end them on November 24th, just before Thanksgiving. Officials say the semester will be divided into two seven week terms as they continue to work to meet safe public health and social distancing guidelines on the campus in anticipation of in-person learning. Finalized plans are expected soon.

Thursday, June 11

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 27,869 cases, 18,516 recoveries, 1,990 hospitalizations, 436 deaths.

*Virginia High School League agrees to let summer practices begin on June 15. Read the statement here.

*US Department of Labor weekly jobless claims report (6/11)- 1,542,000 new claims filed nationwide for the week ending June 6, a decrease of 355,000 adjusted claims from the week prior. (Tennessee) 21, 417 new claims filed last week (Continuous claims 292,234) a decrease of 838 from the week prior, Northeast TN claims- 699. (Virginia) 30,164 new claims filed last week, a decrease of 1,215 from last week.

*Daily VA COVID-91 Update: 52,647 cases, 5,360 hospitalizations, and 1,520 deaths. Local cases (586) New cases reported in Carroll County (5), Galax (11), Grayson County (3), Smyth County (1), Wythe County (4).

*The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, VA is set to reopen today. See full details regarding reopening guidelines here.

*Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group is partnering with University of Tennessee Knoxville researchers, including the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the university’s Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS) for collection of survey data on the public’s opinion of the reopening of the state. The group will conduct surveys every two weeks throughout the summer that will help gather more information on things like Tennesseans sense of safety and economic well being as the state continues to move away from COVID-19 restrictions. A link to the survey can be found here.

*Starting next month, Barter Theatre has announced a pair of live productions including the Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast Jr. will take place at the Historic Moonlite Drive-In Theatre off of Lee Highway in Abingdon. Officials with Barter are calling it a special series titled, Barter at the Moonlite, and attendees will see actors perform live on stage while a simulcast on the movie screen will also show the performance. Full story available here.

Wednesday, June 10

*TN Governor Bill Lee has issued an executive order to allow limited visitation for guests at those facilities beginning Monday. He said some centers may need extended time to prepare for new stricter guidelines the state has in store with these openings. More information available here.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 27,869 cases, 1,990 hospitalizations, 436 deaths, and 18,516 recoveries. Local cases (334) New cases reported in Johnson County (1), Sullivan County (1), and Washington County (1). Active cases (38) By County- Carter County (0), Greene County (1), Hawkins County (0), Johnson County (6), Sullivan County (7), Unicoi County (11), and Washington County (13).

*Wetlands Waterpark in Jonesborough has officially announced plans to open its park for the summer season later this month under certain guidelines. Among the items includes the park’s opening set for June 25th from 10 a.m to 5 p.m, a strict capacity of 570, and no season passes that will be sold for the 2020 season. More information here.

*TN Dept of Labor: WARN Notice filed by Mariott MeadowView Convention Center and Resort lays off 164 workers, company says layoffs could last beyond six months.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 52,177 cases, 5,272 hospitalizations, 1,514 deaths, 6,826 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (562) New cases reported in Carroll County (4), Galax (6), Grayson County (5), and Washington County (1).

*Elizabethton City Schools announces July 18 traditional graduation ceremony is canceled.

Tuesday, June 9

*Virginia High School League to begin working on plans for issuing guidelines for a return to athletics that will align with Governor Ralph Northam’s phased reopening plans for schools. See the Governor’s guidelines regarding athletic activity here.

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announces a phased reopening approach for PreK-12 Schools across the state. Below is information from the Governor on how the phases will work concerning “in-person” learning.

Phase One: special education programs and child care for working families
Phase Two: Phase One plus preschool through third grade students, English learners, and summer camps in school buildings
Phase Three: all students may receive in-person instruction as can be accommodated with strict social distancing measures in place, which may require alternative schedules that blend in-person and remote learning for students
Beyond Phase Three: divisions will resume “new-normal” operations under future guidance

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 27,575 cases, 1,974 hospitalizations, 435 deaths, 18,013 recoveries. Local cases (331) New cases reported in Sullivan County (4). Active cases (62) Unicoi County (33), Washington County (12), Johnson County (6), Sullivan County (6), Greene County (4), Hawkins County (1), and Carter County (0).

*2020 Appalachian Fair canceled due to COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 51,738 cases, 5,203 hospitalizations, 1,496 deaths. Local cases (546).

Monday, June 8

*Sugar Hollow Campground is reopening in Bristol, VA. City officials have placed the following restrictions: Only self-contained RV and Camper units allowed (including bathroom & water hookups)
• No tent camping
• Comfort stations will remain closed
• Stays will be limited to 7 days
• Camp sites will be spaced out and occupancy limited to 50% capacity
• No outside guests will be allowed to visit campsites
• Campers must qualify to be virus free and pass Covid stipulations for entry
• No pre-reservations taken

Those with questions should contact Parks and Recreation at (276) 645-7275.

*Virginia Chief Justice Donald Lemons has suspended all eviction proceedings through June 28 in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Northeast State Community College to start fall semester one week earlier and end semester one week earlier to try and protect students and staff from possible COVID-19 resurgence. Classes will start August 17, and will end November 24. The semester will not have a fall break. More information available here.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 26,944 cases, 1,948 hospitalizations, 421 deaths, and 17,563 recoveries. Local cases (327) One new case reported in Johnson County. Active cases (70) Carter County (0 active cases), Greene County (4 active cases), Hawkins County (1 active case), Johnson County (6 active cases), Sullivan County (2 active cases), Unicoi County (45 active cases), and Washington County (12 active cases).

*US Department of Veteran Affairs national cemeteries including the Mountain Home National Cemetery will resume committal services starting June 9. Complete information can be found here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 51,251 cases, 5,143 hospitalizations, 1,477 deaths, and 6,557 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (536) New cases reported in Carroll County (11) and Grayson County (1).

*A Virtual torch run for the Special Olympics in Virginia moved online due to COVID-19 is scheduled to begin today through Saturday. Locally, the Abingdon Police Department is participating, and more information can be found here.

*Free COVID-19 drive-thru testing available Wednesday in Unicoi County. Testing will take place at the Town of Unicoi Tourist Information Center at 106 Unicoi Village Place, Unicoi, TN 37692 from 3-6 p.m. No I.D needed.

*Marquee Cinemas Pinnacle 12 in Bristol scheduled to reopen movie theater Friday.

*City of Johnson City enters second phase of reopening public places today. Buildings to reopen include City Hall, the Winged Deer Park adminstrative and athletic offices, the Langston Center, and the Carver Recreation Center (without basketball). All visitors to any city buildings will be required to wear face coverings and screening measures like temperature checks will take place.

*Abingdon Town Hall will be closed throughout today for cleaning due to exposure from citizen who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

*Jones & Church Farms in Unicoi announced Saturday 10 employees tested positive for COVID-19. Team members that tested positive are under 14 day quarantine. Facilities and equipment are receiving deep cleaning.

Sunday, June 7

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 26,381 cases, 1,932 hospitalizations, 418 deaths, 17,222 recoveries. Local cases in Northeast TN (326) Active cases by county- Unicoi County (45), Washington County (12), Johnson County (5), Greene County (4), Sullivan County (2), Hawkins County (1), and Carter County (0). Total active cases (69).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 50,681 cases, 5,106 hospitalizations, 1,472 deaths, 6,538 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases in Southwest Virginia (524)

Friday June 5

*Science Hill High School in Johnson City announces they will hold a traditional graduation ceremony under the lights on Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m at Kermit Tipton Stadium. Students and parents can find additional information here.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 25,520 cases, 1,893 hospitalizations, 408 deaths, and 16,925 recoveries. Local cases (308) New cases reported in Unicoi County (1), and Washington County (1). One case removed from Johnson County total. Active cases (52 total) Unicoi County (42), Greene County (4), Johnson County (3), Washington County (2), Hawkins County (1), and Carter and Sullivan County (0).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 48,532 cases, 5,008 hospitalizations, 1,453 deaths, and 6,392 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (490) No new cases reported in Southwest VA.

*Most of the Commonwealth of Virginia is entering phase two of the reopening process today. Earlier this week, Governor Ralph Northam issued guidelines to further ease restrictions previously put in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This includes permitting restaurants to have indoor dining at 50% capacity, fitness centers to reopen at 30% capacity, certain recreation and entertainment venues like museums, zoos, and sporting facilities to reopen, and social gatherings can expand to up to 50 people.

*All registered TN voters will have the option to vote by mail for upcoming elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the judge’s ruling as part of an Associated Press story here.

Thursday, June 4

*Tennessee’s pandemic recovery committee has given the OK for large community events like fairs, festivals, expos, and parades to go on with certain social distancing guidelines in place. More restrictions have also been loosened on capacity limits inside workout gyms and other recreation areas. More information available here.

*JCPenny announces 154 stores across 38 states will close permanently amid bankruptcy filing last month. Kingsport’s Fort Henry Mall location included in the closures.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 25,120 cases, 1,855 hospitalizations, 401 deaths, and 16,643 recoveries. Local cases (307) No new cases reported Thursday in Northeast TN. Case breakdown in the region- 307 total cases, 7 deaths, 249 recoveries, and 51 active cases. Active cases by county: Unicoi (41), Greene and Johnson (4 each), Hawkins and Washington (1 each), Carter and Sullivan (0).

*Town of Greeneville announces 4th of July celebration is on, with some changes. More available here.

*Despite VA moving into Phase 2 of the reopening process, the Coomes Recreation Center in Abingdon announces it will stay closed until the state moves into a process that allows them to provide a basic level of service. Based on phase two guidelines from the state, officials with the Recreation Center say they are unable to meet those guidelines.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 47,856 cases, 4,957 hospitalizations, 1,445 deaths, and 6,284 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (490) New cases reported in Carroll County (17), Galax (9), Grayson County (4), Wise County (2), and Wythe County (1).

*US Department of Labor weekly jobless claims report: TN- 22,784 new claims (compared to 26,041 the week before, included in the numbers last week are 694 new claims filed in Northeast TN). VA- 32,202 new claims (compared to 39,242 claims filed the week before). Nationwide new jobless claims filed- 1.87 million.

Wednesday, June 3

*NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway rescheduled from Father’s Day weekend to the weekend October 9. Track officials say ticketholders can either use their reserved tickets or can receive a 120% credit than can be used for tickets, camping, fan hospitality or passes for the 2021 event at the drag strip.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 24,822 cases, 1,829 hospitalizations, 388 deaths, and 16,319 recoveries. Local cases (307) New cases reported in Johnson County (3) and Unicoi County (7). Case breakdown- 307, 7 deaths, 245 recoveries, and 55 active cases.

*Dollywood announces it will reopen both Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country later this month, first to pass holders June 15 and 16, then to the public June 17. Health precautions will be taking place, such as guests ages 3 and up will be required to wear face masks or face coverings and temperature screenings prior to entering the park.

*Lyrics on the Lawn taking place in July in downtown Greeneville. Complete schedule and additional details here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 46,905 cases, 4,884 hospitalizations, 1,428 deaths, and 6,165 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (457) New cases reported in Carroll County (5), Galax (4), Washington (1), and Wythe (6). First death reported in Galax, now seven deaths reported in the Mount Rogers Health District, death toll from COVID-19 up to 11 across the three Southwest VA health districts.

Tuesday June 2

*Tennessee Emergency Management Agency tells the AP they will halt distribution of free masks statewide as they investigate reports of a chemical found in the mask. The AP’s full story is available here.

*VA Governor Ralph Northam announces most of the state will move into phase two of the reopening process beginning Friday. This includes easing of restrictions on indoor dining (now allowing 50% capacity inside), allowance of up to 50 people to gather, fitness centers to reopen at 30% capacity, and certain recreation and entertainment venues to reopen. The full list of guidelines from the Governor can be found here.

*An estimated 28,000 business owners in Tennessee impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for financial help with over $200 million available. Read the full release from Gov. Bill Lee here.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 24,375 cases, 1,792 hospitalizations, 381 deaths.

*Marsh Regional Blood Center returning to hosting public blood drives across the region starting Wednesday. Current COVID-19 precautions will remain in place, and below is the schedule:

*Wednesday, June 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Buchanan General Hospital, Grundy, Virginia

*Wednesday, June 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Bristol Virginia Sheriff’s Office, Bristol, Virginia
Please call 423-990-0004 for an appointment.

*Wednesday, June 3, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Munch on Market, Kingsport

*Wednesday, June 3, 2-6 p.m.
Oak Grove Baptist Church, Mount Carmel

The remaining dates and times for the events through June 13th are below:

Thursday, June 4, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Johnston Memorial Hospital, Abingdon, Virginia
Mobile unit will be parked in front of the hospital. Please call 423-990-0004 for an appointment.

