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, September 25

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 189,454 Cases, 692 current hospitalizations, 2,352 deaths, and 172,618 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (8,501, increase of 124 from Thursday), Deaths (161, three new deaths including one in Greene- 44 total; and two in Hawkins- 18 total) Recoveries (7,552), and Active Cases (788) By County- Carter (87), Greene (88), Hawkins (65), Johnson (104), Sullivan (174), Unicoi (25), and Washington (245) New cases- Carter (11), Greene (13), Hawkins (13), Johnson (21), Sullivan (27), Unicoi (2), and Washington (37)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 70 patients hospitalized (16 in ICU and 12 on a ventilator), three patients awaiting test results, and 51 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 144,433 cases, 10,806 hospitalizations, 3,136 deaths, and 17,185 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,358, increase of 36 from Thursday), Deaths (140, six new deaths including one in Bland- 5 total; one in Bristol- 5 total; one in Smyth- 10 total; and three in Washington- 20 total) New cases in cities/counties reported in Bland (one less), Bristol (4), Buchanan (1), Carroll (3), Dickenson (2), Grayson (1), Lee (3), Russell (8), Scott (3), Smyth (3), Tazewell (1), Washington (3), Wise (2), and Wythe (3)

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam test positive for COVID-19.

*The Dickenson County, Va School Board is revamping its inclement weather policy that could see some snow days used as virtual learning days.

See Changes adopted by the school board earlier this week below:

New Dickenson County School Inclement Weather Related School Closures for Students and Staff On Tuesday, Sept. 23,…

Posted by Dickenson County Public Schools on Thursday, September 24, 2020

*Two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by Dickenson County, Va school officials. The student and staff member that tested positive have not been on school property since Sept. 17.

*PreK-8 grade Greene County School students who chose an in-person learning option to attend in-person classes five days a week starting Monday, Sept. 28. High School students who attend West Greene, South Greene, and Chuckey-Doak will continue on a two-day hybrid in-person schedule (Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday). North Greene High School students will attend classes Mon-Tue/Thu-Fri in-person. All high school students will have classes online Wednesdays.

*Kingsport City Schools COVID-19 Update: 22 active cases within school system between students and staff as of Sept 24.

*Kingsport City Schools report an individual associated with the Dobyns-Bennett football team has tested positive for COVID-19. Published reports say tonight’s game vs Daniel Boone is not anticipated to be canceled.

Thursday, September 24

*Lebanon High School in Russell County, Va has moved to fully remote learning after school officials say a student tested positive for COVID-19. Students will start full virtual learning today and will stay on that model through Friday, Oct 2. Students will return to their 100% hybrid model the following Monday, Oct 5.

*A report from Elizabethton City Schools says students can return to in-person instruction for four days a week beginning Oct. 5. At-home learning remains an option.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 187,544 Cases, 708 current hospitalizations, 2,310 deaths, and 171,153 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (8,377, increase of 70 from Wednesday), Deaths (158, six new deaths including four in Greene- 43 total; one in Sullivan- 33 total; and one in Washington- 35 total) Recoveries (7,480), and Active Cases (739) By County- Carter (85), Greene (87), Hawkins (59), Johnson (88), Sullivan (163), Unicoi (25), and Washington (232) New cases- Carter (6), Greene (11), Hawkins (3), Johnson (13), Sullivan (28), Unicoi (2), and Washington (7)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 143,492 cases, 10,769 hospitalizations, 3,113 deaths, and 17,099 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,322, increase of 34 from Wednesday), Deaths (134, increase of six including one new death Bristol- 4 total; one new death in Carroll- 24 total; two new deaths in Grayson- 12 total; one new death in Smyth- 9 total; and one new death in Wise- 9 total) New cases in cities/counties reported in Buchanan (1), Carroll (1), Dickenson (4), Lee (1), Russell (4), Smyth (5), Tazewell (5), Washington (6), Wise (5), and Wythe (2)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 72 patients hospitalized (12 in ICU and seven on a ventilator), six patients awaiting test results, and 34 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Weekly Unemployment Claims Report 9/24: TN- 11,313 (11,316, three less than the prior reporting week)/ VA- 12,492 (10,100, 2,392 more than the prior reporting week)/ Total- 23,805

Northeast TN Claims By County-
Carter- 58 new (654 continued)
Greene- 155 new (1,374 continued)
Hawkins- 83 new (824 continued)
Johnson- 23 new (148 continued)
Sullivan- 226 new (2,616 continued)
Unicoi- 12 new (226 continued)
Washington- 120 new (2,079 continued)
Total- 677 new (7,921 continued)

Wednesday, September 23

*Students who selected the in-person learning option, who attend Liberty Middle School and Science Hill High School in the Johnson City Schools system will be permitted to attend in-person classes five days a week following Fall Break starting Oct. 12.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 186,709 Cases, 779 current hospitalizations, 2,275 deaths, and 169,649 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (8,307, increase of 109 from Monday), Deaths (152, three new deaths including two in Greene- 39 total; and one in Sullivan- 32 total), Recoveries (7,415), and Active Cases (740) By County- Carter (90), Greene (94), Hawkins (60), Johnson (79), Sullivan (140), Unicoi (27), and Washington (250) New cases- Carter (14), Greene (6), Hawkins (7), Johnson (13), Sullivan (22), Unicoi (1), and Washington (46)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 75 patients hospitalized (eight in ICU and six on a ventilator), three patients awaiting test results, and 27 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 142,590 cases, 10,718 hospitalizations, 3,089 deaths, and 17,038 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,288, increase of 43 from Tuesday), Deaths (128) New cases in counties/cities reported in Buchanan (4), Carroll (2), Dickenson (2), Galax (2), Russell (6), Smyth (2), Tazewell (20), Wise (1), and Wythe (4)

*Smyth County, Va Schools push start of hybrid schedule back from Oct 1 to Oct 26 due to current COVID-19 numbers in locality.

Tuesday, September 22

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 185,148 Cases, 766 current hospitalizations, 2,261 deaths, and 167,778 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (8,198, increase of 34 from Monday), Deaths (149, two new deaths including one in Carter- 28 total; and one in Washington- 34 total), Recoveries (7,328), and Active Cases (693) By County- Carter (87), Greene (105), Hawkins (57), Johnson (78), Sullivan (136), Unicoi (28), and Washington (230) New cases- Carter (1), Greene (5), Hawkins (3), Johnson (1), Sullivan (17), Unicoi (0), and Washington (7)

*Greeneville City Schools COVID-19 Update: 27 students in quarantine (possibly exposed to COVID-19), three students in isolation with COVID-19, 42 staff in quarantine (possibly exposed to COVID-19), and eight staff isolated with COVID-19

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 77 patients hospitalized (10 in ICU and eight on a ventilator), six patients awaiting test results, and 37 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 142,010 cases, 10,675 hospitalizations, 3,060 deaths, and 16,979 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,245, increase of 30 from Monday), Deaths (128, four new deaths from Monday, including one new death in Lee County- 7 total; one in Russell County- 5 total; one new death in Washington County- 17 total; one new death in Wythe County- 4 total) New cases in counties/cities reported in Bland (1), Bristol (2), Buchanan (1), Carroll (5), Dickenson (2), Galax (3), Lee (1), Scott (1), Smyth (3), Tazewell (3), Washington (5), Wise (2), and Wythe (1)

*Russell County, Va K-3 students to be permitted to attend in-person learning four days a week beginning Sept. 28. Families have the option to continue remote learning, chose a hybrid model, or chose the four day learning option.

*Johnson City Schools COVID-19 Update (as of Sept. 21): 104 students in quarantine due to possible exposure to positive COVID-19 case, 11 students are isolated with COVID-19, and an additional 70 students are awaiting test results. 13 faculty members are in quarantine, one faculty member is isolated, and one faculty member is awaiting test results. This information is available for view by clicking here.

*The Mall at Johnson City hosting drive-thru Trunk’R’Treat event Tue Oct. 20 from 4-6 p.m. 500 vehicles will be permitted to attend drive-thru and each vehicle must register prior to the event. Full details of the socially distanced, COVID-19 revamped Halloween gathering is available by clicking here.

**Mountain Home V.A Healthcare System reports 25 total COVID-19 death in its system (Four additional deaths since the latest report on Sept. 17). Active cases currently sit at 38 including 29 veterans and nine employees. 371 recoveries are being reported including 325 veterans and 39 employees.

*Council Elementary/Middle and Council High School in Buchanan County, Va are heading back to full virtual learning after detection of COVID-19 cases in two students. Both schools will operate with online classes at least through Oct. 2. Both schools are expected to reopen the following Monday on Oct. 5.

Monday, September 21

*Wise County, Va Schools will return to in-person learning four days a week for students who have selected that option beginning Monday, Sept. 28. Friday will be used a full remote learning day and the system will continue to offer all virtual learning for those that desire that option.

*Students in Washington County, VA will continue learning online through the end of the first nine weeks of the semester. The system’s school board in a 4-3 vote last night, approved a plan that would allow for a partial return to in-person learning for students. PreK-3 students would be allowed to return to face-to-face learning four days a week starting Oct. 26, while all other grades would go on a two day hybrid schedule, with two groups going two separate days a week, while Wednesday would be used a fully remote learning day.

*Bristol Tennessee Director of Schools Annette Tudor credits faculty and staff following safety guidelines to drive down virus cases in the district and allowing a return to a five-day school week for students following Fall Break. Tudor said in a statement that remote learning is still an option for parents but those who wish to change their child’s instructional method are asked to inform school officials by Friday, Oct. 2. The director also said those students who need extra help with their studies will be handled by appointment only and is open to only a select number. The in-person resumption for middle and high school students will be Tuesday, Oct. 13.