Thursday, June 4, noon-6 p.m.
Food City, Wise, Virginia

Friday, June 5, 3-7 p.m.
High Voltage, Kingsport

Monday, June 8, noon-6 p.m.
Tempur-Pedic, Duffield, Virginia

Tuesday, June 9, 8-11 a.m.
Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority, Duffield, Virginia

Tuesday, June 9, 8 a.m.-noon
Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Johnson City
Mobile unit will be parked in front of the hospital. Please call 423-282-7090 for an appointment.

Tuesday, June 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Mountain Home
Please call 423-282-7090 for an appointment.

Tuesday, June 9, 1:30-5 p.m.
Walmart, West Market Street, Johnson City

Tuesday, June 9, 1-4 p.m.
United States Penitentiary Lee, Pennington Gap, Virginia

Wednesday, June 10, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Erwin Utilities, Erwin
Please call 423-743-1827 for an appointment.

Wednesday, June 10, 11 a.m-4 p.m.
K&E Southern Sweets, Wise, Virginia

Wednesday, June 10, noon-6 p.m.
Masonic Lodge No. 318, Richlands, Virginia

Thursday, June 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Elizabethton

Thursday, June 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute, Marion, Virginia
Please call 423-282-7090 for an appointment.

Thursday, June 11, noon-6 p.m.
Food City, Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Friday, June 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kingsport Chamber, Kingsport

Saturday, June 13, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Grace Fellowship Church, Kingsport

*Virginia SNAP recipients will continue to receive emergency benefits through June as part of ongoing efforts to provide additional assistance to those in need due to COVID-19 according to the state department of social services. Full story here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 46,239 cases, 4,770 hospitalizations, 1,407 deaths, and 6,011 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (437) New cases reported in Carroll County (3), Galax (3), Grayson County (1), and Washington County (1).

*Noah Gragson wins Monday night’s Xfinity Series Cheddar’s 300 at Bristol. Race was run without fans due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

*The Town of Unicoi has canceled tomorrow’s opening of the Farmers Market and Community Yard Sale in response to Monday’s announcement of 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Scott’s Farms and a total of more than 45 within the county. An announcement will be made once a new opening date has been set, but the town does not expect that date to be within the next three weeks.

*Bristol Skateway to reopen today. Complete details available here.

Monday, June 1

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 23,554 cases, 1,767 hospitalizations, 367 deaths, and 15,564 recoveries. Local cases (299) New cases reported in Hawkins County (1) and Unicoi County (38). Case breakdown, 7 deaths, 243 recoveries, and 49 active cases.

*Scott’s Strawberry & Tomato Farms confirms 38 employees test positive for COVID-19. Scott Strawberries owner Steve Scott told us his operation had taken several precautions to protect their workers as the pandemic struck at nearly the same time he transported his crop to market. Food City officials released a statement that said they still support the Unicoi County operation. The company also said they are discontinuing the sale of the Scott product for the remainder of the season.

*The City of Elizabethton continues its phased reopening process today with the reopening of the Elizabethton Electric lobby for full-service utility business. Elizabethton Electric’s office at 400 Hatcher Lane will reopen today for both water and electric accounts. Anyone needing assistance with utility account establishment, transfer, reinstatement, or disconnection can do so in the lobby at Elizabethton Electric. At this time, City Hall remains restricted to drive-thru utility bill payments only.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 45,398 cases, 4,694 hospitalizations, 1,392 deaths, and 5,899 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (430) New cases reported in Carroll County (1), and Galax (1).

*Brad Keselowski takes the win at Sunday’s Supermarket Heroes 500 at fanless Bristol Motor Speedway.

*Washington County, TN Courthouse to reopen to in-person services today. “We ask that everyone enter the courthouse from the side entrance across from Texas Burritos and More, or the ground floor entrance for ADA access, and follow the signage in the lobbies and observe physical distancing while in line for services,” explained Mayor Joe Grandy. “For the first couple of weeks and per CDC guidelines for office buildings, we will temperature check anyone entering the courthouse.”

*Tuesday’s Kingsport Board of Mayor and Alderman (June 2) business meeting open to the public in limited capacity for comment on public hearing and agenda items.

*Weekend COVID-19 Update (as of Sunday): Northeast TN (260 total cases, 7 deaths, 243 recoveries, 10 active cases. Active cases by county- Greene (4), Hawkins (2), Johnson (1), Unicoi (1), and Washington (2). Carter and Sullivan have 0 active cases.) Southwest VA (428 total cases)

Friday, May 29

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 22,085 cases, 1,710 hospitalizations, 360 deaths.

*Kingsport Speedway to return to racing tonight with health and safety guidelines in place for fans. Visit hereor their website for details.

*University of Virginia plans to return to in-person learning for the upcoming fall semester. See the statement from school officials here.

*Upper East TN Human Development Agency holding two commodity food distribution events next month in Erwin and Rogersville. The event will be conducted on a first come, first serve basis to all income eligible state residents. Recipients will need to apply for an commodity ID card prior to picking up orders. Below is the schedule and location of each event:

June 11- Event in Erwin @ Hulen Baptist Church, 215 Hulen Ave. (10 a.m-12 p.m or until food runs out)
June 23- Event in Rogersville @ Hawkins County Bus Shop, 1722 East Main St. (10 a.m-12 p.m or until food runs out)

*TN Governor Bill Lee announces all all nursing home residents and staff must be tested for COVID-19 by June 30. Read the full order from the Governor here.

*Summer in the Park activities scheduled for June 9-20 at Warriors Path State Park. Limited number of attendees with social distancing. More information below.

June 9-13 Schedule

June 16-20 Schedule

*257 workers at Worley Field Services in Kingsport, TN laid off according to a WARN Notice issued Friday.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 42,533 cases, 4,529 hospitalizations, 1,358 deaths, and 5,648 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (397). New cases reported in Carroll County (2), and Grayson County (2).

*City of Johnson City to use “multi-phased approach to reopen city facilities starting this Monday. Full details available here.

*A judge in TN is expected to make a ruling next Thursday that could see the implementation of a temporary injunction to allow all statewide voters to cast a mail-in ballot for the August primary due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read the Associated Press’s full story here.

*All Virginians aged 10 years and older required to wear a face mask in indoor public places beginning today. Details here.

Thursday, May 28

*A judge in TN is expected to make a ruling next Thursday that could see the implementation of a temporary injunction to allow all statewide voters to cast a mail-in ballot for the August primary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the Associated Press’s full story here.

*Governor Bill Lee’s Tennessee Promise committee has approved the return of summer camps for non-contact sports plus in-person classes for higher education. Click here for more details.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 21,679 cases, 1,689 hospitalizations, 356 deaths.

*The Town of Greeneville says the 8th annual American Downtown 4th of July Parade will be held caravan style, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

*US Department of Labor jobless claim report for May 28 (numbers reflected the week ending May 23) Tennessee- 26,041 new claims (Northeast TN- 902) Virginia- 58,591 new claims.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 41,401 cases, 4,442 hospitalizations, 1,338 deaths, and 5,472 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (393) New cases reported in Carroll County (2), Galax (1), and Tazewell County (1).

*Boston Marathon for 2020 is canceled. That is a first for the event in 124 years of competition.

Wednesday, May 27

*Free COVID-19 testing to continue at county health departments in Northeast TN. Below is the schedule:

Carter County Health Department: Monday-Friday between 9 am- 11 am
403 East G Street, Elizabethton, TN

Greene County Health Department: Monday-Friday between 9 am- 3 pm
810 Church Street, Greeneville, TN

Hawkins County Health Department: Monday-Friday between 1 pm- 3 pm
201 Park Blvd., Rogersville, TN

Washington County Health Department: Monday-Friday between 9 am- 3 pm
219 Princeton Road, Johnson City, TN

Health departments conducting tests by appointment only- Church Hill in Hawkins County, as well as Hancock, Johnson, and Unicoi counties. More information can be found by calling these local health departments.

*Xfinity Series Cheddar’s 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway moved to Monday due to postponment of Wednesday’s NASCAR race at Charlotte.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 21,306 cases, 1,647 hospitalizations, 353 deaths, and 13,916 recoveries. Local cases (251) New case reported in Greene County. Two cases removed from Sullivan County’s totals. Active cases (13), 7 deaths, and 231 recoveries.

*Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium will reopen on June 1 with limited visitation in select portions of campus.

*Moto Japanese Restaurant in Johnson City announces the reopening of their dining room today along with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 40,249 cases, 4,385 hospitalizations, 1,281 deaths, and 5,367 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (389) New cases reported in Carroll County (2), Galax (2), and Grayson County (1). One case removed from Buchanan County’s total for Wednesday, case count drops from 19 to 18.

*Kingsport Summer reading program kicks off June 1. No in-person activities to occur this year. All activities will be available through Kingsport’s social media or through activity packs available for pickup at the library.

*2020 Spring Rod Run in Pigeon Forge has been canceled.

*Yard sale permits now available in Bristol, TN. City residents can obtain permits through the Finance Department, located on the upper level of City Hall at 801 Anderson Street. The first one of the season is free. For additional information, please call (423) 989-5500.

*King University moving forward with plans to return to on-campus learning for the fall semester. The school’s commencement ceremony also rescheduled for Saturday, August 1 at 10 a.m on the Oval on the Main Campus in Bristol.

Tuesday, May 26

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 20,965 cases, 1,609 hospitalizations, 343 deaths, and 13,344 recoveries. Local cases (252) Two new cases reported Tuesday in Washington County and one new case reported in Sullivan County. Local breakdown includes 252 cumulative cases, 7 deaths, 232 recoveries, and 13 active cases. (Active cases)- Carter (1), Greene (1), Sullivan (3), and Washington (8).

*K-VA-T Food Stores will be honoring grocery industry professionals who have been on the front lines during the pandemic by renaming Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway ‘Food City presents The Supermarket Heroes 500.’

*Kingsport Theatre Guild has canceled all summer camp programs for 2020.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 39,342 cases, 4,325 hospitalizations, 1,236 deaths, and 5,227 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (385) New cases reported in Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (7), Galax (9), Grayson County (1), and Wythe County (3).

*The Unicoi Farmers Market and Community Yard sale to get underway June 2 under the Buffalo Pavilion at the town’s visitor center. The market will be held every Tuesday from 8 a.m until 1 p.m from June to October. New COVID-19 restrictions will be in effect, includes things such as wearing face masks, hand sanitzer at entrance, one-way traffic, and disposable gloves. Farmers Market PR MAY 2020

*Town of Abingdon reopening several facilities/buildings to the public today including Town Hall and the Police Department. Some buildings to remain closed. Full details available here.

*City of Bristol, TN to reopen municipal buildings to the public beginning today. All visitors will be subject to a health screening prior to entering, including a temperature scan and questions related to potential COVID-19 exposure. Officials continue to encourage the public to utilize alternative methods of conducting business like paying bills online.

*Pandemic-related budget cuts were made at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC by eliminating men’s indoor track and field, soccer, and tennis teams.

Monday, May 25

*Ballad Health lifting certain visitor restrictions, which includes:
One visitor at a time per inpatient, who has not tested positive for COVID-19. The visitor will be allowed during limited hours each day, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
One designated visitor to accompany patients in the emergency department or pediatric emergency department.
One designated visitor or support person for each patient receiving an inpatient procedure or surgery.
One support person for laboring and obstetric patients.
Two parents or guardians will be permitted in the NICU, PICU and in rooms with a pediatric patient. Hours of visitation are not restricted in these areas.
Full details available here.

*Today is the start of an unprecedented race week in Bristol. Although Governor Bill Lee lifted capacity restrictions on attractions like race tracks, Bristol Motor Speedway reiterated they will not have fans in attendance for Sunday’s scheduled running of the Food City 500. Race time is 3:30 p.m.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 20,607 cases, 338 deaths, 13,073 recoveries)

*Emory & Henry College moving their Healthcare Careers Camp and Summer Scholars Institute & Leadership Program online for the summer. The second annual Healthcare Careers Camp is available for rising high school juniors and seniors who are interested in exploring healthcare careers such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, athletic training, pharmacy, optometry, nursing, medicine or veterinary medicine. Faculty members from Emory & Henry’s School of Health Sciences will lead the academic sessions.

Online session for Healthcare Careers Camp (June 15 – June 19, 2020)
Online session for the Summer Scholars Institute & Leadership Program (June 1 – June 5, 2020)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 37,727 cases, 4,269 hospitalizations, 1,208 deaths, and 5,145 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (364) New cases reported in Carroll County (3), Galax (7), Grayson County (4), and Wythe County (1).

Friday, May 22

*Bristol, Tennessee City Offices will reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 26. All visitors will be subject to a health screening.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 19,394 cases, 315 deaths, 1,560 hospitalizations, 12,566 recoveries.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 34,950 cases, 4,145 hospitalizations, 1,136 deaths, 4,963 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (336) New cases reported in Carroll County (2), Galax (3), Grayson County (2), and Wythe County (1). Cases dropped: Lee (1) and Scott (1)

*White Duck Taco Shop opens back up today. New hours (11:30-7 p.m) Will not allow parties larger than 10.

*TN Dept. of Human Services expanding free pandemic child care services to new groups of essential workers, including those in the financial, religious, utility and hotel industries. These services will also continue through mid-August for those already receiving these child care services. More information available here.

*Camping permitted at Virginia State parks this weekend for the Memorial Day holiday. See guidelines here.

Thursday, May 21

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 18,961 cases, 313 deaths, 12,191 recovered.

*Carter County Schools to continue drive-thru meal pickup services into June. Starting June 1-29, students can pick up meals at four different feeding sites (Cloudland Elementary, Hampton High School, Hunter Elementary, and Little Milligan Elementary) on Mondays (will receive two days worth of meals) and on Wednesdays (will receive three days worth of meals). Pickup times are from 12 p.m-1 p.m.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 34,137 cases, 4,093 hospitalizations, 1,099 deaths, and 4,778 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (330) One new case reported in Bristol City, Scott, Washington, and Wise counties.

*Marsh Regional Blood Center resumes community-wide blood drives. COVID-19 policies regarding donating remain in effect. Schedule below:

Thursday, May 21

11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Sapling Grove Urgent Care, Bristol, Tennessee) Open by appointment only. Please call 276-494-1225 to schedule a donation time.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sullivan County Highway Department, Blountville)

Noon-6 p.m. (Food City, Coeburn, Virginia)

3-7 p.m. (Rugby Volunteer Rescue Squad Fire Station, Mouth of Wilson, Virginia) Open by appointment only. Please call 276-494-1225 to schedule a donation time.

4:30-8 p.m. (South Holston Ruritan, Bristol, Tennessee) Open by appointment only. Please call 276-494-1225 to schedule a donation time.

Tuesday, May 26

10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Carter-Trent Funeral Home, Kingsport)

Noon-7 p.m. (Food City, Chilhowie, Virginia)

Wednesday, May 27

8 a.m.-noon (Henard Metal Fabricators Inc., Kingsport)

7-10:30 a.m. (Crown Laboratories, Johnson City)

9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Jonesville, Virginia)

Noon-5 p.m. (Home Shopping Network, Piney Flats)

Thursday, May 28

10 a.m.-2 p.m. (DialAmerica, Johnson City)

Noon-4 p.m. (Marion Mold & Tool Inc., Marion, Virginia) Open by appointment only. Please call 276-494-1225 to schedule a donation time.

Friday, May 29

8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Marsh Regional Blood Center Collection Center, Bristol, Tennessee)

10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Carter County Bank, Elizabethton)

11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Walmart, Rogersville)

Wednesday May, 20

*Mount Rogers Health District (in Southwest VA) Weekly Report- 252 cases, 6 fatalities, 176 recoveries, and 70 active cases (breakdown of local cases below)
Bland- 0
Bristol- 3 (2 recoveries) 1 active
Carroll- 64 (1 death-39 recoveries) 24 active
Galax- 82 (52 recoveries) 30 active
Grayson- 22 (11 recoveries) 11 active
Smyth- 15 (15 recoveries) 0 active
Washington- 50 (4 deaths-43 recoveries) 3 active
Wythe- 16 (1 death-14 recoveries) 1 active

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 18,532 cases, 1,515 hospitalizations, 309 deaths.

*Boating access and other recreational areas at Keokee Lake in Lee County and Bark Camp Lake in Wise County have reopened, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

*Bristol, TN/VA Border Bash Summer concert series to move virtually for the summer, 4th of July Celebration and Parade in downtown Bristol canceled.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 32,908 cases, 3,979 hospitalizations, 1,074 deaths, and 4,523 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (326) New cases reported in Carroll County (14) and Grayson County (1). One new death reported in Carroll County.

*Six local small and rural hospitals in Northeast TN are receiving the final round of small hospital and rural readiness grants issued by Governor Bill Lee to provide relief to facilities facing financial difficulties brought on by COVID-19.

Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Washington- $136,545
Hancock County Hospital, Hancock- $500,000
Hawkins County Memorial Hospital, Hawkins- $250,000
Johnson County Community Hospital, Johnson- $500,000
Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Carter- $136,545
Unicoi County Hospital, Unicoi- $136,545

*2020 Greene County Fair canceled due to COVID-19.

*Finalized plans for Friday’s graduation for Virginia High School at Bristol Motor Speedway have been released. Full information available here.

*Hancock County in Northeast Tennessee becomes the 95th and final county in the state to record a positive COVID-19 case. Data from the state department of health on Tuesday confirmed the case.

*FEMA announces $5.7 million in funding for emergency food and shelter programs is heading to several Tennessee counties, including six in Northeast TN. Funds will be for FY2019 as well as money provided by the CARES Act. Below is a breakdown of funding locally:

FY2019
Carter- $20,668
Greene- $29,256
Hawkins- $$21,608
Sullivan- $55,963
Unicoi- $7,774
Washington- $44,909

FY2020 Allocation
Carter- $29,466
Greene- $41,711
Hawkins- $30,807
Sullivan- $79,788
Unicoi- $11,083
Washington- $64,027

*Ballad Health announces new program aimed at investing in domestic manufacturing, especially for items like PPE. More information here.

*Virginia High School League working on plans to return to athletics this fall. Full story available here.

Tuesday, May 19

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 18,378 cases, 1,498 hospitalizations, 305 deaths.

*Gatlinburg Skybridge set to reopen Friday, May 22.

*Wilderness Resort in the Smokies set to reopen their indoor and outdoor waterparks on Thursday, May 28.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 32,145 cases, 3,904 hospitalizations, 1,041 deaths, and 4,271 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (311) New cases reported in Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (1), and Washington County (1).

Monday, May 18

*Kingsport Farmers Market to start its 2020 season this Saturday.

*In-person court proceedings in Virginia allowed to resume, jury and civil trials still suspended until further notice.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 18,011 cases, 301 deaths, 9,886 recoveries

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 31,140 cases, 3,822 hospitalizations, 1,014 deaths, and 4,107 coronavirus patients discharged from hospital. Local cases (307) New cases reported in Carroll County (1), Galax (2), and Wythe County (1).

*Johnson City Public Library now accepting item returns at outside dropbox. Customers who have items on hold that no longer want those items should cancel those holds, and can do so by logging into their online account anytime or by calling (423) 434-4450. Area libraries including the Johnson City Library are working together on a reopening plan, the JC Library will implement a curbside pickup of items beginning Monday, June 1.

*Emory & Henry College offering drive-thru campus tours as well as virtual campus tour, which can be found here.

*The Tenn. Dept. of Health reported no new local COVID-19 cases in Northeast TN over the weekend. Cases breakdown prior to Monday at 3 p.m.- 237 total cases, 7 deaths, 200 hospitalizations, and 30 active cases. The VA Dept of Health reports Southwest VA now has over 300 cases.

*The Bristol, Tennessee Department of Parks and Recreation announced Monday the annual Sounds of Summer concert series for June and July has been canceled.

Friday, May 15

*Tennessee Department of Health’s COVID-19 update: 16,970 cases, 1,454 hospitalizations, 290 deaths.

*Scott Strawberry & Tomato Farm reports most local stands are opening up today. Strawberries will be available in Unicoi, Bristol, Elizabethton, Kingsport, Johnson City, and Greeneville. The company hopes to have the rest of their stands up and running next week.

*Eastman Chemical Company’s charitable foundation is set to donate $1 million to assist response organizations who are helping people during the COVID-19 pandemic. More info here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 28,672 cases, 3,567 hospitalizations, 977 deaths, 3,805 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (279) New cases reported in Carroll County (2), Galax (1), and Grayson County (1).

*City of Bristol officials announce Haynesfield Pool will not open this summer and all activities that were planned at the pool have been canceled. Summer camps at Steele Creek Park have been canceled in addition to a summer youth program sponsored by the Bristol, TN Police Department. Steele Creek also will not offer paddle boat rentals or train rides this summer. No decision made on if the splash pad will open or if picnic shelter rentals will be offered.

*The Upper East TN Human Development Agency announces they have received a $5,000 grant from the East TN Foundation to help with families during the COVID-19 pandemic. More details here.

*TN U.S Senator Lamar Alexander announces via Twitter that Tennessee will receive over $155 million in funding from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services for COVID-19 testing capabilities.

*Bristol, VA voters wanting to cast their ballot by in-person absentee voting will have one final day to do so tomorrow. The Office of Elections and Voter Registration will have their drive-thru window open for voting tomorrow from 8:00 a.m-5:00 p.m (Drive-thru window is located on the Scott Street side of City Hall). Voters must have a valid form of photo identification when voting in person.

*Most of VA will be permitted to gradually reopen certain businesses with restrictions as part of Phase 1 of the Forward VA Plan. Includes retail businesses (allowed to open at 50% capacity), restaurants (allowed to open at 50% capacity with outdoor dining only, takeout and delivery options also permitted), personal grooming services (by appointment only, and only one appointment per service provider at a time), fitness centers (gyms, recreation facilities, etc. only allowed to reopen if outdoor activities are offered). Full details available here.

*Piedmont Avenue between State St. and Goode St. in Bristol, VA will be closed beginning today at 4 p.m until Saturday, May 16 at midnight. This closure is to allow the Burger Bar and Quaker Steak & Lube to expand outdoor dining options ahead of VA’s phase 1 reopening process.

Thursday, May 14

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 16,699 cases, 1,435 hospitalizations, 287 deaths, and 8,881 recoveries. Local cases (237) New cases reported Thursday in Carter (1), Hawkins (1), Sullivan (2), and Washington (2). One case dropped from Greene County’s total.

*NASCAR announced Thursday the second part of a revamped 2020 schedule that includes new dates at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Xfinity Series is set for Saturday, May 30 and Cup drivers will take to the high banks on Sunday, May 31. Both races begin at 3:30 p.m. and no fans will be permitted.

*Bristol Virginia Public Schools announce 2020 graduation ceremony for senior will take place on Friday, May 22 beginning at 5 p.m. at Bristol Motor Speedway.

*Art League of Marion announces cancellation of 2020 Hungry Mother Festival scheduled for July 17-19 due to COVID-19 concerns.

*The Galax Fiddler’s Convention for 2020 has been canceled. It marks the third time in the event’s 85 year history that the convention has been canceled.

*Southwest VA Community Health Systems is offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing for community members at the Saltville Medical Center’s drive-thru site. Appointments will be available between 3-5 p.m next Tuesday, May 19. Calling ahead to schedule an appointment is required. You can find more information here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 27,813 cases, 3,592 hospitalizations, 955 deaths, 3,678 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (275) New cases reported in Carroll County (1), and Galax (1).

*Latest unemployment claim numbers for this week available here.

*Mount Rogers Health District, Virginia weekly report (5/13/2020)- 203 total cases, 5 fatalities, 90 recoveries, 108 active cases. Cases breakdown by locality below:
Bristol- 3 total cases (2 recoveries) 1 active
Carroll- 39 total cases (11 recoveries) 28 active
Galax- 64 total cases (14 recoveries) 50 active
Grayson- 18 total cases (2 recoveries) 16 active
Smyth- 15 total cases (9 recoveries) 6 active
Washington- 49 total cases (40 recoveries, 4 fatalities) 5 active
Wythe- 15 total cases (12 recoveries, 1 fatality) 2 active

*Abingdon DMV to reopen May 18, will provide select services by appointment only. To register for appointment, and view what services will be available, click here.

*ETSU to start distributing over $5.5 million in emergency relief to students with funds provided by the CARES Act. Read more on eligibility requirements here.

*Lenowisco Health District to hold more drive-thru COVID-19 testing by appointment only at local sites in Lee, Scott, and Wise counties. You must be pre-screened to be approved for testing. The upcoming schedule is below:

Fri., May 15 – Litchfield Manor and John Vandiver Manor, Coeburn, 9 to 11a.m.
Fri., May 15 – Sheffield Acres Apartments, Coeburn, noon to 2 p.m.
Tue., May 19 – Stonebriar Apartments, St. Paul, 9 to 11 a.m.
Tue, May 19 – Clinchview Apartments, St. Paul, noon to 2 p.m.
Wed., May 20 – Appalachian Towers, Appalachia, 9 to 11 a.m.
Wed., May 20 – Inman Village Apartments, Appalachia, noon to 2 p.m.
Wed., May 27- Central High School, Norton, 9 to 11 a.m.
Wed., May 27 – Hawthorne Acres Apartments, Norton, noon to 2 p.m.
Fri., May 29 – Regency Towers, Norton, 9 to 11 a.m.
Fri., May 29 – Ramsey Apartments, Norton, noon to 2 p.m.

To schedule an appointment for any of these sites, call the Wise County/City of Norton Health Department – 276-328-8000.