*Town of Greeneville cancels 2020 Midnight on Main New Year’s Eve celebration because of COVID-19 concerns.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 184,409 Cases, 693 current hospitalizations, 2,233 deaths, and 166,674 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (8,164, increase of 28 from Sunday), Deaths (147, one new death in Washington- 33 total), Recoveries (7,266), and Active Cases (751) By County- Carter (90), Greene (110), Hawkins (58), Johnson (79), Sullivan (133), Unicoi (31), and Washington (250) New cases- Carter (2), Greene (1), Hawkins (4), Johnson (3), Sullivan (3), Unicoi (3), and Washington (12)

*All 23 of the schools in Virginia’s community college system will keep the majority of their classes online for the 2021 spring semester.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 76 patients hospitalized (Nine in ICU and seven on a ventilator), five patients under investigation, and 44 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 141,138 cases, 10,613 hospitalizations, 3,021 deaths, and 16,903 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,215, increase of 55 from Sunday), Deaths (124) New cases in counties reported in Bristol (1), Buchanan (1), Carroll (1), Dickenson (1), Galax (1), Grayson (13), Lee (1), Russell (5), Smyth (23), Tazewell (2), Washington (3), Wise (2), and Wythe (1)

*The Bristol, Va Fire Department working alongside the city’s redevelopment and housing authority and faith-based organizations are distributing COVID-19 community response kits to those in need of PPE. In those kits that are to be issued starting Monday including a disposable and reusable mask, disposable gloves, a 2 oz bottle of hand sanitizer, and antibacterial wet wipes. These kits were purchased through funding from the CARES Act. Those kits are available to be picked up at three fire stations across the city Mon-Fri from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. The addresses of those locations are as follows:

Fire Station 1
211 Lee Street

Fire Station 2
1603 Euclid Avenue

Fire Station 3
105 Suncrest Drive

Sunday, September 20

*Tazewell County, VA School system employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Officials say contact tracing is underway and the employee as well as close contacts are in quarantine. The system says all schools will remain open and there is no outbreak in any of the schools.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 183,514 Cases, 662 current hospitalizations, 2,218 deaths, and 165,844 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (8,136, increase of 132 from Saturday), Deaths (146, one new death in Greene- 37 total), Recoveries (7,215), and Active Cases (775) By County- Carter (98), Greene (116), Hawkins (58), Johnson (80), Sullivan (137), Unicoi (30), and Washington (256) New cases- Carter (16), Greene (27), Hawkins (19), Johnson (10), Sullivan (13), Unicoi (3), and Washington (44)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 140,511 Cases, 10,591 hospitalizations, 3,015 deaths, and 16,880 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,160, increase of 24 from Saturday), Deaths (124, increase of 3 including one new death in Carroll County- 23 total; one new death in Smyth County- 8 total; and one new death in Wise County- 8 total) New Cases in counties reported in Buchanan (4), Carroll (6), Dickenson (1), Lee (2), Russell (2), Scott (1), Smyth (2), Tazewell (2), Washington (3), and Wythe (1)

Saturday, September 19

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 181,439 Cases, 706 current hospitalizations, 2,216 deaths, and 164,982 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (8,004, increase of 45 from Friday), Deaths (145), Recoveries (7,165), and Active Cases (694) By County- Carter (91), Greene (93), Hawkins (43), Johnson (72), Sullivan (139), Unicoi (29), and Washington (227) New cases- Carter (2), Greene (4), Hawkins (5), Johnson (2), Sullivan (12), Unicoi (4), and Washington (16)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 139,655 Cases, 10,562 hospitalizations, 2,990 deaths, and 16,848 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,136, increase of 54 from Friday), Deaths (121)

*Students and employee in the Bristol, VA School system test positive for COVID-19.

Friday, September 18

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 180,497 Cases, 735 current hospitalizations, 2,196 deaths, and 163,181 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,959, increase of 164 from Thursday), Deaths (145, two new deaths in Greene- 36 total; one new death in Hawkins- 16 total; and four new deaths in Washington- 32 total), Recoveries (6,984), and Active Cases (830) By County- Carter (94), Greene (103), Hawkins (42), Johnson (179), Sullivan (153), Unicoi (27), and Washington (232) New cases- Carter (22), Greene (38), Hawkins (11), Johnson (13), Sullivan (35), Unicoi (6), and Washington (39)

*Unicoi County extends mask mandate through Sept. 30.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 78 patients hospitalized (11 in ICU and eight on a ventilator), 10 patients awaiting test results, and 24 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 138,702 cases, 10,520 hospitalizations, 2,949 deaths, and 16,762 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,082, increase of 55 from Thursday), Deaths (118) New cases reported in Bristol (3), Buchanan County (7), Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (4), Galax (1), Lee County (1), Russell County (1), Smyth County (5), Tazewell County (5), Washington County (20), and Wythe County (5)

Thursday, September 17

*Carter County School Board has voted to have K-12 students return to the classroom four days a week (with Friday used as a virtual learning day) starting Sept. 28. Families still have the option of online learning or online academy.

*The Sullivan County Board of Education has approved a plan for an eventual K-12 return to face-to-face learning. Students in grades K-8 students go back to in-person learning starting Sept. 28 four days a week, with Wednesday used as a remote learning day. High School students will stay on the district’s hybrid model schedule until after fall break, where those students, along with K-8 students will come back to classes five days a week starting Oct. 19. This plan is only for families who have chosen the in-person option for their students, and those who want to stay remote need to make that decision by Sept. 23. The board will meet on Oct. 8 to address current COVID-19 data and any potential attendance issues before the plan were to take effect.

*All Kingsport City School students heading back to class in-person five days for those that chose that option starting Sept. 21. 6-12 grade students were previously attending on a two day, hybrid schedule by alphabet; PreK-5 grade students have been attending five days a week in-person. School system will be operating on its yellow status.

*Staff member at Stonewall Jackson Elementary in Bristol, Va tests positive for COVID-19. Staff member was not at school while contagious and the health department says no student or staff member experienced exposure from the staff member.

*The Virginia High School League’s executive council has given the green light for athletic competition seasons to begin. Winter sports will begin in December including basketball with practices on Dec. 7 and the regular season on Dec. 21, according to league information. Fall sports have been moved to February with regular-season matchups in football for all schools beginning Feb. 22 and state title games will be held in May. Spring sports like baseball and girls softball will maintain their annual slate which runs April through June.

*Tennessee State Health Commissioner says beginning Oct. 1, nursing home or long-term care facilities that have gone at least 14 days with no new COVID-19 cases among residents or staff members will immediately be allowed to offer outdoor or limited indoor visitation with residents. Complete information from the state department of health can be found by clicking here.

*University of Tennessee announces changes to Spring semester calendar: Spring classes will begin on Wednesday, Jan 20. The calendar does not include a spring break (originally March 15–19) or a no-class day on April 1. Classes will be scheduled on those days. The last day of instruction will be Tuesday, April 20, and final exams will be held April 22–23 and 26–29.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 178,140 Cases, 823 current hospitalizations, 2,164 deaths, and 161,707 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,795, increase of 47 from Wednesday), Deaths (138, one new death in Carter- 27 total; two new deaths in Greene- 34; one new death in Hawkins- 15 total; and one new death in Washington- 28 total), Recoveries (6,920), and Active Cases (737) By County- Carter (83), Greene (78), Hawkins (33), Johnson (170), Sullivan (139), Unicoi (24), and Washington (210) New cases- Carter (4), Greene (11), Hawkins (2), Johnson (2), Sullivan (11), Unicoi (2), and Washington (15)

*Published reports say several ETSU Men’s Basketball players have tested positive for COVID-19, putting the entire team in quarantine for precautionary purposes.

*Weekly first-time unemployment claims report: Tennessee- 10,771 (12,310 the week prior, 1,539 less claims)/ Virginia- 11,621 (11,135 the week prior, 486 more claims)/ Total- 22,392

Northeast Tennessee Claims By County
Carter- 23 new (736 continued claims)
Greene- 100 new (1,531 continued claims)
Hawkins- 66 new (900 continued claims)
Johnson- 15 new (164 continued claims)
Sullivan- 160 new (2,784 continued claims)
Unicoi- 14 new (265 continued claims)
Washington- 115 new (2,289 continued claims)
Total- 493 new claims (8,669 continued claims)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 77 patients hospitalized (11 in ICU and nine on a ventilator), 29 patients awaiting test results, and 39 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare System reports 21st COVID-19 death in its system. Active cases currently sit at 28 including 26 veterans and two employees. 358 recoveries are being reported including 313 veterans and 39 employees.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 137,460 cases, 10,464 hospitalizations, 2,920 deaths, and 16,671 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (4,027, increase of 31 from Wednesday), Deaths (118, including two new deaths in Bland- 4 total; and one new death in Bristol- 3 total) New cases reported in Bristol (2), Dickenson County (2), Lee County (3), Russell County (1), Scott County (1), Smyth County (5), Tazewell County (6), Washington County (7), Wise County (2), and Wythe County (2)

Wednesday, September 16

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 177,087 Cases, 791 current hospitalizations, 2,151 deaths, and 160,202 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,748, increase of 89 from Tuesday), Deaths (133, one new death in Washington- 27 total), Recoveries (6,852), and Active Cases (763) By County- Carter (92), Greene (79), Hawkins (33), Johnson (173), Sullivan (147), Unicoi (24), and Washington (215) New cases- Carter (13), Greene (8), Hawkins (11), Johnson (8), Sullivan (17), Unicoi (4), and Washington (28)

*A total of 10 individuals associated with VA’s mental health care centers have died from COVID-19 according to data released this week. Two patients at the SWVA Mental Health Institute in Marion are in isolation after testing positive while 16 patients and three staff members have recovered. The report says a total of nine patients have died from the virus and the death of a caregiver, a nurse at the Southern Virginia Mental Health Institute in Danville, was just reported, the first fatality among support personnel at those facilities.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 78 patients hospitalized (12 in ICU and eight on a ventilator), 10 patients awaiting test results, and 49 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 136,359 cases, 10,389 hospitalizations, 2,884 deaths, and 16,536 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,996, increase of 25 from Tuesday), Deaths (115, increase of two, including two new deaths in Grayson County; 10 total) New cases reported in Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (2), Grayson County (2), Lee County (3), Russell County (8), Smyth County (2), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (3), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (1)

*Bristol Motor Speedway has released a list of guidelines for fans ahead of NASCAR’s third trip to the region later this week. Click here for complete details.

Tuesday, September 15

*Gov. Ralph Northam stated in a Tuesday news briefing that Southwest Virginia’s coronavirus positive case rate of 8.1% is the highest rate of any region in the Commonwealth.

*A staff member at Honaker Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report issued Tuesday by Russell County Public Schools. The person was on the school campus on Tuesday and did have direct exposure with other members while visiting, according to the message. That has led the system to institute all online learning for the remainder of the week for elementary students while faculty and other staff will be working from home. Honaker students will return to in-person classes as part of their hybrid schedule on Monday, Sept. 21.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 175,231 Cases, 762 current hospitalizations, 2,127 deaths, and 158,660 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,659, increase of 88 from Monday), Deaths (132, three new deaths including two in Greene- 32 total; and one in Washington; 26 total), Recoveries (6,771), and Active Cases (756) By County- Carter (92), Greene (84), Hawkins (24), Johnson (173), Sullivan (150), Unicoi (23), and Washington (210) New cases- Carter (2), Greene (8), Hawkins (2), Johnson (49), Sullivan (7), Unicoi (2), and Washington (18)

*Kingsport City Schools COVID-19 Update: One new coronavirus case (reported Monday at Adams Elementary)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 86 patients hospitalized (10 in ICU and eight on a ventilator), 11 patients awaiting test results, and 46 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Smyth County, Va Schools to revert from fully remote learning to hybrid (AB) schedule beginning Oct. 1. PreK-12 grade students will attend classes two days a week in groups based on last name. Group A will attend Monday/Thursday, while group B students will attend Tuesday/Friday, and Wednesday will be a fully remote learning day. This plan will be in effect until further notice once it starts Oct. 1, and parents have the option to stay on a remote learning track.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 135,514 cases, 10,337 hospitalizations, 2,839 deaths, and 16,449 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,971, increase of 38 from Monday), Deaths (113, increase of seven; Lee County reported one death (6 total), Wise County reported one death (7 total), Bland County reported one death (2 total), Carroll County reported one death (21 total), Galax reported two deaths (30 total), and Smyth County reported one death (7 total) New cases reported in Bristol (4), Buchanan County (one less cases), Carroll County (2), Grayson County (1), Lee County (1), Norton (1), Russell County (7), Scott County (2), Smyth County (5), Tazewell County (one less), Washington County (14), and Wythe County (3)

*Mountain Home V.A. Healthcare System reporting 19th and 20th COVID-19 death. Active cases remain unchanged from Monday totals, and three extra recoveries have been reported (349 total), among those recovered include 304 veterans and 39 employees.