Tue., May 19 – Thomas Walker High School, Ewing, 9 to 11 a.m.

To schedule an appointment for this site, call the Lee County Health Department – 276-346-2011.

Thu., May 21 – Clinch River Health Services, Dungannon, 9 to 11 a.m.

To schedule an appointment for this site, call the Scott County Health Department – 276-386-1312.

*Cumberland Plateau Health District to hold more drive-thru COVID-19 testing by appointment only at local sites in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell counties. You must be pre-screened to be approved for testing. The upcoming schedule is below:

Tue., May 19 – Sand Lick Elementary School, Birchleaf, 9 to 11 a.m.
Tue., May 19 – Centennial Heights Apartments, Haysi, 1 to 3 p.m.

To schedule an appointment for either of these sites, call the Dickenson County Health Department – 276-926-4979.

Tue., May 19 – Oxford Square and Hunter’s Ridge Apartments, Richlands, 9 to 11 a.m.
Tue., May 19 – Fairfax Court Apartments, Richlands, noon to 2 p.m.
Wed., May 27 – Tazewell Middle School, Tazewell, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Thu., May 28 – Indian Princess Apartments, Pocahontas, 9 to 11 a.m.
Thu., May 28 – Graham Manor Apartments, Bluefield, 1 to 3 p.m.

To schedule an appointment for any of these sites, call the Tazewell County Health Department – 276-988-5585.

Wed., May 20 – Honaker Elementary School, Honaker, 1 to 3 p.m.

To schedule an appointment for this site, call the Russell County Health Department – 276-889-7621.

Thu., May 21 – Riverview Elementary School, Grundy, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Fri., May 29 – Hurley High/Elementary Track, Hurley, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

To schedule an appointment for either of these sites, call the Buchanan County Health Department – 276-935-4591.

Wednesday, May 13

*VA Governor Ralph Northam confirms phase one reopening will start Friday for most parts of the state, except for areas in Northern VA, who are now scheduled to reopen May 29. Forward VA Phase One details can be found here.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 16,370 cases, 1,388 hospitalizations, 273 deaths. Northeast Tennessee (232 cases) Four new cases in Johnson, one in Greene.

*Carter County Schools updates graduation ceremony plans- each student will be allowed to have two cars at the ceremony, the entire ceremony will be shown on the large screen at the drive-thru, and start times for the ceremonies will be adjusted to be able to project on the screen. Each ceremony will begin at 8:45 p.m.

Unaka High School- May 26
Hampton High School- May 28
Cloudland High School- June 2
Happy Valley High School- June 4

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 26,746 cases, 3,520 hospitalizations, 927 deaths, 3,554 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (273) New cases reported in Wise County (1), Carroll County (5), Galax (8), Grayson County (2), Smyth County (2), Washington County (1), and Wythe County (1). New death reported in Wise County, bringing the death toll in that county to 2, 4 in the Lenowisco Health District, and 8 COVID-19 fatalities in Southwest VA.

*TN Governor Bill Lee signs Executive Order 36 and 37, extends the state of emergency declaration to June 30, helps to extend provisions facilitating the state’s COVID-19 response. See the order here.

*Kingsport Aquatic Center announces phased reopening with swimming by appointment only to help adhere to local, state, and federal COVID-19 guidelines. No more than 10 people will be allowed in the pool area at one time. The reopening is scheduled for Monday, May 18.

*The city of Bristol, Tennessee continues to offer free face masks to residents. Distributions will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the City Municipal Building at 801 Anderson Street.

Tuesday, May 12

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 16,111 hospitalizations, 1,363 hospitalizations, 265 deaths. Northeast Tennessee (229) has seven new cases- six in Johnson County, 1 in Hawkins. The data shows the second coronavirus death in Sullivan County has been reported.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 25,800 cases, 3,395 hospitalizations, 891 deaths, and 3,400 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (254) New cases reported in Galax, Grayson County, and Wythe County. One case dropped from Washington County totals from Monday to Tuesday, bringing the locality’s total to 48 from 49.

*Sullivan County extends state of emergency until Monday, May 18 at 11:59 p.m.

*A new map is available to track COVID-19 cases by zip code in Virginia.

*Washington County, Tennessee Mayor Joe Grandy has extended the locality’s state of emergency until May 18.

*The City of Bristol, TN will issue free reuseable face masks today from 4 p.m-7 p.m at the Ida Stone Jones Community Tennis Center. Supplies are limited and you must be present to receive a mask.

*Annual Taste of Greeneville event scheduled for June has been canceled.

*Virginia Creeper Trail is back open as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. Facilities such as bathroom along the route remain closed.

Monday, May 11

*VA Governor Ralph Northam outlines plans for Phase 1 of reopening the state. Includes allowing restaurants to seat patrons outside at 50%, retail stores can operate at 50% capacity, churches can hold services at 50% capacity, and grooming services can return to operation with one patron per service provider. Full details here.

*Six inmates at Northeast Correction Complex in Mountain City, TN test positive for COVID-19. A total of 654 tested, 648 negative.

*Town of Unicoi cancels 2020 Freedom Fest due to COVID-19.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 15,444 cases, 8,038 hospitalizations, 251 deaths.
Northeast Tennessee- 222 cases, 4 new cases in Washington (65).

*The Town of Greeneville has entered Phase II of its reopening plan. Click here for more details.

*The Mount Rogers Health District has announced the Washington County Health Department will hold a free COVID-19 drive-thru test site on Wednesday at the health department office, 15068 Lee Highway, Bristol, on Wednesday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To be screened for testing at this site, call 276-676-5604. Appointments will be available until all the slots are filled.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 25,070 cases, 3,330 hospitalizations, 850 deaths, and 3,273 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (252) New cases reported in Carroll County, Galax, and Grayson County.

*Emory and Henry plans to resume classes in the fall, is subject to change should the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic create unsafe conditions for students to attend in-person classes.

*Free face masks will be distributed on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Ida Stone Jones Community Tennis Center in Bristol, Tennessee.

*The town of Unicoi, Tennessee’s Freedom Fest scheduled for July 4th has been canceled.

Friday, May 8

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 14,441 cases, 1,299 hospitalizations, 241 deaths. Three new cases in Northeast Tennessee (213) in Sullivan (2) and Washington (1).

*Sullivan County high school seniors opt for delayed traditional graduations. Those ceremonies are set for July 31 and August 1. Click here for more details.

*Grandfather Mountain in NC set to reopen to limited capacity May 15. All ticket sales moving online. Full details can be found here.

*Roan Mountain Citizens Club announces 2020 Rhododendron Festival has been canceled.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 22.342 cases, 3,059 hospitalizations, 812 deaths, 2,997 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (202) New cases reported in Carroll County, Galax, and Washington County. One new death reported in Scott County (second reported death).

*Happy Tails Animal Rescue of Washington County, VA hosting drive-thru pet food pantry that will be free for anyone who needs it. Scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m-12 p.m at Hayter Auction Building at 1029 Hillman Highway NE, Abingdon, VA 24210. For alternate arrangements please call: 276-608-6028.

*John Battle High School announces graduation will be held Thursday, June 18. Details to follow.

*Abingdon High School announces graduation will be held Friday, June 19. Details to follow.

*ETSU virtual commencement ceremony will be held Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. Link to stream available here.

*Abingdon, VA Fire Department hosting blood drive on Saturday at 316 Park St from 9 a.m-2 p.m. Appointment is required.

*Lenowisco Health District to offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Lee, Scott, and Wise health departments Monday-Friday from 1 p.m-3 p.m by appointment only. Pre-screening is required.

*Cumberland Plateau Health District to offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell health departments Monday-Friday from 1 p.m-3 p.m by appointment only. Pre-screening is required.

*Cranberry Lane on State Street in Bristol, VA to reopen beginning today from 11 a.m-6 p.m and then on Saturday from 10-5. The store says they will follow recommended CDC guidelines and continue to maintain social distancing.

*Small, non-contact recreation businesses like bowling alleys, arcades, and mini golf are allowed to reopen in 89 of 95 counties beginning today. Full recommended guidelines available here.

Thursday, May 7

Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 14,096 cases, 237 deaths. Two new cases in Northeast Tennessee: Carter (18).

*72nd Annual Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon is canceled.

*Need a mask? The city of Bristol, Tennessee is giving away free masks on Friday beginning at 1 p.m. on the Alabama Street side of the Ida Stone Jones Community Tennessee Center on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 21,570 cases, 2,955 hospitalizations, 769 deaths, 2,825 patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (199) New cases reported in Russell County (1), Carroll County (6), Galax (7), and Washington County (1).

*UPDATE: More businesses reopening at the Pinnacle. New list includes:

*Tinseltown by Cinemark cinemas in Bristol, Virginia has closed permanently. The facility had shut down operations in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Curbside only– Best Buy, Ulta, Party City.

Open –Alumni Hall, Bass Pro, Belk, Best Buy – by appointment only, Best Uniform, Boot Barn, Elife Nails, Dicks, GNC, Hallmark, Lenscrafters, Michaels, Kirklands, Rack Room Shoes, Surf and Dirt, Shoe Carnival, and Zales

***Note: All dining is open except for Aubrey’s which will open on May 11.

*Blackbird Bakery reopening Friday, new temporary hours (Monday-Saturday 6 a.m-10 p.m). The new operating policy is as follows: Carryout only (no indoor dining), Curb service will be offered, Limiting to no more than 10 customers in the bakery at any one time, Asking all customers to adhere to the 6 foot social distancing rule.

*Today marks two months since first COVID-19 case was reported in Virginia.

Wednesday, May 6

*TN Governor Bill Lee issues guidance on reopening recreation, offices, lodging, construction, and manufacturing businesses. Those details available here.

*Southwest VA public housing systems will share more than $250,000 provided by the Housing and Development Agency as part of funding from the CARES Act.

Bristol- $32,314
Norton- $11,276
Coeburn- $76,026
Duffield- $23,142
Abingdon- $11,954
Jonesville- $50,504
Big Stone Gap- $11,596
Abingdon- $12,270

*Ballad Health announces third quarter results, COVID-19 effects not factored into results. Read more here.

*Buchanan County emergency ordinance requiring things like wearing a mask in public and restricting travel have been lifted.

*Virginia Department of Health did not release their numbers on Wednesday, citing “technical error” in overnight data reporting. New numbers will be released once issue is resolved.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 daily update: 13,938 cases, 239 deaths. Three new cases in Northeast Tennessee: Johnson (2), Washington (1). Regionwide- 217 cases.

*Graduation plans have been announced for Hawkins County students set to happen May 21. Below are full details:

● Students will receive specific instructions on May 14 when dropping off final materials and picking up senior packets (home delivery available upon request).
● Graduation ceremony will occur in small groups of students with their guests
○ Each student will be allowed to bring 4 guests
○ Student and guests must arrive in a single vehicle
○ Students will be assigned a time to arrive on campus
○ Groups of students and guests will be staged in the parking lot inside their vehicles
○ Groups will proceed to the building at their assigned time and enter the gymnasium
○ Students and their guests will line up along the home side of the gymnasium on spots marked with adequate distance between to maintain social distancing
○ Students and guests will proceed toward the stage one at a time while maintaining social distancing between groups
■ Guests will break off from students and stand at a marked location in front of center stage directly prior to their student walking onto the stage
■ Student will hand MC a card with their name
■ Student will be announced and will proceed across the stage to
receive a diploma cover (from a table) and stop for a photo with
Director of Schools or Principal
■ Student will exit stage and stop for additional photo
■ Guests will exit the building, student will proceed down 700
hallway to enter classroom and pick up final materials
■ Student and guests will enter their vehicle
○ Groups will exit campus as a group once all students in the group have walked the stage and returned to their vehicles.

*Bristol Tennessee Public Schools have announced that students will be permitted to pick up any personal or essential items in their respective schools within the next two weeks. Tennessee High students will be permitted to come in the week of May 11. The system also says students will be allowed to keep their laptops for the summer for additional educational opportunities.

Tuesday, May 5

*Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said dentist offices can reopen for treatments on Wednesday and facilities must use American Dental Association coronavirus guidelines. He anticipates facilities like bowling alleys and miniature golf courses opening later this week.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 13,624 cases statewide, 226 deaths. Three new cases in Northeast Tennessee- (2) Sullivan, (1) Washington- and 214 cases regionwide.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 20,256 cases, 2,773 hospitalizations, 713 deaths, 2,617 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (184) New cases reported in Grayson County and Washington County.

*The Pinnacle announces seven retailers are back open for shoppers, including Hallmark, Kirklands, Michaels, Rack Room Shoes, Shoe Carnival, Surf & Dirt, and Zales.

*Science Hill will honor students with a senior recognition video and will plan to hold an in-person graduation either June 19-20 or July 24-25 at Kermit Tipton Stadium, pending approval.

*Kingsport City Schools announces in-person graduation for Dobyns-Bennett High School students scheduled for July 17-18. Final full details of the graduation will be released at a later date.

Monday, May 4

*Several Southwest VA Schools receiving funding as part of the CARES Act. The list below:

Bristol- $1,142,301.89
Buchanan- $1,210,035.85
Dickenson- $764,673.05
Lee- $1,403,765.18
Norton- $220,386.97
Russell- $1,051,083.18
Scott- $669,819.49
Smyth- $1,118,606.75
Tazewell- $1,471,287.87
Washington- $1,515,255.53
Wise- $ 1,837,421.01

*The Town of Abingdon furloughs 77 workers (13 full time-64 part time) due to COVID-19.

*Governor Ralph Northam on Monday outlined a three-phase plan to ease restrictions on businesses and gatherings when health data supports doing so.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 13,571 cases, 1,143 hospitalizations, 219 deaths. Nine new cases in Northeast Tennessee: Sullivan (6), Johnson (2), Hawkins (1).

*TN Department of Corrections- 1 inmate at Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City tests negative for COVID-19. No reports of positive cases among staff members at Northeast.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 19,492 cases, 2,700 hospitalizations, 684 deaths, 2,547 patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (182) 4 new cases in Carroll, 13 new cases in Galax, and 2 new cases in Grayson County.

*AP: Tennessee reports 36% COVID-19 case increase in the past week. Read more here.

*Tennessee to roll out mass testing at all state prisons beginning today.

*Ballad Health: Elective and non-emergent procedures to start again today, beginning with only outpatient procedures as part of a phased process.

*The Mall at Johnson City opening back up. Hours of operation: 11:00am–7:00pm Monday through Saturday/12:00pm–6:00pm on Sunday. Tenants individually choosing to open up, customers encouraged to look online for who is and is not open. Guidelines to recommend if you shop at the mall: Practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people. Covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover is recommended. Do not gather in groups. Adhere to each individual tenant’s COVID-19 policies. Adhere to all federal, state and local regulations, recommendations and mandates regarding COVID-19. Regular disinfecting of stores to occur all throughout the day.

*The following retailers are back open at The Pinnacle in Bristol, Tennessee: Hallmark, Kirklands, Michaels, Rack Room Shoes, Shoe Carnival, Surf & Dirt, and, Zales. Operating hours may vary. Check with store for details.

*Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway set for June will be held sometime after August following an announcement to resume the NHRA season in late summer and complete an 18-event schedule with fans allowed in attendance.

*The pandemic has claimed two more businesses due to the downturn in revenue: Macado’s in Bristol on State Street and Ruby Tuesday in Johnson City.

*Kroger has placed purchase limits of chicken and pork products due to anticipated shortages. Customers will be limited to two chicken and two pork items per visit.

Sunday, May 3

*Two Wallens Ridge State Prison staff members in Big Stone Gap, VA test positive for COVID-19. No inmates have tested positive thus far.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 13,177 cases, 210 deaths, 5,814 recoveries. Local cases (200) New cases reported in Sullivan County. 22 active cases according to the Tennessee Department of Health as of Sunday totals.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 18,671 cases, 2,267 hospitalizations, 660 deaths, 2,497 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (163). New cases reported in Bristol, Galax, and Carroll County.

Saturday, May 2

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 12,661 cases, 1,125 hospitalizations, 209 deaths, 5,718 recoveries. Local cases (198)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 17,731 cases, 2,519 hospitalizations, 616 deaths. Local cases (157).

Friday, May 1

*Tennessee Supreme Court has approved in-person hearings and trials to recommence in the First Judicial District, Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington counties, beginning Monday, May 4.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 11,891 cases, 1,113 hospitalizations, 204 deaths. Three new cases reported in Northeast Tennessee (Carter, Unicoi, Sullivan) 196 total in the region.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 16,901 cases, 2,416 hospitalizations, 581 deaths, 2,196 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (153) New cases reported in the city of Galax, Washington, Carroll, Lee, and Russell counties.

*NASCAR to resume it’s season starting May 17, will run 7 races in 10 days including events at Darlington and Charlotte. The reschedule date for the Food City 500 has not yet been formally announced by NASCAR officials.

*Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopening several roads and trails beginning Saturday, May 9.

Thursday, April 30

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 10,735 cases, 1,045 hospitalization, 199 deaths.

*Kingsport officials announce Fun Fest for 2020 has been canceled.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 15,846 cases, 2,322 hospitalizations, 552 deaths, 2,104 patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (143) New cases reported in Carroll and Grayson counties.

*2020 TriPride Parade and Festival in Bristol postponed, originally scheduled for August 29. Organizers looking at holding smaller event, reschedule date not yet set.

Wednesday, April 29

*Ballad Health receives recommendations to resume elective and non-emergent surgeries beginning next Monday, May 4.

*Dentist offices and hospitals will be able to resume non-emergency procedures in Virginia beginning Friday. Dentist offices will be able to resume non-emergency procedures in Tennessee next Wednesday.

*Tennessee Governor Bill Lee says close contact businesses like hair salons, barbershops, spas will reopen on Wednesday, May 6.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 2 new cases in Northeast Tennessee (Greene, Sullivan) and 191 total. 10,366 cases statewide.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 14,961 cases, 2,259 hospitalizations, 522 deaths, 2,042 COVID-19 patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (140) New cases reported in Tazewell (1), Carroll (5), and Washington (2).

*Mount Rogers Health District (Southwest VA) reports 45 of 68 COVID-19 patients have recovered. Breakdown of each locality is as follows- Bristol (1 case-1 recovery), Carroll (4 cases-3 recoveries), Galax (4 cases-1 recovery), Smyth (13 cases-11 recoveries), Washington (34 cases-22 recoveries), and Wythe (11 cases-7 recoveries)

*Bristol, TN Farmers Market delays start of 2020 season, currently working on a plan to safely reopen.

*Johnson City Farmers Market will open this weekend. Schedule: 9 a.m-1 p.m…Shopping guidelines available in the photo below.

*Christian Care Center of Bristol initially reported positive COVID-19 test in one resident on April 26, further testing has revealed that test to be a false positive.

*Durham-Hensley Health and Rebab Center in Chuckey, TN initially reported positive COVID-19 test in one staff member on April 24, further testing has revealed that test to be a false positive.

*Agape Nursing and Rehab Center in Johnson City initially reported positive COVID-19 test in two residents on April 26, further testing has revealed those tests to be false positives.

Tuesday, April 28

*Executive Order 30 allows churches and funeral homes to resume in person services due to their facilities not falling under the social gathering guidelines, but state officials continue to encourage virtual or online services for churches, as well as postponement or limiting attendees of funerals and weddings.

*Gyms across Tennessee can reopen under certain guidelines starting Friday.

*Governor Bill Lee issues Executive Order 30, which keeps close contact businesses like hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, and entertainment venues closed until at least May 29.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 10,052 cases, 894 hospitalizations, 188 deaths. Local cases (189) New cases include one in Greene County and one in Hawkins County.

*Milligan College moving commencement ceremony from May to August.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 14,339 cases, 2,165 hospitalizations, 492 deaths, 1,914 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (132) New cases reported in Buchanan (2), Lee (1), Scott (1), Wise (1), Galax (1), and Grayson (1).

*The Town of Greeneville reopening economy using three phase system. Details available here.

*Sullivan County extends state of emergency through April 30.

Monday, April 27

*Daily Tennessee COVID-19 update: 9,918 cases, 837 hospitalizations, 184 deaths. Local cases (187) include two new cases in Washington County (54) and one new case in Johnson County.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 13,535 cases, 2,066 hospitalizations, 458 deaths, 1,843 patients discharged from the hospital. SWVA cases (125), weekend breakdown, 10 new cases reported, community transmission reported in Galax, first case of COVID-19 reported in Grayson County (according to Mount Rogers Health District), new cases Monday in Buchanan, Tazewell, Wise.

*COVID-19 by the numbers, according to FEMA.

*New meal services went into effect for Greeneville City Schools student on Monday. Children and community members are eligible for the program.

Friday, April 24

*Three Ivy Hall Nursing Home employees in Elizabethton test positive for COVID-19.

*Two Cornerstone Healthcare Center employees in Johnson City test positive for COVID-19.

*The City of Johnson City and Pepsi have canceled the 2020 Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at Freedom Hall Civic Center scheduled for July due to COVID-19 concerns.

*COVID-19 tests will be available next week in Bristol. Medics will be on-site Wednesday at the Bristol Virginia Health Department on Piedmont Avenue and Thursday at the Washington County Virginia Health Department on Lee Highway. You must preregister and make an appointment. For Bristol site, call (276) 642-7335. For Lee Highway test site, call (276) 676-5604.

*Tennessee Governor Bill Lee calls plans to reopen state’s economy “Tennessee Pledge.” Restaurants can serve customers at half-capacity beginning Monday while retail businesses can resume work on Wednesday.

*Among Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s stipulations to reopening restaurants: No live bands, keeping bar rooms shut, new disinfecting rules for menus and silverware.

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam uses executive order to move town and city elections to May 19.

*Northam also aims for a May 8 target as a possible reopening date for Virginia economy.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 8,276 cases, 808 hospitalizations, 168 deaths. Local cases (172); four new cases in Northeast Tennessee, three in Greene County, one in Carter.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 11,594 cases, 1,837 hospitalizations, 410 deaths, 1,672 patients discharged. Local cases (112) 1 new case reported in Lee County.

*University of Tennessee estimates $40 million loss due to COVID-19. UT Football in 2020? President Randy Boyd says that’s up to the Southeastern Conference.

Thursday, April 23

*Latest unemployment claims filed in TN- 68,968 (5,085 in Northeast TN) VA (84,387)

*Three new free drive-thru testing sites being offered in Northeast TN- Hancock County (Wednesday April 29 @ Hancock High School from 2 pm-6 pm) Carter County (Saturday May 2 @ Hampton High School from 9 am-3 pm) Unicoi County (Sunday May 3 @ Unicoi High School from 9 am-3 pm)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 10,998 cases, 1,753 hospitalizations, 372 deaths, 1,567 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (111) 2 new cases reported in Wise and 1 new case reported in Washington.

Wednesday, April 22

*Russell County Health Department offering free drive-thru testing Friday, April 24 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Testing is available by appointment only, and to be pre-screened for this test site, please contact 276-889-7621 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

*Carter County extends local state of emergency to April 28.

Tuesday, April 21

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 7,394 cases, 157 deaths, 3,828 recovered. Local cases (164), two new cases in Greene County (37), one new case Hawkins County (28).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 9,630 cases, 1,581 hospitalizations, 324 deaths, 1,418 discharged from hospital. Local cases (107), 1 new case out of Scott County (new individual total- 5). Local hospitalization and death case breakdown (Across three health districts- 26 hospitalizations, 6 deaths)

*COVID-19 testing will be available in Tennessee and Virginia in the coming days, including Wednesday in Dickenson County and Thursday in Gate City.

*Click here to find the nearest school that provides free meals during the pandemic.

Monday, April 20

*The Scott County Health Department will hold a drive-thru testing site at the Gate City Middle and High School parking lot on Harry Fry Drive in Gate City on Thursday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To be screened for testing at this site, call 276-386-1312 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

*Governor Bill Lee says he will let the state’s safer-at-home order expire on April 30 and businesses and industry will reopen by May 1.

*Most Tennessee State Parks locations will reopen on Friday but state officials said overcrowding could force closures once again.

*COVID-19 testing will be available at Johnson County High School in Mountain City from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Tests are available free of costs and results will take 72 hours to process.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 7,238 cases, 152 deaths. Local cases (161), 5 new cases confirmed in Greene County.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 8,990 cases, 1,500 hospitalizations, 300 deaths, 1,324 discharged from hospital. Local cases (106), 1 new case reported out of Smyth County jumping from 105 cases reported on Sunday.

*Qualifying essential workers in Tennessee can receive assistance for daycare services.

*Appalachia officials remove police barricades at town apartment complex following COVID-19 quarantine.

Friday, April 17

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 6,589 cases, 142 deaths, 711 hospitalized. Local cases (156) 46- Washington, 45- Sullivan, 30- Greene, 27- Hawkins, 5- Carter, 2- Johnson, 1- Unicoi. 22 patients have recovered (Carter, Johnson).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 7,491 cases, 1,221 hospitalizations, 231 deaths, 1,110 hospital discharges. Local cases (97) 1- Bristol City, 12- Buchanan, 3- Carroll, 1- Galax, 7- Lee, 2- Russell, 3- Scott, 11- Smyth, 4- Tazewell, 28- Washington, 17- Wise, and 8- Wythe.

*Tennessee Department of Labor staggers filing days for unemployment certification. It’s based on the last digit of someone’s social security number.