*Legacy Theaters Bristol 14 (located at the former Tinsletown in Bristol, Va) will hold a free three-day community event showing several classic movies starting today through Thursday. COVID-19 precautions will be in place. Complete details on the event available in the story published here.

*Tennessee residents currently unemployed and receiving benefits will once again have to show proof they are searching for work. This was a requirement by the state eventually suspended because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Those receiving unemployment benefits will have to start filling out weekly work search activities during the week of Sept. 27 for documentation on Oct. 4, and every week after should they continue searching for work. More information is available by clicking here.

Monday, September 14

*Elizabethton City Schools to expand in-person learning for PreK-5th grade students to four days a week (Mon-Tue/Thu-Fri) starting next Monday, Sept. 21. Students in grades 6-12 will stay on a two-day hybrid in-person learning schedule for the immediate future.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 174,274 Cases, 703 current hospitalizations, 2,097 deaths, and 156,808 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,571, increase of 132 from Sunday), Deaths (129, increase of 3, including two new deaths in Greene County- 30 total; one new death in Washington County- 25 total), Recoveries (6,671), and Active Cases (771) By County- Carter (100), Greene (105), Hawkins (27), Johnson (130), Sullivan (168), Unicoi (27), and Washington (214) New cases- Carter (12), Greene (31), Hawkins (3), Johnson (22), Sullivan (17), Unicoi (4), and Washington (43)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 83 patients hospitalized (12 in ICU and seven on a ventilator), nine patients awaiting test results, and 50 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*60 of 132 Virginia school districts operating with at least two days of in-person instruction or more for all grade students. Eight of 12 districts across Southwest Virginia among the 60 falling in the category of in-person, partial in-person, or all hybrid instructional delivery. Smyth County Schools, Washington County Schools, Wise County Schools, and Wythe County Schools currently operating fully remote.

*Greene County, TN extends mask mandate through Sept. 30. Unicoi County remains the only of the seven Northeast TN counties who have not yet extended its mandate.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 134,571 cases, 10,293 hospitalizations, 2,743 deaths, and 16,361 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,933, increase of 19 from Sunday), Deaths (106, increase of one, including 20th death reported in Carroll County) New cases reported in Bristol (1), Carroll County (1), Galax (1), Grayson County (2), Lee County (1), Smyth County (4), Washington County (5), Wise County (2), and Wythe County (2)

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare System reports 17th and 18th COVID-19 death. 34 active cases in system (32 veterans and two employees), 346 recoveries (including 301 veterans and 39 employees)

*Lee County, VA Public Schools returning to in-person learning on a hybrid schedule starting today. PreK-7th grade students will attend classes four days a week in person (Monday-Thursday). 8th-12th grade students will attend classes two days a week based on last name (A-J goes Mon/Tue in-person, attends remotely Wed-Fri) (K-Z goes Wed/Thu in-person, attends Mon-Tue, Fri remotely)

*Roan Mountain State Park announces cancellation of following events in October and November: Chili Cook-Off, Autumn Harvest Festival, and Winter Preparation Festival. Park officials say these events were cancelled because of heavy reliance upon close quarters, high volumes of people, and the policy against the sharing of food during park activities.

*Unicoi County Schools returning to in-person learning today for families who chose option. Masks will be required and the system will operate in its “yellow” procedures according to the reopening plan.

Sunday, September 13

*Blackbird Bakery to return to 24 hour dining service starting Monday at 6:00 a.m.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 171,824 Cases, 696 current hospitalizations, 2,078 deaths, and 155,865 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,439, increase of 43 from Saturday), Deaths (126), Recoveries (6,610), and Active Cases (703) By County- Carter (93), Greene (94), Hawkins (27), Johnson (113), Sullivan (162), Unicoi (24), and Washington (190) New cases- Carter (9), Greene (3), Hawkins (1), Johnson (6), Sullivan (4), Unicoi (1), and Washington (20)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 133,814 cases, 10,244 hospitalizations, 2,724 deaths, and 16,310 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,914, increase of 69), Deaths (105) New Cases reported in Bristol (7), Buchanan (3), Carroll (3), Galax (1), Grayson (18), Russell (3), Scott (2), Smyth (18), Tazewell (2), Washington (8), Wise (3), and Wythe (1)

Saturday, September 12

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 170,891 cases, 805 current hospitalizations, 2,064 deaths, and 154,947 inactive/Recoveries. Local cases (7,396), Deaths (126), Recoveries (6,555), and Active Cases (715)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 132,940 cases, 10,218 hospitalizations, 2,722 deaths, and 16,276 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,845), Deaths (103)

Friday, September 11

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 169,859 Cases, 808 current hospitalizations, 2,025 deaths, and 152,674 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,371), Deaths (121), Recoveries (6,427), and Active Cases (823)

*Greeneville City Schools returning to in-person learning on Sept. 28 on an A/B hybrid schedule. Group A will attend classes Monday-Tuesday. Group B will attend classes Wednesday-Thursday.

*Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable extends locality’s mask mandate unitl Sept. 30.

*Bristol, TN City Schools COVID-19 Update: Two new coronavirus cases reported in students this week (one at Holston View and one at Fairmount)

*Elizabethton City Schools COVID-19 Update: One new coronavirus case reported Thursday at T.A Dugger Middle School.

*Kingsport City Schools COVID-19 Update: One new coronavirus case reported Thursday at Dobyns-Bennett.

*2020 Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Trunk-or-Treat event canceled due to COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 131,640 cases, 10,155 hospitalizations, 2,711 deaths, and 16,143 coronavirus discharge from the hospital. Local cases (3,838, increase of 97) New cases reported in Bland County (3), Bristol (2), Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (2), Dickenson County (1), Lee County (6), Grayson County (2), Norton (1), Russell County (4), Scott County (2), Smyth County (7), Tazewell County (54), Washington County (9), and Wise County (2)

*The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre says three COVID-19 cases have been detected following a recent play.

*Johnson County, TN Schools set to return to the classroom starting Sept. 16. Masks will be required and virtual learning options are still available. Families wanting to stay learning virtually should inform their individual school before Sept. 15. Complete reopening plans can be found here.

Thursday, September 10

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 168,237 cases, 848 current hospitalizations, 1,988 deaths, and 151,202 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,300, increase of 109), Deaths (108, increase of four, including one in Greene County (23 total), one in Johnson County (two total), two in Sullivan County (29 total)), Active Cases (859) By County- Carter (106), Greene (114), Hawkins (38), Johnson (108), Sullivan (228), Unicoi (27), and Washington (238), New Cases reported in Carter (21), Greene (14), Hawkins (6), Johnson (9), Sullivan (18), Unicoi (4), and Washington (37)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 98 patients hospitalized (16 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), one patient awaiting test results, and 43 designated COVID-19 beds available

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 130,525 cases, 10,085 hospitalizations, 2,708 deaths, and 16,061 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,741, increase of 46 from Wednesday), Deaths (99, increase of one including 10th death reported in Washington County) New cases reported in Bland County (one less), Bristol (2), Buchanan County (4), Carroll County (2), Dickenson County (1), Grayson County (1), Lee County (4), Russell County (4), Scott County (2), Smyth County (11), Tazewell County (4), Washington County (1), Wise County (6), and Wythe County (5)

*Weekly Unemployment Claims report (9/10): TN- 11,706 (12,876 last week, 1,170 less)/VA- 14,009 (10,305 last week, 3,704 more)/Total- 25,715. Northeast TN breakdown below:

Carter- 71 new (767 continued claims)
Greene- 124 new (1,654 continued claims)
Hawkins- 86 new (965 continued claims)
Johnson- 21 new (159 continued claims)
Sullivan- 257 new (3,064 continued claims)
Unicoi- 16 new (273 continued claims)
Washington- 123 new (2,432 continued claims)
Total- 698 new (9,314 continued claims)

*The Health Wagon in Southwest Virginia and the Virginia Department of Health are collaborating to offer free drive-thru COVID-19 testing by appointment only. Call (276) 328-8850 for an appointment time and no insurance is required. Below are the upcoming dates and times for testing:

9/14-10am-1 pm Food City Clintwood, VA
9/14-10am-1 pm Food City Big Stone Gap, Va
9/15-10am-1 PM -Town Hall Dungannon, VA
9/15-10am-1 pm Appalachian College of Pharmacy Oakwood, VA
9/16-10am-1pM- Community Center Whitewood, VA
9/17- 10 am-1 pm Food City St. Paul, VA
9/21-10am-1 pm Food City Clintwood, VA
9/21-10am-1 pm Food City BIg stone Gap, Va
9/22-10am-1 PM -Friendship Baptist Church Jonesville, VA
9/22-10am-1 pm Haysi Pharmacy Haysi, VA
9/23-10am-1p- Community Center Grundy, VA
9/24- 10 am-1 pm Food City St. Paul, VA
9/28-10am-1 pm Food City Clintwood, VA
9/28-10am-1 pm Food City Big Stone Gap, Va
9/29-10am-1 PM -IGA Pennington Gap, VA
9/31- 10 am-1 pm Food City St. Paul, VA
10/1-10am-1 pm Farmers Market Lebanon, VA

*Buchanan County, VA Public Service Authority’s Office closed until further notice due to COVID-19. Anyone needing to make a bill payment can do so online, by using the office’s drop box, or by calling 1-877-885-7968.

*A link to the Tennessee Department of Education’s COVID-19 School District Dashboard is available here.

Wednesday, September 9

*Greeneville City Schools weekly COVID-19 Update (from Tuesday): Three staff in quarantine, four students in quarantine. No active COVID-19 cases reported.

*Kingsport City Schools COVID-19 Update: Two new cases reported among students/staff on Sept. 8 (One at Dobyns-Bennett and Robinson Middle)

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 166,587 cases, 862 current hospitalizations, 1,931 deaths, and 149,698 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,191, increase of 61 from Tuesday), Deaths (104, Carter County reports one less death (24 total), Greene County reports three new deaths (22 total), and Washington County reports two new deaths (16 total)), Active Cases (842) By County- Carter (99), Greene (117), Hawkins (41), Johnson (102), Sullivan (236), Unicoi (25), and Washington (222). New Cases reported in Carter (11), Greene (10), Hawkins (two less cases), Johnson (5), Sullivan (21), Unicoi (3), and Washington (13)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 92 patients hospitalized (13 in ICU and 11 on a ventilator), four patients awaiting test results, and 44 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 129,289 cases, 10,008 hospitalizations, 2,697 deaths, and 15,967 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,695, increase of 22 from Tuesday), Deaths (98) New cases reported in Bristol (3), Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (2), Dickenson County (3), Grayson County (1), Lee County (2), Scott County (1), Smyth County (3), Tazewell County (2), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (3)

Tuesday, September 8

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 165,754 cases, 844 current hospitalizations, 1,896 deaths, and 148,165 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,130, increase of 7 from Monday), Deaths (100, one new death in Carter County (25th total) and one in Sullivan County (27th total)), Recoveries (6,161), and Active Cases (869) By County- Carter (104), Greene (122), Hawkins (49), Johnson (101), Sullivan (239), Unicoi (24), and Washington (230). New cases reported in Carter (5), Greene (1), Hawkins (1), Johnson (two less), Sullivan (3), Unicoi (two less), and Washington (1).

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 93 patients hospitalized (16 in ICU and nine on a ventilator), eight patients awaiting test results, and 48 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City reports 74 active cases of COVID-19 among inmates (67 cases received over the weekend), six staff currently with virus. 18 inmates, 30 staff have recovered.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 128,407 cases, 9,932 hospitalizations, 2,686 deaths, and 15,770 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,673, increase of 39 from Monday), Deaths (98, new death reported in Smyth County, six total deaths in county) New cases reported in Bristol (1), Carroll County (3), Grayson County (2), Lee County (1), Norton (1), Russell County (3), Scott County (1), Smyth County (14), Tazewell County (6), Washington County (6), and Wise County (1)

*United Way of Bristol has created a survey to better understand COVID-19 impacts on families in the region. The link to the survey for Tennessee residents is available here.

*Buchanan County, Russell County Schools starting their 2020-21 academic year today, with options available for in-person and online learning.

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare System reports 16th COVID-19 death. The system as of Tuesday morning has 42 active cases (41 veterans and one employee), and 326 recoveries (including 283 veterans and 37 employees)

*King University Fall 2020 graduation ceremony postponed from Dec. 12. Officials made the announcement Aug. 28, and are looking at a possible ceremony next May as an option.

*Walmart Drive-In event in Elizabethton taking place tonight and tomorrow. Movie showing tonight is Space Jam. Movie starts at 7:30 p.m, gates open 90 minutes prior to movie start time, and ticket is required for entry. Tickets can be obtained for free by visiting here.

Monday, September 7

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 165,109 cases, 826 current hospitalizations, 1,869 deaths, and 146,213 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,123), Deaths (98) Inactive/Recoveries (6,063), and Active Cases (962) By County- Carter (130), Greene (143), Hawkins (51), Johnson (107), Sullivan (254), Unicoi (28), and Washington (249). New Cases: Carter (3), Greene (11), Hawkins (5), Johnson (5), Sullivan (16), Unicoi (5), and Washington (25)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 87 patients hospitalized (15 in ICU and 7 on a ventilator), six patients awaiting test results, and 59 designated COVID-19 beds available.

Elizabethon City Schools COVID-19 Update: Three new COVID-19 cases detected over the weekend, including two at the system’s elementary level, and one at the high school (Two reported on Friday, Sept. 4, and one reported on Saturday, Sept. 5.)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 127,571 cases, 9,902 hospitalizations, 2,684 deaths, and 15,742 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,634, increase of 66 from Sunday), Deaths (97) New cases reported in Bristol (10), Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (4), Galax (1), Grayson County (11), Lee County (2), Russell County (1), Smyth County (18), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (10), Wise County (5), and Wythe County (2)

Sunday, September 6

*COVID-19 cases in Southwest Virginia Department of Corrections facilities: One staff reported with the virus at the Marion Correctional Treatment Center, 20 inmates reported with the virus at Red Onion State Prison in Wise County, VA, and two staff reported with the virus at Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap, VA.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 164,126 cases, 819 current hospitalizations, 1,865 deaths, and 145,359 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (7,053, increase of 140 from Saturday), Deaths (98), Inactive/Recoveries (5,991), and Active Cases (964) By County- Carter (139), Greene (146), Hawkins (51), Johnson (104), Sullivan (259), Unicoi (24), and Washington (241). New cases reported in Carter (12), Greene (10), Hawkins (7), Johnson (71), Sullivan (19), Unicoi (3), and Washington (18)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 126,926 cases, 9,881 hospitalizations, 2,678 deaths, and 15,683 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,568, increase of 73 from Saturday), Deaths (97) New cases reported in Bland County (2), Bristol (13), Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (2), Galax (1), Grayson County (11), Lee County (5), Norton (3), Russell County (1), Scott County (4), Smyth County (6), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (12), Wise County (5), and Wythe County (2)

Saturday, September 5

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 162,362 cases, 846 current hospitalizations, 1,862 deaths, and 144,383 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (6,913), Deaths (98), Inactive/Recoveries (5,939), and Active Cases (873) By County- Carter (138), Greene (142), Hawkins (43), Johnson (36), Sullivan (248), Unicoi (25), and Washington (241)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 125,727 Cases, 9,849 hospitalizations, 2,677 deaths, and 15,636 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,496), Deaths (97)

*Student at Virginia Middle School in Bristol, VA tests positive for COVID-19.

Friday, September 4

*Johnson City Schools COVID-19 Update: 54 students in quarantine (exposed to COVID-19 cases) (including 30 at Science Hill), seven students in isolation (tested positive for COVID-19), eight staff members in quarantine, and one staff member in isolation.

*Southwest Virginia Mental Health Institute reports six staff members and four residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Four additional staff members are awaiting test results.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 160,597 cases, 865 current hospitalizations, 1,837 deaths, and 143,156 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (6,788, increase of 53 from Thursday), Deaths (97, six new including five deaths in Carter County (24 total), and one new death in Washington County (14 total)), Active Cases (828) By County- Carter (128), Greene (125), Hawkins (42), Johnson (33), Sullivan (261), Unicoi (24), and Washington (215), and New cases reported in Carter (6), Greene (12), Hawkins (4), Johnson (2), Sullivan (20), Unicoi (2), and Washington (7)

*Hawkins County Schools to return to in-person learning starting Monday using a phased in, hybrid approach. Below is the snapshot of the plan approved Thursday by the district’s school board:

Sept. 8-Sept. 18 (K-8 Students) Attend Monday-Thursday on half-day split schedules (One group attending 8 a.m-11 a.m, another group attending 12 p.m-3 p.m). 9-12 grade students will remain online the week of Sept. 8-Sept. 11.

Sept. 14-Sept. 18 (9-12 Students) Attend Monday-Thursday in full days.

**Sept. 21-Oct. 9 (and Fall Break) Pending approval- if COVID-19 data continues to trend down, all students could come back Monday-Thursday on full days starting Sept. 21.

***Oct. 19 and beyond- Pending approval- if COVID-19 data further trends down, a plan could be approved to allow the return to full in-person learning Monday-Friday.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 97 patients hospitalized (18 in ICU and 12 on a ventilator), nine patients awaiting test results, and 52 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 124,779 cases, 9,798 hospitalizations, 2,662 deaths, and 15,492 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,433, increase of 59 from Thursday), Deaths (95) New cases reported in Bland County (9), Bristol (1), Carroll County (8), Dickenson County (1), Grayson County (3), Lee County (5), Russell County (2), Smyth County (7), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (7), Wise County (7), and Wythe County (7)

Thursday, September 3

*Barter Theatre is planning to continue outdoor performances at the Moonlite Drive-In into the Christmas season. An announcement for the Christmas season shows are expected in the coming weeks.

*Tennessee Department of Education preparing to launch COVID-19 School District Information dashboard next week, which will give out information on positive COVID-19 cases in staff and students, as well as how each school system is operating (full in-person, hybrid format, or fully online)

*Washington County, TN Schools will stay virtual for two weeks before returning to in-person learning using hybrid model on Sept. 21. Two groups will go two days a week (Group 1- Monday/Tuesday) (Group 2- Thursday/Friday). The school board will revisit the plan after Fall Break in Oct. and could move towards a full reopening.

*Greene County, TN Schools returning to in-person learning using AA/BB hybrid model starting Sept. 10. Plan will include students one group going in-person Monday-Tuesday, with remote learning the rest of the week, while the other group will start with remote learning before going Thursday-Friday. The school board will review the plan at their Sept. 24 meeting, and could expand its reopening to five days a week starting Sept. 28.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 159,546 cases, 897 current hospitalizations, 1,815 deaths, and 141,568 inactive/recoveries. Local cases (6,735, increase of 132 from Wednesday), Deaths (91, new death reported in Greene County, 18 total) Recoveries (5,614), and Active Cases (1,030) By County- Carter (145), Greene (140), Hawkins (41), Johnson (37), Sullivan (425), Unicoi (25), and Washington (217) New cases reported in Carter (87, county part of 1,700 cases being rearranged due to certain errors in reporting since the start of the pandemic), Greene (21), Hawkins (1), Johnson (1), Sullivan (70), Unicoi (two less cases), and Washington County (46 less cases reported)- Full details on changes to Tennessee Department of Health’s COVID-19 reporting policy available in the story here.

*Sodexo in Washington County, TN files for WARN Notice of temporary closure effective Aug. 15. The state was notified of the closure on Sept. 1, and 94 workers have been affected.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 97 patients hospitalized (19 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 12 patients awaiting test results, and 42 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*A portion of Hardin Park, the Greeneville Parks & Recreation pavilions, the skatepark, Restrooms will be open at Lion’s Club Pavilion, Rotary Pavilion, Skatepark Pavilion, and the George Clem Pavilion at John J. Jones Memorial Park will all reopen beginning September 8. The department will not be doing scheduled rental for the pavilions at this time. All pavilion use will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 123,668 cases, 9,741 hospitalizations, 2,652 deaths, and 15,395 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,374, increase of 52 from Wednesday), Deaths (95, increase of two, including one in Bland County (first death), and Buchanan County (second death)) New cases reported in Bristol (Five less cases), Carroll County (2), Galax (3), Lee County (3), Russell County (2), Scott County (5), Smyth County (8), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (14), Wise County (5), and Wythe County (13).

*Weekly first-time unemployment claims update for TN and VA: TN- 12,035 (11,588 the week before, 447 more)/ VA- 11,633 (11,436 the week before, 197 more)/ Total- 23,668

Northeast TN Claims By County
Carter- 67 new (844 continued)
Greene- 163 new (1,677 continued)
Hawkins- 95 new (950 continued)
Johnson- 26 new (178 continued)
Sullivan- 304 new (3,230 continued)
Unicoi- 15 new (286 continued)
Washington- 148 new (2,566 continued)
Total- 818 new (9,731 continued)

Wednesday, September 2

*Virginia High School employee tests positive for COVID-19.

*Unicoi County Schools returning to in-person learning for families who chose option Sept. 14. Masks will be required and the system will operate in its “yellow” procedures according to the reopening plan.