*NASCAR announced Friday the postponement of the Blue Emu 500 at Martinsville Speedway scheduled for May 9. The report also said NASCAR continues to plan to run all 36 races in 2020 with a return to competition next month at a track that will not allow fans to attend.

Thursday, April 16

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 6,262 cases, 691 hospitalizations, 141 deaths. Local cases (176) 1- Unicoi, 13- Carter, 16- Johnson, 26- Hawkins, 29- Greene, 45- Sullivan, and 46- Washington.

*Schools in Northeast Tennessee that have announced closure for the remainder of the academic year following Gov. Bill Lee recommendation to close schools- Bristol TN City Schools, Sullivan County Schools, Kingsport City Schools, Carter County Schools, Greeneville City Schools, Johnson County Schools, Unicoi County Schools, Washington County Schools, and Johnson City Schools.

*181,495 new unemployment claims filed in TN and VA through April 11th. TN new jobless claims- 74,772 (37,000 fewer claims than the prior week) Northeast TN jobless claims- 4,626. VA new jobless claims- 106,723 (Over 40,000 less claims than the week prior).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 6,889 cases, 1,114 hospitalizations, 208 deaths, and 951 discharged. Local cases (95) 1- Bristol City, 12- Buchanan, 3- Carroll, 1- Galax, 6- Lee, 2- Russell, 3- Scott, 11- Smyth, 4- Tazewell, 27- Washington, 18- Wise, and 7- Wythe.

Wednesday, April 15

*Governor Bill Lee has recommended the closure of K-12 public schools for the remainder of the calendar year. School systems in Bristol, Tennessee, Kingsport, and Sullivan County are aligning with that recommendation, according to a joint statement sent out Wednesday afternoon.

*Free COVID-19 testing will be conducted at two pop-up drive-thru sites this weekend in Northeast Tennessee. One remote unit will be established at Volunteer High School in Church Hill on Saturday. The other will be at ETSU in Johnson City on Sunday. Those remote sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 6,079 cases, 135 deaths.

*Buchanan County, Virginia has imposed new restrictions due to COVID-19. The order also allows the sheriff’s office the discretion to set-up traffic checkpoints.

*Tennessee State Parks to extend closures until further notice.

*Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin confirms COVID-19 cases among employees.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 6,500 cases, 1,048 hospitalizations, 195 deaths. VA Hospital & Healthcare Association hospital discharge numbers: 752

Tuesday, April 14

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 5,823 cases, 124 deaths including one death case each in Carter and Greene County.

*US Senator Lamar Alexander announces millions of dollars becoming available under the CARES Act to help students with emergency financial aid.

*The 2020 Jonesborough Farmers Market will begin its season in an online format. Officials will start this year’s market on the scheduled May 2nd launch date. Farmers and producers will post what items they have available to the market place by Tuesday of each week, purchases will be allotted from noon on Wednesday to 6:00 pm on Thursday. Curbside pickup of items will occur on Saturday from 10 am-12 pm. Vendors can apply at JonesboroughLocallyGrown.org and place their first orders on April 29th.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 6,171 cases, 978 hospitalizations, and 154 deaths. Statewide hospital discharges- 721. Local cases (91) 1- Bristol City, 12- Buchanan, 3- Carroll, 1- Galax, 6- Lee, 2- Russell, 3- Scott, 11- Smyth, 4- Tazewell, 27- Washington, and 7- Wythe.

Monday, April 13

*Daily Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 report: 5,747 cases, 149 deaths.

*Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reports 467 patients have been discharged following treatment for COVID-19.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 5,610 cases, 109 deaths.

Saturday, April 11

*Two new deaths in the region including Wise County Virginia’s first COVID-19 death.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 5,114 cases, 101 deaths

*Daily Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 update: 5,077 cases, 101 deaths

Friday, April 10

*Johnson City has extended its safer-at-home order through April 19.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 4,862 cases, 98 deaths

*ETSU launches Bucs Help Bucs initiative to provide relief to students dealing with difficulty related to the ongoing pandemic. More information available here.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 4,509 cases, 772 hospitalized, and 121 deaths. Local cases (58)- 1- Bristol City, 1- Buchanan, 3- Carroll, 1- Galax, 3- Lee, 1- Russell, 3- Scott, 9- Smyth, 4- Tazewell, 17- Washington, 8- Wise, and 7- Wythe.

Thursday, April 9

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 4,634 patients, 94 deaths. (*NOTE- 7 new cases identified in Sullivan County, 3 in Hawkins, 2 in Washington and Greene counties)

*New unemployment claims in TN (116,141) (112,438 reported by the TN Dept of Labor) (6,419 in Northeast TN). New unemployment claims in VA (149,758), no regional claims reported.

*Daily VA COVID-19: 4,042 cases, 615 hospitalized, and 109 deaths. Local cases (48) 1- Bristol City, 1- Buchanan, 3- Carroll, 1- Galax, 3- Lee, 1- Russell, 8- Smyth, 4- Tazewell, 15- Washington, 5- Wise, and 6- Wythe. NOTE: Two cases out of Scott County not yet recognized by state health officials.

Wednesday, April 8

*Governor Ralph Northam will ask the Virginia General Assembly to move May’s primary elections to November due to COVID-19 concerns. Northam will use his authority to move congressional primaries from June 9 to June 23.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 4,362 cases, 79 deaths.

*Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to petition State Corporation Commission to suspend utility disconnects until June 10 due to limited incomes and the stay-at-home directive.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 3,645 cases, 615 hospitalized, and 75 deaths. Local cases (40) 1- Bristol City, 1- Buchanan, 2- Carroll, 1- Galax, 3- Lee, 1- Russell, 5- Smyth, 4- Tazewell, 12- Washington, 6- Wythe.

Tuesday, April 7

*The first cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Scott County, according to a report from the Lenowisco Health District. An investigation to gauge potential spread is underway after the male and female patients were diagnosed.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 4,138 cases, 72 deaths.

*Bristol Motor Speedway postpones the Pinty’s US Short Track Nationals until Sept. 26.

*Kroger to begin limiting the number of customers inside their stores.

*Cinemark USA announces layoffs of 26 employees at Tinsletown theater in Bristol, VA.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 3,333 cases, 563 hospitalized, and 63 deaths. Local cases (31) 1- Bristol City, 1- Buchanan, 2- Carroll, 1- Galax, 2- Lee, 1- Russell, 3- Smyth, 4- Tazewell, 10- Washington, 3- Wise, and 3- Wythe.

Monday, April 6

*Sullivan County extends state of emergency proclamation by one week, Bristol, TN extends local emergency by one week, Johnson City extends safer at home orders until April 13.

*Mountain Mission School staff member in Grundy, VA tests positive for COVID-19.

*18th Wayne Scott Strawberry Festival in Unicoi County canceled.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 3,802 cases, 65 deaths.

*New hotline established to help applicants for emergency cash through the Tennessee Department of Human Services check their application status. TANF funding is becoming available for those laid off due to COVID-19. Applications will be taken through May 29.

*Domtar in Kingsport has announced a three-month shut down due to a downturn in business, resulting in 304 workers being laid off.

*The Virginia Creeper Trail will be closed effective Monday at 5 p.m. following a decision by the US Forest Service and the towns of Abingdon and Damascus. All access points along the 34-mile route will be closed off.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 2,878 cases, 497 hospitalized, and 54 deaths. Local cases (20) 1- Bristol City, 1- Carroll, 1- Galax, 2- Lee, 1- Russell, 2- Smyth, 3- Tazewell, 5- Washington, 1- Wise, and 3- Wythe.

*Bristol, VA Public Schools moving Washington-Lee Elementary meal pickup location to Virginia High School front entrance due to a sinkhole.

*Washington County, VA Election office closing doors to the public effective Monday. Encouraging voting by mail-in ballot will continue to support curbside voting with appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Sunday, April 5

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 3,633 cases, 44 deaths.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 2,637 cases, 51 deaths.

Saturday, April 4

*The Lenowisco Health District is now confirming the first case of COVID-19 in Wise County, Virginia. The patient is a man in his 70s who is now hospitalized.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health coronavirus update: 3,321 cases, 43 deaths.

*Daily Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 update: 2,407 cases, 52 deaths.

Friday, April 3

*Beginning Monday, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office will begin a program to assist high-risk members of the community by picking-up essential items. Residents can call (423) 279-6064 or (423) 279-7506 to contact the agency for help.

*Virginia Department of Health announces a resident at English Meadows assisted living facility in Abingdon has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now hospitalized.

*Beginning Saturday, Walmart will only allow a select number of customers inside their stores to continue the practice of social distancing.

*Daily Tennessee COVID-19 update: 3,067 cases, 293 hospitalizations, 37 deaths including first death in Hawkins County, raising the coronavirus death toll to 4 in NE Tennessee & SW Virginia.

*Target will begin to limit the amount of people inside their stores among other new COVID-19 directives for customers and work associates.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 2,012 cases, 312 hospitalizations, 46 deaths. Local cases (15) 1 Bristol City, 1 Carroll, 1 Galax, 2 Lee, 2 Smyth, 2 Tazewell, 3 Washington, 2 Wythe. Local deaths (1) Mount Rogers Health District.

*Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to close all 56 state parks effective Saturday, Apr. 4 in accordance with Gov. Bill Lee’s stay-at-home order.

Thursday, April 2

*BlueCross BlueShield of TN announces they will cover all in-network COVID-19 treatment for members.

*Federal disaster declarations due to COVID-19 approved in TN and VA

*NEW: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signs Executive Order 23. Only residents with essential jobs will be allowed to go out.

*Four new remote COVID-19 testing sites are being established in Northeast Tennessee, according to the Department of Health. Click here for the complete list.

*An ETSU student and employee has tested positive for COVID-19, according to school officials.

*A second Southwestern VA Mental Health Institute employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 1,706 cases, 246 hospitalizations, and 41 deaths. Local cases (13)- 1 Bristol City, 1 Carroll, 1 Galax, 2 Lee, 2 Smyth, 2 Tazewell, 2 Washington, and 2 Wythe. Local deaths (1)- Mount Rogers Health District.

Wednesday, April 1

*Review of Virginia State Police practices following executive orders from Governor Ralph Northam to try and limit the spread of COVID-19.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 2,683 cases, 24 fatalities.

*Second COVID-19 case in Smyth County, VA related to exposure from first individual (an employee of the Southwestern VA Mental Health Institute) that tested positive.

*An updated list of COVID-19 testing sites are available. Most locations and counties require a pre-screening call and an appointment.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 1,484 cases, 208 hospitalizations, 34 deaths. Local cases: 1 Bristol City, 1 Carroll, 1 Galax, 2 Lee, 2 Smyth, 2 Tazewell, 2 Washington, and 2 Wythe/Local deaths: 1 (Mount Rogers Health District)

*Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine announces he is forgoing pay for the next 60 days, will contribute to fund to help assist Ballad employees.

*Remote Area Medical suspends clinic operations through May 28.

*Three VDOC offenders and three VDOC employees test positive for COVID-19. No cases involve any Southwest VA facilities.

*City of Kingsport playgrounds closed until further notice.

Tuesday, March 31

*City of Johnson City adds FAQ section to website, email address added (SaferAtHome@johnsoncitytn.org) which will serve as hotline to help address citizen and business questions following declaration of local emergency earlier this week.

*Greene County drive-thru testing available by appointment weekdays from 9 a.m to 11 a.m at the Greene County Health Department at 810 W Street in Greeneville. You must be pre-screened over the phone at (423)-979-4689 and assigned an appointment.

*Elizabethton Parks and Rec Department are closing the following areas until further notice: pavilions, Covered Bridge stage, playgrounds, athletic fields and courts (baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts etc.). The Recreation Center, which has been closed to the public for a couple weeks, will remain closed as well.

*Ballad Health reports “cluster” of positive cases, including three team members at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 2,239 cases.

*Mount Rogers Health District confirms additional cases, including a third case in Washington County, VA, a second case in Wythe County, and a first case in Carroll County.

*Ballad Health confirms first patient COVID-19 death, a male in his 70s. Second local death of patient, following first COVID related death reported out of the Mount Rogers Health District.

*Daily VA COVID-19 update: 1,250 cases, 165 hospitalizations, 27 deaths. Local cases: 11 total cases/ Breakdown- 2 (Lee, Tazewell, and Washington) 1 (Bristol City, Carroll, Galax, Smyth, and Wythe)/ Local deaths- 1 (Mount Rogers Health District)

*Northeast State Community College has decided to move all summer classes online in response to COVID-19. No decision made yet on if remote instruction will continue into the fall semester.

*Virginia Department of Corrections announces contract nurse has tested positive for COVID-19, no inmates have tested positive to this point, despite multiple tests.

*Virginia DMME limiting office hours at their Big Stone Gap and Lebanon locations starting today through April 30. Those needing to make payments at the offices will be able to do so Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m-11 a.m.