*2020 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway canceled.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 157,831 cases, 7,061 hospitalizations, 1,797 deaths, and 120,675 recoveries. Local cases (6,603, increase of 163 from Tuesday), Deaths (90, increase of 3, including one in Carter (19 total), one in Greene (17 total), and one in Sullivan (26 total)), Recoveries (3,137), and Active Cases (3,376) By County- Carter (607), Greene (539), Hawkins (438), Johnson (294), Sullivan (453), Unicoi (139), and Washington (906). New cases- Carter (21), Greene (13), Hawkins (6), Johnson (11), Sullivan (67), Unicoi (4), and Washington (41)

*Bristol Rhythm and Roots planning virtual celebration from Thu. Sept. 10-Sun. Sept. 13. See full lineup below:

A virtual Celebrating Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion – Live Stream event because we won't let September pass by without…

Posted by Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

*Ballad Health Hospitalizations Update: 100 patients hospitalized (19 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 20 patients awaiting test results, and 37 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 122,542 cases, 9,678 hospitalizations, 2,641 deaths, and 15,319 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,322, increase of 54 from Tuesday), Deaths (93) New cases reported in Bland County (3), Bristol (4), Carroll County (1), Dickenson County (1), Galax (1), Grayson County (26), Lee County (4), Norton (1), Russell County (1), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (6), Wise County (2), and Wythe County (1).

*Bristol, TN City Schools COVID-19 Dashboard Update (from 9/1): Two students with coronavirus, no staff with COVID-19.

*Spring 2020 UVA-Wise Commencement Ceremony delayed for the second time this year. Event has been rescheduled to Sunday, May 9th, 2021 at 1:00 p.m in the David J. Prior Center.

*Coomes Recreation Center in Abingdon, VA to reopen in phases beginning Oct. 7.

*Bristol, TN City Schools and Kingsport City Schools to offer free meals to in-person and remote students for the remainder of the year. Full details can be found here.

Tuesday, September 1

*The Mount Rogers Health District in Southwest Virginia is issuing an alert to churches and other faith-based places for the potential of COVID-19 outbreaks within their buildings. One church recently had an outbreak of 40 cases.

*Elizabethton City Schools will continue on a hybrid schedule through at least Sept. 18.

*Lee County, VA Public Schools heading back to in-person classes starting Monday Sept. 14. The district’s Board of Education approved continuing remote learning through Friday Sept. 11, but will head back to classes the following Monday. PreK-7 grade students will attend in-person Monday-Thursday, while 8-12 grade students will go to class in separate groups two days a week (Group A- Monday and Tuesday) (Group B- Wednesday and Thursday) Friday will be remote for all students. Classes will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 156,329 cases, 6,978 hospitalizations, 1,781 deaths, and 118,885 recoveries. Local cases (6,440), Deaths (87) Recoveries (3,025), and Active Cases (3,328) By County- Carter (597), Greene (544), Hawkins (442), Johnson (294), Sullivan (435), Unicoi (137), and Washington (879)

*Ballad Health Hospitalizations Update: 100 patients hospitalized (22 in ICU and 14 on a ventilator), six patients awaiting test results, and 40 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 121,615 cases, 9,621 hospitalizations, 2,612 deaths, and 15,199 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,268, increase of 56 from Monday), Deaths (93, increase of 4, including second death reported in Tazewell County, seventh death reported in Grayson County, and fourth and fifth death reported in Smyth County) New cases reported in Carroll County (14), Galax (1), Grayson County (5), Lee County (9), Russell County (1), Scott County (3), Smyth County (8), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (7), Wise County (3), and Wythe County (4).

*Greeneville City Schools Weekly COVID-19 Dashboard Update: Four staff members in quarantine (close contact with a positive COVID-19 case), zero staff members in isolation (no active coronavirus cases)

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare Systems reports three additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing death toll to 14. Active cases within the system sit at 52, including 48 veterans and 3 employees. Recoveries from the virus in the system near 300, including 253 veterans and 35 employees.

*Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and the State Dept. of Revenue have announced a new digital eligibility tool to allow small business owners to know their eligibility status for a TN Businesses Relief Program payment. Click here to read the full story and learn more information about the tool.

Monday, August 31

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 154,933 cases, 6,878 hospitalizations, 1,754 deaths, and 116,864 recoveries. Local cases (6,331), Deaths (87) Recoveries (2,964), and Active Cases (3,280) By County- Carter (585), Greene (526), Hawkins (446), Johnson (291), Sullivan (436), Unicoi (135), and Washington (861)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 115 patients hospitalized (26 in ICU and 16 on a ventilator), six patients awaiting test results, and 29 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 120,594 cases, 9,569 hospitalizations, 2,850 deaths, and 15,085 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,212, increase of 45 from Sunday), Deaths (89) New cases reported in Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (1), Dickenson County (2), Grayson County (4), Lee County (7), Russell County (8), Scott County (2), Smyth County (5), Tazewell County (6), Washington County (6), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (1).

*Hawkins County extends mask mandate through Sept. 30.

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare Systems reports 10th and 11th COVID-19 death within its system. As of Monday, the system has 50 active cases, including 45 veterans and four employees. There have also been 283 recoveries in the system, including 245 veterans and 33 employees.

Sunday, August 30

*Employee at Bebettes in Johnson City tests positive for COVID-19. The store has temporarily closed and will reopen once the location has been sanitized and all other employees have received negative coronavirus tests.

*An employee at Mountain Empire Community College has tested positive for COVID-19. On campus classes will continue as scheduled.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 153,115 cases, 6,840 hospitalizations, 1,747 deaths, and 114,769 recoveries. Local cases (6,260), Deaths (87) Recoveries (2,900), and Active Cases (3,273) By County- Carter (581), Greene (537), Hawkins (449), Johnson (296), Sullivan (430), Unicoi (131), and Washington (849)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 119,747 cases, 9,555 hospitalizations, 2,569 deaths, and 14,999 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,167), Deaths (89)

Saturday, August 29

*Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett extends mask mandate through September 30.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 152,280 cases, 6,817 hospitalizations, 1,725 deaths, and 114,099 recoveries. Local cases (6,221), Deaths (86) Recoveries (2,881), and Active Cases (3,251) By County- Carter (579), Greene (543), Hawkins (448), Johnson (296), Sullivan (422), Unicoi (131), and Washington (832)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 118,809 cases, 9,512 hospitalizations, 2,568 deaths, and 14,957 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,128), Deaths (89)

Friday, August 28

*Football community member at Sullivan North High School tests positive for COVID-19. All practices and games suspended through September 9.

*East Tennessee State University reports 9 active COVID-19 cases among students and employees (8 students, 1 employee), 10 individuals are currently quarantined in ETSU Housing. The university also reports 118 recoveries, including 100 students and 18 employees.

*Unicoi County extends mask mandate through Sept. 19.

*Johnson County, TN extends mask mandate through Sept. 30.

*Washington County, TN extends mask mandate through Sept. 30.

*Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee extends state’s COVID-19 state of emergency through the end of September, allowing for things like continued local authority to require mask wearing, and also signed a new executive order to allow the continuation of local government meetings to be conducted electronically. See full order here.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 150,815 cases, 6,751 hospitalizations, 1,701 deaths, and 113,313 recoveries. Local cases (6,123, increase of 102 from Thursday), Deaths (86, increase of nine, including five deaths in Greene County for 16 total, one death in Hawkins County for 13 total, and three deaths in Washington County for 12 total), Recoveries (2,847), and Active Cases (3,190) By County- Carter (566), Greene (530), Hawkins (438), Johnson (294), Sullivan (424), Unicoi (130), and Washington (808).

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 91 patients hospitalized (25 in ICU and 15 on a ventilator), seven patients awaiting test results, and 37 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 117,592 cases, 9,460 hospitalizations, 2,550 deaths, and 14,866 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,067, increase of 43 from Thursday), Deaths (89, increase of two, including fourth death reported in Scott County and ninth death reported in Washington County) New cases reported in Bristol (2), Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (4), Lee County (5), Russell County (3), Scott County (4), Smyth County (12), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (6), Wise County (decrease of one case), and Wythe County (3).

Thursday, August 27

*Hampton High School principal says individual at school tests positive for COVID-19.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 149,179 cases, 6,677 hospitalizations, 1,673 deaths, and 111,416 recoveries. Local cases (6,021, increase of 74 from Wednesday), Deaths (77, increase of 5) Recoveries (2,777), and Active Cases (3,167) By County- Carter (559), Greene (519), Hawkins (436), Johnson (295), Sullivan (408), Unicoi (128), and Washington (822)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 88 patients hospitalized (22 in ICU and 16 on a ventilator), 11 patients awaiting test results, and 33 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 116,579 cases, 9,391 hospitalizations, 2,527 deaths, and 14,764 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (3,024), Deaths (87)

*Weekly first time unemployment claims report: TN- 10,998 (14,413 claims last week, 3,415 less than the week prior)/ VA- 12,870 (15,151 claims last week, 2,281 less than the week prior)
Total- 23,868 claims filed last week

NETN Claims by County
Carter- 56 new claims (861 continued claims)
Greene- 124 new claims (1,773 continued claims)
Hawkins- 83 new claims (1,003 continued claims)
Johnson- 19 new claims (182 continued claims)
Sullivan- 221 new claims (3,380 continued claims)
Unicoi- 15 new claims (303 continued claims)
Washington- 140 new claims (2,736 continued claims)
Total- 658 new claims (10,238 continued claims)

*Johnson City, TN Stein Mart among 279 chain stores across the country to close after the company filed for bankruptcy.

*AMC Theatre in Johnson City reopens today. See full story with health precautions here.

Wednesday, August 26

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 147,353 cases, 6,603 hospitalizations, 1,648 deaths, and 109,765 recoveries. Local cases (5,947, increase of 129 from Tuesday), Deaths (72, increase of 1), Recoveries (2,723), and Active Cases (3,152) By County- Carter (551), Greene (502), Hawkins (435), Johnson (290), Sullivan (422), Unicoi (128), and Washington (824)

*Ballad Health Hospitalizations Update: 92 patients hospitalized (20 in ICU and 16 on a ventilator), 18 patients awaiting test results, and 31 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Great Smoky Mountains National Park to open up additional campground and picnic areas starting Sept. 3. Below are the following areas:

Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cataloochee, and Cosby Campgrounds
Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom, and Tow String Horse Camps
Heintooga and Look Rock Picnic Areas
Little Greenbrier Road

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 115,458 cases, 9,326 hospitalizations, 2,515 deaths, and 14,682 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,968, increase of 28 from Tuesday), Deaths (87, increase of two from Tuesday, first death reported in Tazewell County, and eighth death reported in Washington County), New cases reported in Bristol (1), Carroll County (2), Dickenson County (2), Grayson County (2), Lee County (3), Norton (2), Russell County (1), Smyth County (3), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (5), and Wythe County (4)

Tuesday, August 25

*The Bristol, TN Board of Education has approved a measure which allows the director of schools to designate some or all staff critical infrastructure employees. The full story with more details on the plan can be found by clicking here.

*Elizabethton City Schools will remain operating in a hybrid format through Sept. 4. The school district has also unveiled a COVID-19 dashboard to allow transparency to families about positive cases within the system. As of Tuesday, the district has two confirmed cases, including one at Eastside Elementary and one at Elizabethton High School.

*Johnson County Schools to stay online for at least the next few weeks through Sept. 14. School board will reevaluate decision during their next board meeting on Sept. 10.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 145,417 cases, 6,515 hospitalizations, 1,628 deaths, and 108,035 recoveries. Local cases (5,818, increase of 45 from Monday), Deaths (71, increase of 4), Recoveries (2,650), and Active Cases (3,097) By County- Carter (533), Greene (492), Hawkins (429), Johnson (295), Sullivan (422), Unicoi (127), and Washington (799)

*University of Tennessee Athletics has finalized its seating model for the 2020 season that will initially seat fans in 25 percent of Neyland Stadium’s capacity. Eight tickets will be the maximum allotment to season ticket holders with donors and current students getting first priority. UT also plans a ticket cap of 5,400 seats in some plans to allow other fans an opportunity to attend one of five Southeastern Conference games- a home schedule that has not been seen in Knoxville since 1959. Those who purchased season tickets for 2020 but choose not to attend due to the health crisis will not lose their preferred status for renewal in 2021.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 104 patients hospitalized (22 in ICU and 17 on a ventilator), 14 patients awaiting test results, and 30 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Greeneville City Schools COVID-19 8/25/20 Update: No staff that tested positive for COVID-19, eight employees currently in quarantine.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 114,635 cases, 9,259 hospitalizations, 2,494 deaths, and 14,581 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,940, increase of 79 from Monday), Deaths (85, increase of five, including three deaths reported in Carroll County (19), one death reported in Grayson County (6), and one death reported in Lee County (3)) New cases reported in Bland County (4), Bristol (3), Buchanan County (4), Carroll County (4), Dickenson County (1), Grayson County (1), Lee County (8), Norton (2), Russell County (3), Scott County (1), Smyth County (8), Tazewell County (4), Washington County (10), Wise County (23), and Wythe County (3).

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare System reports ninth COVID-19 death. As of Tuesday morning, the system reports 57 active cases, including 47 veterans and 5 employees. They also report 260 recoveries, which include 225 veterans and 30 employees.

*The Virginia Department of Education has released a statewide snapshot of all school divisions and their reopening approach for the 2020-21 academic year. Five of the nine districts operating in-person (with classes across all grades going at least four days a week) are in Southwest Virginia, including Bristol, Buchanan County, Norton City, and Tazewell County. A link to the dashboard is available by clicking here.

Monday, August 24

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 103 patients hospitalized (24 in ICU and 19 patients on a ventilator), eight patients awaiting test results, and 40 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Kingsport City Schools shifting to in-person learning starting Monday Aug. 31. PreK-5th grade students will return to in-person learning five days a week, while students by alphabet in 6th-12th grade will attend in-person two days a week, with the rest of the week going virtual.

*Lee County, VA Public Schools to move classes fully online starting Tuesday following multiple reports of COVID-19 cases within the school system. The district will stay fully remote through at least Friday Sept. 4.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 113,630 Cases, 9,207 hospitalizations, 2,471 deaths, and 14,482 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,861, increase of 23 from Sunday), Deaths (80)

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 144,604 Cases, 6,421 hospitalizations, 1,588 deaths, and 106,041 recoveries. Local Cases (5,773, increase of 29 from Sunday), Deaths (67, increase of 1), Recoveries (2,590), and Active Cases (3,116) By County- Carter (531), Greene (730), Hawkins (434), Johnson (292), Sullivan (429), Unicoi (127), and Washington (816)

Sunday, August 23

*Lee County, VA Public Schools reports one staff tests positive for COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 112,966 Cases, 9,176 hospitalizations, 2,467 deaths, and 14,443 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local Cases (2,838, increase of 31 from Saturday), Deaths (80, increase of 2 from Saturday

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 143,937 Cases, 6,378 hospitalizations, 1,567 deaths, and 104,054 recoveries. Local cases (5,744, increase of 109 from Saturday), Deaths (66), Recoveries (2,526), and Active Cases (3,152) By County- Carter (524), Greene (486), Hawkins (435), Johnson (307), Sullivan (450), Unicoi (130), Washington (820)

Saturday, August 22

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 112,072 cases, 9,139 hospitalizations, 2,443 deaths, and 14,443 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,807, increase of 61 from Friday), Deaths (78)

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 142,083 cases, 6,328 hospitalizations, 1,563 deaths, and 103,426 recoveries. Local cases (5,635, increase of 247 from Friday), Deaths (66), Recoveries (2,469), and Active Cases (3,100) By County- Carter (514), Greene (491), Hawkins (441), Johnson (310), Sullivan (417), Unicoi (127), and Washington (800)

Friday, August 21

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 110,860 cases, 9,071 hospitalizations, 2,436 deaths, and 14,249 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,476, increase of 42 from Thursday), Deaths (78)

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 140,844 cases, 6,255 hospitalizations, 1,549 deaths, and 102,686 recoveries. Local cases (5,388, increase of 55 from Thursday), Deaths (66, increase of 12), Recoveries (2,431), and Active Cases (2,891) By County- Carter (505), Greene (462), Hawkins (442), Johnson (299), Sullivan (265), Unicoi (122), and Washington (796)

*One hundred COVID-19 patients in their hospital system with 14 patients under investigation for possible COVID-19, with 44 designated COVID-19 beds available. The health care provider also says there are 22 COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit and 14 patients currently on a ventilator. During the past seven days the positivity rate has dropped to seven point eight percent and 21 deaths are being reported in the 21 county service area of Ballad Health.

Thursday, August 20

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 139,175 cases, 6,156 hospitalizations, 1,488 deaths, and 100,967 recoveries. Local Cases (5,283, increase of 58 from Wednesday), Deaths (54, increase of 1), Recoveries (2,371), and Active Cases (2,858) By County- Carter (507), Greene (470), Hawkins (436), Johnson (299), Sullivan (241), Unicoi (118), and Washington (787)

*Greeneville City Schools to remain 100% online through Aug 28. The system is exploring options for returning to in-person classes for elementary students in grades 1-5 using a hybrid model, while students in grades 6-12 will stay online as officials continue to monitor health conditions for a possible appropriate return to the classroom.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 100 patients hospitalized (23 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 40 patients awaiting test results, and 52 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Greeneville City School officials have released guidelines for the upcoming football season. More information is available in the tweet below.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 109,882 cases, 8,998 hospitalizations, 2,427 deaths, and 14,091 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local Cases (2,704, increase of 37 from Wednesday), Deaths (78, one new death reported in Carroll County (16 total) New cases reported in Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (4), Dickenson County (1), Russell County (5), Scott County (5), Smyth County (7), Tazewell County (5), Washington County (2), and Wise County (7).

*US Department of Labor Weekly Unemployment Claims Report 8/20- TN- 13,806 (10,620 last week, 3,186 more)/ VA- 16,771 (13,265 last week, 3,506 more)/ Total- 30,577

Below is the Northeast Tennessee claims breakdown:

Carter County- 60 new claims (944 continued claims)
Greene County- 128 new claims (1,877 continued claims)
Hawkins County- 63 new claims (1,120 continued claims)
Johnson County- 30 new claims (170 continued claims)
Sullivan County- 253 new claims (3,638 continued claims)
Unicoi County- 29 new claims (307 continued claims)
Washington County- 186 new claims (2,888 continued claims)
Total- 749 new claims (10,944 continued claims)

*The Tennessee Department of Health has released updated guidelines that includes extended quarantine (in some cases up to 24 days) for household contacts of individuals that test positive for COVID-19. Complete updated guidelines are available by clicking here.

*Four school districts in Southwest Virginia start off their 2020-21 academic year today. Bristol, VA Schools as well as Lee County Schools are both heading back with in-person instruction, with Lee County using a hybrid alternating student schedule, while Bristol, VA will welcome back all students who selected the in-person option. Both are also offering online learning. Meanwhile, Smyth County Schools and Wise County Schools are starting their year with fully online classes due to rising COVID-19 cases in their counties.

Wednesday, August 19

*Johnson City Schools to return to in-person learning for students who selected the in-person learning option starting Monday, August 31. The plan calls for PreK-6th grade students to return five days a week. 7th-12th grade students will go back on a hybrid schedule by alphabet. Students with last names A-K will go Monday and Thursday, students with last names L-Z will go Tuesday and Friday. Wednesday will be completely remote, and days students are not at school will also be remote.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 137,800 cases, 6,069 hospitalizations, 1,452 deaths, and 99,085 recoveries. Local cases (5,225, increase of 140 from Tuesday), Deaths (53, increase of two including one new death in Sullivan County (20 total), and one new death in Washington County (Four total), Recoveries (2,302), and Active Cases (2,870, a drop in active cases for the third straight day) By County- Carter (505), Greene (459), Hawkins (434), Johnson (301), Sullivan (265), Unicoi (114), and Washington (792)

*Ballad Health updated visitation policy says starting Thursday they will extend visitation hours, now from 8 am until 8 pm, but the one person per patient rule will remain in effect.

*Ballad Health updated mask policy says starting Thursday masks with exhalation valves will be prohibited from being worn in all Ballad Health facilities following a recent CDC recommendation to not wear those certain types of masks.

*Ballad Health Hospitalizations Update: 104 patients hospitalized (23 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 27 patients awaiting test results, and 46 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 109,019 cases, 8,925 hospitalizations, 2,410 deaths, and 13,989 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,667, increase of 63 from Tuesday), Deaths (77, two new deaths reported, including one in Bristol (2nd death), and Russell County (4th death), one less death reported in Galax) New cases reported in Bristol (3), Buchanan County (3), Carroll County (6), Galax (32), Lee County (1), Russell County (1), Scott County (1), Smyth County (3), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (5), Wise County (6), and Wythe County (1)

*Organizers with the Johnson City Turkey Trot 5K are asking for input on this year’s 15th anniversary celebration. A link to the survey is available here.

*Bristol, VA Public Schools partnering with Southwest VA Community Health Systems to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing. Final details have not yet been released on plans, but the tests will be either be administered at Van Pelt Elementary or a Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems Office.

Tuesday, August 18

*University of TN football games will permit attendance at 25% capacity.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 135,778 cases, 5,981 hospitalizations, 1,426 deaths, and 96,896 recoveries. Local cases (5,085, increase of 53 from Monday), Deaths (51, increase of 5, including three new deaths in Carter (9 total), one new death in Sullivan (19 total), and one new death in Washington (3 total), Recoveries (2,047), and Active Cases (2,987) By County- Carter (480), Greene (436), Hawkins (416), Johnson (297), Sullivan (314), Unicoi (107), and Washington (937)

*University of TN announces 75 active cases of COVID-19 on its campus after students move back in.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 103 patients hospitalized (21 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 16 patients awaiting test results, and 38 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Christian Care Center of Bristol Update- No residents or staff with the virus, seventh death reported in statement sent Tuesday. The cluster in the long term care facility started June 25 when a staff member tested positive for the virus.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 108,282 cases, 8,849 hospitalizations, 2,396 deaths, and 13,910 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,604, increase of 58 from Monday), Deaths (76, increase of two deaths, including one in Carroll County and one in Washington County) New cases reported in Bland County (1), Carroll County (5), Dickenson County (2), Galax (2), Grayson County (1), Lee County (2), Norton (One less case), Russell County (3), Scott County (7), Smyth County (11), Tazewell County (7), Washington County (2), Wise County (12), and Wythe County (3).