Monday, March 30

*TVA South Holston Dam overlook area closed to the public until further notice.

*Mount Rogers Health District confirms case of COVID-19 in Smyth County of Southwestern VA Mental Health Institute employee.

*City of Bristol, Tennessee has declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Sullivan County, Tennessee has issued a safer-at-home order effective at midnight.

*Tennessee Bill Lee issues safer-at-home guidelines while not mandating a shelter-in-place order.
“…Because protecting personal liberty is deeply important, this Order is not a shelter-in-place mandate and instead strongly urges Tennesseans to stay at home when at all possible for the protection of themselves and their community.”

*Washington County, Tennessee begins their safer-at-home order on April 1.

*Johnson City declares local emergency and issues safer at home order effective Tuesday March 31 until April 6.

*City of Elizabethton, Tennessee issues a safer-at-home directive. It goes into effect on April 1 and lasts 15 days.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 1,834 cases, 13 deaths.

*Commonwealth of Virginia is now under a stay-at-home order following an executive order by Governor Ralph Northam. The order is in effect until June 10.

*Hawkins County, Tennessee joins a growing list of localities issuing a state of emergency and a safer-at-home directive.

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has a major announcement concerning COVID-19 response at 2 p.m. today.

*Carter County Schools announced Monday they are discontinuing drive-thru meals for students at 10 locations due to COVID-19 concerns. Five locations remain open for food.

*Daily VA COVID-19 update: 1,020 cases, 136 hospitalized, and 25 deaths. Local cases: Bristol City (1 case), Galax (1 case), Lee County (2 cases), Smyth County (1 case), Tazewell County (2 cases), Washington (2 cases), Wythe (1 case)/ Local deaths: 1 (Mount Rogers Health District)

*Marsh Regional Blood Center locations in Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City are offering extended hours this week for blood donations. The listed locations will operate from 8 a.m until 6 p.m. according to a social media post.

*TN and VA courts remain open, continuing to limit in-person proceedings into April, for TN (April 30) and VA (April 26). This is subject to change.

*Goodwill Tenneva has announced temporary store closures to all locations across the region. All stores and attended donation centers will continue to accept donations. These centers are open for convenience. Donations will be accepted Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

*Playground areas, picnic shelters, and bathrooms at all Mountain City parks are closing effective today at 7 a.m until further notice. Bristol, VA Parks and Recreation Department announces closures of playground area at Sugar Hollow Park until further notice.

Sunday, March 29

*Cumberland Plateau Health District confirms first two coronavirus cases, two people out of Tazewell County, VA.

*Mount Rogers Health District reports first COVID-19 related fatality.

*Eastman Chemical Company confirms two employees test positive for COVID-19.

*Daily Virginia COVID-19 update: 890 cases, 22 deaths.

*Daily Tennessee COVID-19 update: 1.537 cases, 7 deaths.

*Country music star Joe Diffie dead from COVID-19 complications.

*Top US government infectious-disease doctor says 200,000 coronavirus deaths possible, millions more infected.

Friday, March 27

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update: 1,203 cases, 103 hospitalizations, 6 deaths.

*Virginia Tech has confirmed its first case on coronavirus–a student who lives off-campus at a Blacksburg apartment complex.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 604 total cases, 83 hospitalizations, 14 deaths. Local cases: 2 (Lee County), 1 (Washington County), 1 (Bristol City), and 1 (Galax)

*Bristol, VA announces changes to transit and waste collection services. Full details- Bristol, VA Transit and Collection Service Changes

*George Washington & Jefferson National Forest closing temporarily shutting down use of all campgrounds, bathrooms, OHV trails, trail shelters and many day-use areas.

*Tennessee and Virginia among states facing increasing unemployment numbers following release of weekly jobless claims Thursday by the U.S Dept. of Labor.

TN- New claims in week of March 21 (39,096), the week before (2,702)

VA- New claims in week of March 21 (46,885), the week before (2,706)

Thursday, March 26

*Milligan College reports an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was last seen on campus last Friday and is now in self-isolation.

*Bristol, Virginia has its first case of COVID-19, according to the Mount Rogers Health District.

*Middle Tennessee State University announces a student on campus has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in self-isolation.

*Daily Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 report: 957 cases, 76 hospitalized, 3 deaths.

*Daily COVID-19 report from Virginia Department of Health: 460 cases, 13 deaths.

*UVA Health System gets $1 million gift to help produce more COVID-19 tests and implement new system that gives doctors test results sooner.

*VA SNAP recipients receiving emergency benefits for March and April. More info here.

*Universal Companies in Abingdon issues WARN Notice, will lay off 61 employees due to COVID-19.

*Food City Starbucks locations offering free 12 oz coffee to all first responders through April 30.

Wednesday, March 25

*Tennessee Department of Health daily COVID-19 data report: 784 cases including the first case in Hawkins County.

*The Mount Rogers Health District has announced the first case of COVID-19 in Washington County, Virginia.

*Tennessee Attorney General Herb Slatery strongly urges power companies to not issue disconnection notices due to the coronavirus state of emergency.

*Daily COVID-19 report from Virginia Department of Health: 3 new deaths since Tuesday, 391 cases statewide.

*Washington County, TN prohibiting public access to courthouse and Johnson City office this week.

*King University is delaying its commencement ceremony and finishing the remainder of the semester by distance mode.

*Virginia high school seniors who are on track to graduate will receive a diploma, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

*Seven local United Way chapters are launching a regional task force and COVID-19 relief fund. Full news release- Regional United Ways Announce NETNSWVARelief Fund

Tuesday, March 24

*Ballad Health designates its Big Stone Gap medical facility as a regional treatment center following a positive COVID-19 case confirmed in the town.

*UPDATE: Tusculum University reports five students have tested positive for COVID-19.

*Tennessee Governor Bill Lee orders all K-12 schools to remain closed through April 24. He also announced the deployment of 250 National Guard troops to help establish more remote COVID-19 test sites in rural areas of the state.

*Latest COVID-19 data from Tennessee Department of Health: 615 cases, 2 deaths.

*Daily COVID-19 update from Virginia Department of Health: 290 cases, 6 deaths.

*Verizon Wireless will add additional 15GB of data to plan for wireless consumers and small business customers from March 25 through April 30 for no additional charge.

*Great Smoky Mountains National Park closing all park areas besides Foothills Parkway and the Spur today at noon through April 6.

*The Town of Greeneville implementing more policies to help prevent the COVID-19 spread. Some changes include requiring citizens to call ahead to Town Hall before entering building, and encouraging property tax payment online. A full list of those policies can be found here.

*UPDATE: Kingsport Area Transit Services ceasing all scheduled bus routes at the end of today, and will move to on demand-fixed route services to riders where riders can call the KATS dispatch office to request a ride. Click here for the latest information.

*Russell County Schools providing free wifi to students who do not have internet access. More information available on the school system’s Facebook page.

*The Mall at Johnson City has closed until further notice, they will post any updates to social media pages.

*Scott County, VA declares local emergency, all public offices closed until further notice effective as of today at 8:00 a.m. Read declaration here. See schedule changes here.

*United Way of Bristol TN-VA establishes COVID-19 relief fund, will go to those dealing with severe economic hardships brought on by the virus. If you are interested in donating online, click here. If you would like to donate by mail, mail a check to P.O. Box 696, Bristol, TN 37621. More information from the United Way on needs in the community available here.

*Mountain Home VA implementing further changes to visitation of facility following report of patient testing positive for coronavirus. Click here for those details. (NOTE: This could be subject to change).

Monday, March 23

*Third Tusculum University student test positive for COVID-19.

*Sullivan County Tennessee Schools have established satellite sites for families to pick up free meals for children 18 and under.

*Tennessee Department of Health daily COVID-19 update available here. Positive cases rise to 615 statewide including 6 in Washington County.

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam closes all schools for the remainder of the academic year.

*Latest Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 update: Now up to 254 cases in 40 localities including 2 in Lee County.

*First COVID-19 case reported at the Mountain VA, patient listed as “home quarantine”

*Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency suspending all in-person services until further notice.

*Johnson City based clothing company Boomtown and Co. selling $20 t-shirts with slogan “Never Shutdown Happiness.” Proceeds from purchases of shirts will go towards non-profit that supports downtown Johnson City businesses. More information available here.

*Southwest Virginia Public Health Call Centers activated, below are numbers for each Health District and corresponding county. Lines will open Monday-Friday 8-6 for all districts beginning Tuesday:

Cumberland Plateau Health District
Buchanan County- 276-935-4591
Dickenson County- 276-926-4979
Russell County- 276-889-7621
Tazewell County- 276-988-5585

Lenowisco Health District
Lee County- 276-346-2011
Scott County- 276-386-1312
Wise County- 276-328-8000
City of Norton- 276-328-8000

Mount Rogers Health District
Bland County- 276-688-3642
Bristol City- 276-642-7335
Carroll County- 276-730-3180
Galax City- 276-236-6127
Grayson County- 276-773-2961
Smyth County- 276-781-7460
Washington County- 276-676-5604
Wythe County- 276-228-5507

*Latest Ballad Health policy changes to visitation and non-emergent procedural cases.

*Interactive map created to show feeding sites in Northeast Tennessee for all schools currently closed. Map available here.

Sunday, March 22

*Eastman Chemical Company implementing personal travel restrictions for employees until the end of April.

*Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signs executive order to have all restaurants and bars limited to delivery, take out, and drive-thru. Beer and wine are available under the order that lasts until April 6.

*Ballad Health announces three new cases of COVID-19 in Northeast Tennessee including two in Greene County and one in Sullivan County. The LENOWISCO Health District confirms two new coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in Lee County, Virginia. The patients, a male and female, are in their 50’s and passed the virus through household contact, the agency reported.

*A second Tusculum University student has tested positive for COVID-19. The two students have traveled together over spring break, the school said.

*COVID-19 update from the Virginia Department of Health: 3,337 people tested, 219 cases, 32 hospitalized, 3 deaths.

*Tennessee Department of Health coronavirus update: 505 positive cases. The highest percentage of cases are people between the ages of 21 & 30.

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam tells residents to expect a long quarantine period ahead while appealing to private companies to help the state with sorely needed medical supplies like gloves, masks, and respirators.

*GameStop will close retail locations beginning Sunday and switch to a digital delivery and curbside pickup model.

Saturday, March 21

*From Johnson City: Effective Monday (March 23) the main and finance lobbies at City Hall will close to the public until further notice. The Police Records and Development Services entrances will remain open for now.

The Finance Department will accept tax and utility payments through a temporary window at City Hall and have opened a drive-thru service at 106 Gray Commons Circle in Gray (Fire Station 8). Collections clerks will be available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays to accept tax and utility payments and applications for business licenses. The night depository located on the Main Street side of City Hall also remains available.

Customers are encouraged to utilize the online and autodraft options to make payments on property taxes and utility bills. More information about online payments can be found at www.johnsoncitytn.org/payments. Additionally, payments can be made by phone. To pay utility bills by phone, please call 877-768-5046. To pay property taxes by phone, please call 877-768-5048.

New water and sewer services customers should call 423-461-1640 to sign up for service with a credit card.

*The Virginia Department of Transportation has restricted all walk-in visitation at its offices including area residencies till further notice.

Friday, March 20

*Town of Damascus, Virginia announced Friday the cancellation of the 2020 Trail Days celebration in May. They will not reschedule the event to prevent disruption of any other trail-related festivals in the Southeast.

*Hawkins County, Tennessee Public Schools will remain closed until Friday, April 17 with a target return date of April 20.

*Ballad Health announces diagnosis of COVID-19 patient from Washington County, Tennessee. The health care provider also announces new visitor policies effective Saturday.

*BrightRidge is closing its walk-in service lobby effective Monday, March 23. Drive-thru hours will be extended from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

*Washington County, Tennessee is closing its Historic Courthouse and the Johnson City Clerk/Trustee office effective Monday, March 23. Customers are urged to conduct business by email, mail, by phone, or online.

*Blackthorn Club at The Ridges has closed its dining area at the clubhouse until March 31. One of the chefs at the facility has tested positive for the coronavirus.

*TVA closing recreation areas, including public restroom facilities, beaches and group pavilions at all of TVA’s recreation areas. More information here- TVA Closes Select Recreation Areas While Maintaining Access to Public Lands, Waters-2

*Leaders in Sullivan and Washington counties, as well as the Cities of Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City, have issued a joint statement on how they are working to respond to COVID-19. Read the full statement here- 3-19-20 Regional Joint Response to COVID-19

Thursday, March 19

*Smokehouse BBQ in Elizabethton providing bag lunches to children 18 and under from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

*Krispy Kreme corporate announces all locations will temporarily eliminate dine-in options. All shops still provide pick-up and delivery.

*Unicoi County launches website to keep county residents informed to any updates to area business, government, and churches. Also providing links to CDC guidelines. Website link here.