*Three active cases reported in staff this week in Greeneville City Schools system. Down from five active cases last week, and 14 staff members are currently in quarantine. Below is this week’s chart:

*Marion, VA DMV reopening to customers next Monday. Hours will be Monday-Friday from 8 a.m-5 p.m.

*Greene County Health Department modifies COVID-19 testing hours effective today. New hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m-1 p.m. No pre-registration is required.

Monday, August 17

*Kingsport City Schools confirm two staff members at Roosevelt Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19.

*Sullivan County Jail employee tests positive for COVID-19. Jail inmates and personnel are now being tested.

*Wise County, VA School board votes to begin classes in an all-virtual format on Aug. 20, and reevaluate situation at next meeting in Sept.

*Bristol, TN City Schools to return to in-person learning for students who chose in-person learning beginning Mon Aug. 24. PreK-6th grade students will go back five days per week, while 7th-12th grade students will operate on a hybrid plan by alphabet. Students A-L will attend Monday-Tuesday, Students M-Z will attend Thursday-Friday, Wednesday will be fully remote. Plans will be in effect until further notice and can change as guidance changes.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 134,744 cases, 5,881 hospitalizations, 1,387 deaths, and 94,812 recoveries. Local cases (5,032, increase of 36 from Sunday), Deaths (46, increase of 3, two new deaths reported in Sullivan and the first death reported in Johnson), Recoveries (1,911), and Active Cases (3,075) By County- Carter (481), Greene (428), Hawkins (417), Johnson (296), Sullivan (340), Unicoi (107), and Washington (1,006).

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 111 hospitalized (27 in ICU, 14 on a ventilator), nine patients under investigation (awaiting test results), and 43 COVID-19 beds available.

*As of Friday, 4,000 of the 7,000 Walmart stores have pushed their closing times back from 8:30 p.m to 10 p.m.

*Washington County, VA Courthouse closed again through Monday due to a positive COVID-19 case detected in the building.

*Mountain Home V.A reports eighth COVID-19 death in its system. Current active cases (57), including 52 veterans and 5 employees. 207 recoveries within system.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 107,421 cases, 8,767 hospitalizations, 2,385 deaths, and 13,827 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,547, increase of 44 from Sunday), Deaths (74, new death reported in Bristol (1)), New cases reported in Bland County (6), Bristol (8), Carroll County (3), Galax (1), Lee County (2), Russell County (7), Scott County (2), Smyth County (2), Washington County (5), Wise County (6), and Wythe County (2).

*Wise County, VA Board of Education calling emergency meeting for tonight at 6 p.m to discuss reopening plans.

*Three other Northeast TN school systems are starting today fully remote. In Johnson County, classes will be online from today until Aug. 28, followed by a reevaluation of those plans by the board of education. Greene County Schools are also starting fully remote learning today and will remain operating in those plans until further notice. Hawkins County Schools start classes virtually this week, with plans to return to the classroom next Monday under the district’s red phase operations, which limits access to 25% of the system’s students with rotating schedules.

*Two Northeast TN school systems will welcome students back to the classroom this week before moving to virtual learning. Carter County Schools are opening throughout the week using a 25% staggered schedule before switching to fully remote learning beginning next Monday. Unicoi County Schools will operate in a similar fashion, also using a staggered schedule to allow students to meet with teachers and pick up learning devices before heading to fully online learning starting next Monday.

Sunday, August 16

*Published reports say a Volunteer High School football player has tested positive for COVID-19. Volunteer High School’s opening season game against Christian Academy of Knoxville scheduled for Friday has been canceled.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 133,708 cases, 5,847 hospitalizations, 1,366 deaths, and 92,665 recoveries. Local cases (4,996, increase of 209 from Saturday), Deaths (43), Recoveries (1,859), and Active Cases (3,094) By County- Carter (477), Greene (428), Hawkins (411), Johnson (299), Sullivan (365), Unicoi (107), and Washington (1,007)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 106,687 cases, 8,737 hospitalizations, 2,381 deaths, and 13,783 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,503, increase of 54 from Saturday), Deaths (73)

Saturday, August 15

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 131,747 cases, 5,813 hospitalizations, 1,345 deaths, and 92,100 recoveries. Local cases (4,787, increase of 64 from Friday), Deaths (43), Recoveries (1,845), and Active Cases (2,899) By County- Carter (452), Greene (387), Hawkins (380), Johnson (273), Sullivan (347), Unicoi (102), and Washington (958)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 105,750 cases, 8,701 hospitalizations, 2,381 deaths, and 13,694 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,449), Deaths (73)

Friday, August 14

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 130,458 cases, 5,725 hospitalizations, 1,326 deaths, and 91,323 recoveries. Local cases (4,723, increase of 72 from Thursday), Deaths (43, increase of 2), Recoveries (1,805), and Active Cases (2,875) By County- Carter (449), Greene (385), Hawkins (378), Johnson (272), Sullivan (338), Unicoi (103), and Washington (950)

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 109 patients hospitalized (20 in ICU and 12 on a ventilator), Nine patients under investigation (awaiting test results), and 50 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 104,838 cases, 8,650 hospitalizations, 2,370 deaths, and 13,477 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,387, increase of 45 from Thursday), Deaths (72, increase of 4, including new deaths in Galax (2), Russell County (1), and Wise County (1)) New cases reported in Bland County (3), Bristol (1), Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (4), Galax (1), Grayson County (4), Lee County (5), Russell County (4), Scott County (1), Smyth County (2), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (8), Wise County (7), and Wythe County (2).

*The deadline to apply for pandemic EBT assistance for families in TN is today at 5 p.m, a link to the application process is available here.

*Stone Mountain Health Services to conduct free COVID-19 testing, on a first-come, first-serve basis, next week. Call (276) 299-1659 to reserve your test and receive an appointment time.

Tuesday August 18, 2020 at Thompson Family Health Center in Vansant, VA from 9am to 2:30pm
Wednesday August 19, 2020 at Holston Family Health Center in Damascus, VA from 9am to 2:30pm

*Washington County, VA Government building to be closed throughout today due to a positive COVID-19 case detected in the building.

Thursday, August 13

*Southern Conference officials delay start of 2020 football season, fall sports, to the Spring.

*Washington County, Virginia School Board votes to start classes on Aug. 24 and hold classes virtually for at least the first six weeks.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 128,511 cases, 5,648 hospitalizations, 1,313 deaths, and 89,151 recoveries. Local cases (4,651, increase of 154), Deaths (42), Recoveries (1,753), and Active Cases (2,856) By County- Carter (443), Greene (378), Hawkins (371), Johnson (271), Sullivan (326), Unicoi (103), and Washington (964).

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 106 patients hospitalized (23 in the ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 19 patients under investigation (awaiting test results), and 53 designated COVID-19 beds available

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 103,622 cases, 8,592 hospitalizations, 2,363 deaths, and 13,389 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,342, increase of 50 from Wednesday), Deaths (68, new deaths reported in Galax and Wise County), New cases reported in Bland County (2), Bristol (2), Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (2), Galax (1), Grayson County (1), Lee County (5), Norton (1), Russell County (2), Smyth County (4), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (5), Wise County (20), and Wythe County (1).

*2020 Santa Train holding alternative event, will deliver gifts to key Food City locations instead of the traditional train route due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

*AMC Theater in Johnson City is set to reopen Aug 27. See health precautions laid out by the movie theater chain here.

*Weekly unemployment claims breakdown- TN- 10,036 (12,208 last week, 2,172 less than the week prior) VA- 14,761 (23,918 last week, 9,157 less than the week prior) Total- 24,797 claims

Claims by county in Northeast TN:

Carter- 70 new claims (928 continued claims)
Greene- 122 new claims (1,937 continued claims)
Hawkins- 67 new claims (1,150 continued claims)
Johnson- 21 new claims (172 continued claims)
Sullivan- 256 new claims (3,727 continued claims)
Unicoi- 21 new claims (327 continued claims)
Washington- 155 new claims (3,044 continued claims)
Total- 712 new claims/11,285 continued claims

Wednesday, August 12

*Published reports say two staff members at Washington Elementary School and a student athlete at Dobyns-Bennett High School have tested positive for COVID-19 within the Kingsport City Schools system.

*Greene County extends mask mandate through Sept. 14.

*Hawkins County extends mask mandate through Aug. 29.

*Bristol, VA Schools to require face coverings for all students.

*Signature HealthCARE of Greeneville reports 38 positive coronavirus cases among residents, 10 positive cases among staff, and three deaths among residents.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 126,393 cases, 5,554 hospitalizations, 1,289 deaths, and 87,290 recoveries. Local cases (4,497, increase of 181 from Tuesday), Deaths (42, increase of 1), Recoveries (1,687), and Active Cases (2,768) By County- Carter (417), Greene (354), Hawkins (358), Johnson (262), Sullivan (321), Unicoi (102), and Washington (954).

*Christian Care Center of Bristol Update- 100 residents and staff have recovered from coronavirus (68 residents and 32 staff members). No residents currently in isolation, one resident hospitalized. Two staff members are in quarantine with the virus. A total of six residents have died from the virus.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 117 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized (22 in ICU and 11 on a ventilator), 40 patients under investigation (awaiting test results), and 45 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Stein Mart announces bankruptcy protection due to financial problems from the virus pandemic. The company is considering closing all 281 stores in 30 states. That would include a location in Johnson City, TN.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 102,521 cases, 8,532 hospitalizations, 2,352 deaths, and 13,247 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,292, increase of 41 from Tuesday), Deaths (66), New cases reported in Bland County (3), Carroll County (1), Dickenson County (1), Galax (1), Lee County (5), Russell County (4), Smyth County (3), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (6), Wise County (13), and Wythe County (3).

*Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler confirms all 13 employees impacted by COVID-19 in his office have recovered and returned to work.

*Honaker, St. Paul, and Tazewell receives Virginia Main Street grants for economic revitalization projects as part of Virginia’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. Full story here.

Tuesday, August 11

*Sullivan County Director of Schools confirms Sullivan South High School volleyball community member and staff member at Bluff City Elementary School test positive for COVID-19.

*Sullivan County mask mandate extended through Sept. 12.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 124,915 cases, 5,461 hospitalizations, 1,271 deaths, and 85,313 recoveries. Local cases (4,316, increase of 37 from Monday), Deaths (41, increase of four), Recoveries (1,613), and Active Cases (2,662, first drop in active cases since June 30) By County- Carter (388), Greene (339), Hawkins (347), Johnson (244), Sullivan (333), Unicoi (98), and Washington (913).