*Belk, JCPenny, and Old Navy temporarily closing all stores. Belk (closing stores through March 30) JCPenny (closing stores until April 2) Old Navy (closing stores through April 1)

*Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems changing methods of operation, including rescheduling appointments for patients in “high-risk category” who have appointments through Friday April 3rd. Click here for all of the information relating to those changes.

*Alumni Hall closing all stores through April 4 (Local store locations in Bristol and Johnson City)

*Tusculum University postponing Spring graduation for spring and summer graduates until August at 10:30 a.m. Officials say those who are scheduled to graduate in May will not have to wait until August to have their degrees conferred and their diplomas awarded.

*Goodwill Tenneva adjusting hours effective today (Mon-Sat open 11 a.m-7 p.m/Sun open 1:00 p.m-6:00 p.m for all stores except Richlands, VA store, which will remain closed on Sunday until further notice)

*Scratch Pizza in Johnson City announces it is temporary closing down beginning Friday, will limit service to curbside and pickup only.

*Tennessee Hills Distillery producing hand sanitizer, proceeds going to local organizations to aid those in need. You can find out the latest info from the distillery’s Facebook page.

Wednesday, March 18

*UPDATE: Walmart stores adjusting hours to operate from 7 a.m-8:30 p.m. For customers ages 60 and older, the store will open an hour earlier each Tuesday to allow these individuals to shop who may be more vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus. This will occur each Tuesday beginning March 24 until April 28. More information can be found here.

*UPDATE: Northeast State Community College to remain online for classes for the remainder of the semester. Here is the latest info.

*The University of Tennessee has canceled graduation ceremonies scheduled for May. Plans are to honor the class of 2020 at a later date.

*Daily COVID-19 update from Tennessee Department of Health. Agency announces 98 cases in the state.

*City of Bristol, VA closing government administration buildings to the public through April 3. A full list of details regarding operations moving forward can be found here.

*Abingdon, VA Police are making the following adjustments to its operating methods and those can be found here.

*Gatlinburg SkyLift Park closed until further notice. More details here.

*Elizabethon Parks and Recreation postponing all programs and classes at the Elizabethton Recreation Center postponed until further notice.

*Southern Conference officials cancel the rest of the spring sports season, effective immediately.

*Kingsport Public Library and all other community centers closing Thursday at 5 p.m until further notice. All rentals of city facilities are suspended until at least April 3. A list of facility closings can be found here.

*YMCA of Bristol has closed facility until March 30.

*Kingsport Area Transit Services (KATS) is changing operation methods beginning today, the following including stopping fixed route services between 12:30-1:30 p.m for disinfectant treatments to all buses. They will also limit the amount of riders on each transit vehicle to no more than 10 riders at a time. You can find out more here.

*Five public hand washing stations are being provided by the United Way of Greater Kingsport and Shades of Grace United Methodist Church for at least the next two months. Locations can be found below:

Shades of Grace United Methodist Church, 313 E Sullivan St, Kingsport, TN 37660
Glen Bruce Park, 414 Broad St, Kingsport, TN 37660
Shades of Grace, 505 Dale St, Kingsport, TN 37660
Salvation Army, 505 Dale St, Kingsport, TN 37660
Hunger First, 829 Myrtle St, Kingsport, TN 37660

***REMOTE ASSESSMENT SITES (or drive-thru testing sites) in Tennessee, list of sites and locations locally:

Sullivan Co. (Bristol Regional Medical Center, 1 Medical Park Blvd, Bristol, TN 37260. Indian Path Community Hospital, 2000 Brookside Dr, Kingsport, TN 37660)
Carter Co. (Sycamore Shoals Hospital, 1501 W. Elk Ave, Elizabethton, TN 37643)
Unicoi Co. (Unicoi Co. Hospital, 2030 Temple Hill Rd, Erwin, TN 37650)
Greene Co. (Greeneville Community Hospital East, 1420 Tusculum Blvd, Greeneville, TN 37745)
Hawkins Co. (Hawkins Co. Memorial Hospital, 851 Locust St, Rogersville, TN 37857)
Washington Co. (Franklin Woods Community Hospital, 300 Med Tech Pkwy, Johnson City, TN 37604)

NOTE: If you feel like you have the coronavirus, please first call the Ballad Health nurse connect line to be screened at 833-822-5523. That line is active 24/7. We will update this list as more remote assessment testing sites become available.

*Target announces reduction of store hours to 9 p.m daily, will limit the first hour of shopping each Wednesday to those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.

Tuesday, March 17

*Food City announces a hiring initiative of 2,500 workers to help the community and help with their demands on products.

*UPDATE: City schools in Bristol and Kingsport along with Sullivan County Schools have extended their closure through Friday, April 3.

*The Southeastern Conference has canceled all spring sports and post-season tournaments, including the University of Tennessee’s Orange & White Game that had been postponed.

*Virginia Community College Chancellor Glenn DuBois cancels spring semester graduations scheduled for May.

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam orders all 75 DMV offices closed, introduces new COVID-19 guidelines for residents.

*Food City has altered its operating hours effective Tuesday. The new hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Adults age 65 and older along with other at-risk customers to shop between 7 and 8 a.m. to avoid busier shopping periods.

*Aubrey’s Bristol/Johnson City/Greeneville locations changing business hours (Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m-8 p.m, Friday-Saturday 11 a.m-9 p.m), offering delivery service.

*Johnson City Public Library closed until further notice beginning March 18.

*Hot Topic announces closure to all store effective today through March 30, will pay employees during time-frame.

*Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace temporarily closing to the public.

*All in-person court hearings in Washington County, TN suspended through the end of March.

*Elizabethton City Schools closing schools effective today through April 3. Additional information can be found here.

*Bath & Body Works is temporarily closing all stores in the United States and Canada.

*McDonald’s announces closure of seating areas, moving to serve customers through drive-thru, walk in take out, and delivery options. More details can be found here.

*The TSSAA Board of Control and Legislative Council are scheduled to meet today and tomorrow. A decision could be made on what to do regarding the state basketball tournaments and Spring sports.

Monday, March 16

*The University of Tennessee announces classes will stay online through the rest of the Spring semester. All events on campus have been cancelled, including commencement ceremonies. More details are available here.

*The City of Kingsport has suspended all city-sponsored programs, classes, and events indefinitely. You can find all details by clicking here.

*NAIA cancels Spring season, Milligan College among those affected.

*Washington County, Virginia declares state of emergency, will operate on a limited closure schedule beginning Wednesday. Click here for full list.

*NASCAR postpones the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway and five other races due to CDC crowd guidelines.

*For the Johnson City COVID-19 update, click here. Events at Freedom Hall through April 9 have been postponed until further notice.

*Virginia has reported its second death related to COVID-19.

*President Donald Trump and federal health officials are discouraging social gatherings of 10 people or more. Click here for video of the news conference.

*Daily COVID-19 data briefing from the Tennessee Department of Health. So far, 52 cases have been diagnosed. Ages of patients range from 11 to 82.

*Hawkins County Schools will be closed beginning Tuesday through March 31.

*Barter Theatre announced Monday the postponement of the openings of “Macbeth,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and “Peter Pan” scheduled for this month and in April.

*Rogersville City Schools will be closed through Thursday, March 31.

*Greeneville City Schools and Greene County Public Schools will be closed until April 6.

*Johnson City Schools to close until April 6.

*Tennessee Governor Bill Lee urging all school districts close by Friday and remain closed until March 31.

*Bristol, Virginia school officials announce meal times and pickup locations which will begin Tuesday (Breakfast served starting at 10 a.m., Lunch served starting at 2 p.m) Locations: All four city elementary schools, the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc, and Eastridge, Springdale, and Harbor Landing Apartment Complexes. Note: Students must be present in order to receive meals. If you are unable to pick up meals from one of the above locations, please contact Stephanie Austin – 276-821-5605

*The CDC is recommending events or gatherings of more than 50 people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.

*Chick-fil-a announces temporary closures of dining room seating to all stores nationwide. Services available moving forward include drive-thru only, and or takeout, delivery or mobile order options. (Contact local franchise for specific store operations)

*Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton holding no classes this week, classes scheduled to resume March 23. Click here for more details.

*Johnson County, TN Schools to close effective Tuesday through April 14.

*Unicoi County, TN Schools to close effective Tuesday through April 13.

*Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear orders closure of bars and restaurants for in-person dining.

*Nashville Mayor John Cooper asks for bars on Lower Broadway and throughout city to close until further notice, restaurants to limit seating capacity to 50%, capped at 100 individuals.

*Carter County Schools postpones all extracurricular activities including school trips, sports, and after school events/meetings.

Sunday, March 15

*Sullivan County, Tennessee Schools along with Kingsport City and Bristol, Tennessee Schools will be closed through Friday, March 27, according to a report issued Sunday afternoon.

*Washington County Virginia Public Schools will be serving breakfast and lunch to all children ages 18 and under on specific dates using a drive-thru system. The meals will be available at specific dates and times. CLICK HERE for more details.

*The Coomes Recreation Center in Abingdon, Virginia will be closed for two weeks and reopen on March 29.

*Virginia Health Commissioner Norman Oliver has announced the state’s first death from COVID-19. The patient was a male in his 70s who became infected from an unknown source and he resided in the northern coastal region of the state.

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has banned events statewide that have an audience of 100 people or more.

*As of Sunday, 45 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Virginia.

*Although no formal ban is in place, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is discouraging large gatherings in the state of 250 people or more. He has also directed the 11,000 state workers trained to work from home to do so until March 31.

*As of Sunday, there are 32 patients in Tennessee diagnosed with COVID-19 including one in Sullivan County.

*Target has announced they are providing extra staffing in their Order Pickup and Drive Up services for those customers ordering goods online. They have also directed workers to disinfect touch screens and conveyors every 30 minutes at checkout stands.

*A message from Food City CEO Steve Smith says due to manufacturer delays and allocations, they are limiting selected items to only two (2) per customer. Self-service areas like salad and wing bars have been temporarily closed.

*Ingles Markets will close their stores at 10 p.m. beginning Monday. Also, their 24-hour locations will reopen at 6 a.m. and all other stores will open at their regular times. These hours will remain in place until further notice, the company said in a statement.

*Huddle House in St. Paul, Virginia will serve school-age children in their service communities a free meal each day beginning Monday, March 16. The menu is limited and they ask only six (6) of these meals per order.

*Bristol Virginia Public Schools will still serve breakfast and lunch to students during the two-week hiatus mandated by the governor. Parents can bring students to the parking lots of Stonewall Jackson, Washington-Lee, Highland View, and Van Pelt Elementary beginning Monday. Meals will also be delivered to the Boys and Girls Club and the communities of Eastridge, Harborpoint, and Springdale. Non-perishable food will be available to pick up on Tuesday at all Bristol Virginia fire stations and the school board office.

*The Virginia High School League said in a statement that all games and practices for all public school teams are canceled during the two-week mandated hiatus. The start of the spring sports seasons has been pushed back by two weeks.

Saturday, March 14

*Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians advises troops to cancel public cookie booths. Cookie program originally scheduled to end March 22, will be extended due to hiatus and is tentatively scheduled to now end April 5. All Girl Scout Council activities canceled through March 31, all camps and service centers also closed through March 31.

*Minor League Baseball announces it will delay the start of the season (Appalachian League included)

*Walmart announces store hour changes to all locations nationwide. Starting Sunday until further notice, all stores will open from 6 a.m until 11 p.m.

*AMC Theaters capping ticket availability by 50% to all showtimes. Effective Saturday until April 30. Johnson City and Greeneville locations included.

*North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper orders all schools to be closed for two weeks beginning Monday, March 16.

Friday, March 13

*President Donald Trump declared virus pandemic a national emergency. For details, click here.

*National updates on COVID-19 from the Associated Press are available by clicking here.

*Ballad Health and Sullivan County officials continue to report one case of COVID-19. The patient is still stable and recovering after he showed symptoms following international travel.

*Ballad Health limiting one visitor per patient at area medical centers and hospitals. Public visits will not be allowed at long-term facilities such as nursing homes effective immediately.

*Governor Ralph Northam has ordered all K-12 public schools closed for two weeks effective Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.

*Bristol Tennessee Municipal Court and Juvenile Court proceedings have been postponed through Tuesday, March 31 by order of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

*Access to Ballad Health’s COVID-19 database, click here.

*University of Tennessee Athletics announces Tennessee Football’s Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium scheduled for April 18 is postponed.

*First United Methodist Church of Johnson City, services for March 15 are canceled.

*Dollywood postpones opening of 35th season until March 28.

*Milligan College is extending its spring break through March 20 and will transition to online classes beginning April 5.

*King University extending spring break by one week. Face-to-face instruction scheduled to return on April 20.

*NASCAR postpones racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. The Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is still tentatively scheduled for April 5.