*Willow Tree Coffeehouse in Johnson City permanently closing, according to a sign posted outside of its doors.

*Ballad Health Hospitalizations Update: 119 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized (22 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 14 patients under investigation (awaiting test results), and 36 COVID designated beds available.

*2020 Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, NC canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

*Greeneville City Schools releases weekly COVID-19 employee dashboard, terms such as isolation means employee or personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 and must remain in isolation until cleared to return to work, while quarantine means the individual has been determined to be a close contact (exposed) to an individual who has tested positive for Coronavirus and must remain home until cleared to return to work. Below is this week’s chart:

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 101,745 cases, 8,458 hospitalizations, 2,344 deaths, and 13,152 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,251, increase of 63 from Monday), Deaths (66, increase of 3 from Monday, including first reported death in Buchanan County, the 14th reported death in Carroll County, and the sixth reported death in Washington County), New cases reported in Bland County (3), Bristol (8), Carroll County (two less cases), Dickenson County (5), Galax (3), Grayson County (one less case), Lee County (4), Norton (2), Russell County (2), Scott County (9), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (two less cases), Wise County (27), and Wythe County (1).

*Virginia Department of Health launches online complaint form for residents to fill out should a business or organization be in violation of Executive Order 63, or Executive Order 67 laid out earlier this year by Gov. Ralph Northam. More information can be found here.

*Holston Medical Group participating in global COVID-19 vaccine study. For more information, click here.

Monday, August 10

*Johnson City Board of Education approves plan for fall sports (both contact and non-contact) to continue, with an amendment to include student-athletes being required to sign an agreement to follow COVID-19 precautions on and off the field. Seating capacity at games will also be assigned and limited.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 123,914 cases, 5,339 hospitalizations, 1,233 deaths, and 83,170 recoveries. Local cases (4,279, increase of 101 from Sunday), Deaths (37), Recoveries (1,535), and Active Cases (2,707) By County- Carter (386), Greene (345), Hawkins (350), Johnson (242), Sullivan (365), Unicoi (101), and Washington (918).

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 122 patients hospitalized (29 in ICU and 13 on a ventilator), 13 patients under investigation (awaiting test results), and 35 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 100,749 cases, 8,391 hospitalizations, 2,327 deaths, and 12,961 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,188, increase of 54 from Sunday), Deaths (63), New cases reported in Bristol (2), Dickenson County (2), Lee County (6), Norton (1), Russell County (13), Scott County (11), Smyth County (2), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (4), and Wise County (11).

*Johnson City Schools, Kingsport City Schools to start academic year today in a virtual format.

Sunday, August 9

*Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, reverses course on mask policy, now requiring patrons and employees to wear a mask while in the store.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 122,712 cases, 5,304 hospitalizations, 1,223 deaths, and 80,997 recoveries. Local cases (4,178), Deaths (37), Recoveries (1,456), and Active Cases (2,685)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 100,086 cases, 8,369 hospitalizations, 2,326 deaths, and 12,923 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,134), Deaths (63)

Saturday, August 8

*Sullivan South football community member tests positive for COVID-19. Practices suspended until at least Aug. 18.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 120,585 cases, 5,260 hospitalizations, 1,215 deaths, and 80,340 recoveries. Local cases (4,043), Deaths (37), Recoveries (1,441), and Active Cases (2,565)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 99,189 cases, 8,332 hospitalizations, 2,322 deaths, and 12,843 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,085), Deaths (63)

Friday, August 7

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 118,782 cases, 5,910 hospitalizations, 1,206 deaths, and 79,357 recoveries. Local cases (3,926), Deaths (34), Recoveries (1,411), and Active Cases (2,481)

*Sullivan County Board of Education votes to begin hybrid schedule for students on August 24.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 97,882 cases, 8,281 hospitalizations, 2,317 deaths, and 12,725 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,080), Deaths (62), New cases reported in Bland County (2), Bristol (5), Buchanan County (4), Carroll County (12), Galax (56), Grayson County (3), Lee County (5), Norton (3), Russell County (10), Scott County (19), Smyth County (10), Tazewell County (10), Washington County (8), Wise County (7), and Wythe County (4).

*Domtar announces they will repurpose Kingsport mill, transition set to be complete in the first quarter of 2023.

Thursday, August 6

*Carter County Board of Education votes to change the start of the school year to Aug. 17 with a staggered schedule that includes 25 percent capacity in schools. The system will begin their total remote learning schedule on Aug. 24.

*The Carter County Board of Education also voted to stop all extra-curricular activities including football for two weeks and reevaluate that move on Aug. 20. The TSSAA football season is scheduled to begin Aug. 21.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update posted Thursday, Aug. 6.116,350, 5,109 hospitalizations, 1,186 deaths, and 77,558 recoveries. Local cases (3,706, increase of 137 from Wednesday), Deaths (33, increase of 4), Recoveries (1,385), and Active Cases (2,288) By County- Carter (351), Greene (268), Hawkins (308), Johnson (183), Sullivan (289), Unicoi (83), and Washington (806)

*Ballad Health In-System Update: 93 patients hospitalized (22 in ICU, 12 on a ventilator), 34 patients under investigation (awaiting COVID-19 test results), and 65 designated COVID-19 beds available.

*Kingsport City Schools confirm a teacher at George Washington Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.

*NASCAR releases remaining 2020 schedule: Racing to return to Bristol Motor Speedway Sept. 17-19 with four race weekend. Below is the schedule:

Thu., Sept. 17 Bristol Gander Trucks 107 mi FS1 7:30 p.m.
Thu., Sept. 17 Bristol ARCA Menards 107 mi FS1 9:30 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 18 Bristol Xfinity 160 mi NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 19 Bristol Cup 266 mi NBCSN 7:30 p.m.

*Sullivan East volleyball community member tests positive for COVID-19. Confirmed case was reported on July 29, and all activities including practices have been suspended through Aug. 12.

*Officials with Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion announces 2021 headliners for the festival: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tanya Tucker, and Blackberry Smoke. Those musicians were scheduled to play at the 2020 festival, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

*PreK-Kindergarten students at Greeneville City Schools to start the academic year online.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 95,867 cases, 8,183 hospitalizations, 2,299 deaths, and 12,635 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,922, increase of 38 from Wednesday), Deaths (62) New cases reported in Bland (1), Bristol (1), Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (4), Dickenson County (5), Lee County (1), Russell County (2), Scott County (3), Smyth County (4), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (12), and Wise County (1).

*Walmart holding “Drive-In” movie theater event at stores across the country starting on Aug. 14. The drive-in will make stops in Elizabethton on Sept. 8 and 9, as well as Bristol on Sept. 22 and 23. More information about the event can be found here.

*Kroger spokesperson confirms four additional associates at West State of Franklin store in Johnson City have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last month.

*Weekly Unemployment claims report 8/6/2020- TN- 11,690 (19,461 last week, 7,771 less- last week’s number from the state department of labor)/ VA- 25,990 (42,966 last week, 16,976 less)
Total- 37,680

NETN Claims for week ending 8.1.2020
Carter County- 75 new claims (1,028 continued claims)
Greene County- 182 new claims (2,151 continued claims)
Hawkins County- 116 new claims (1,454 continued claims)
Johnson County- 25 new claims (194 continued claims)
Sullivan County- 383 new claims (3,999 continued claims)
Unicoi County- 29 new claims (369 continued claims)
Washington County- 194 new claims (3,371 continued claims)
Total- 1,004 new claims (12,566 continued claims)

*Bristol, TN City Schools opens the academic year online, will stay online at least through Aug. 14.

*The Tennessee Supreme Court has overruled a lower court to block absentee voting expansion for the November election due to COVID-19. The decision does not have any effect on today’s primary election.

Wednesday, August 5

*Johnson County Schools to start academic year in a virtual format, starting Aug. 17 through Aug. 28, with the COVID-19 situation in the county then being reevaluated by the school board.

*Ballad Health Hospitalization Update: 94 hospitalizations (22 in ICU, 14 on a ventilator), and 55 patients under investigation (awaiting test results)

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published Wednesday, Aug. 5. 114,098 cases, 5,001 hospitalizations, 1,144 deaths, and 75,550 recoveries. Local cases (3,569, increase of 153 from Tuesday), Deaths (29), Recoveries (1,325), and Active Cases (2,215) By County- Carter (339), Greene (250), Hawkins (291), Johnson (174), Sullivan (275), Unicoi (79), and Washington (807)

*Scott County Public Schools will change their process for the first two weeks of the semester that begins Aug. 24. Grades Pre-K through 3rd will attend in-classroom classes while students in grades 4th through 12th will begin with online learning. The school board will reevaluate the situation after two weeks.

*Sullivan County Director of Schools Dr. David Cox says a member of the Sullivan North High School football community has tested positive for COVID-19. A statement from Dr. Cox says as a result of the positive case, all practices and activities for the team have been suspended for 14 days, which started Monday.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 95,049 cases, 8,126 hospitalizations, 2,274 deaths, and 12,522 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,884), Deaths (62) New cases reported in Bland County (1), Bristol (4), Carroll County (1), Dickenson County (4), Galax (1), Grayson County (1), Lee County (3), Norton (1), Russell County (16, plus 1 new death), Scott County (1), Smyth County (3), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (7), Wise County (7), and Wythe County (1).

*Kingsport City Schools to extend free meals program through Friday.

*The Wise County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be aware of a fake COVID-19 contact tracing scam.

*Johnson County Health Department modifies COVID-19 testing hours. Effective Thursday, testing will occur Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.

*Sullivan County, Greeneville City Schools start the academic year today in an online format.

Tuesday, August 4

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Tuesday, Aug. 4. 112,441 cases, 4,900 hospitalizations, 1,117 deaths, and 73,259 recoveries. Local cases (3,416, increase of 74 from Tuesday), Deaths (25), Recoveries (1,268), and Active Cases (2,123) By County- Carter County (323), Greene County (232), Hawkins County (272), Johnson County (137), Sullivan County (284), Unicoi County (77), and Washington County (798).

*Greeneville, TN City Schools announce athletics at Greeneville High and Greeneville Middle schools are shut down after several students tested positive for COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 94,251 cases, 8,085 hospitalizations, 2,244 deaths, and 12,385 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,832, increase of 26 from Monday), Deaths (59), New cases reported in Bristol (1), Buchanan County (1), Galax (3), Grayson County (10), Lee County (1), Norton (1), Russell County (3), Scott County (2), Tazewell County (4), Washington County (3), and Wise County (8).

*Unicoi County extends mask mandate through Aug. 17.

*Mountain Home V.A reports seventh COVID-19 death.

*Results from Tennessee Aug. primary early voting can be found by clicking here.

*Christian Care Center of Bristol COVID-19 Cluster Update: Fourth death reported on Monday, 85 total recoveries (56 residents, 29 staff members), and 19 Active cases (Ten residents in isolation, three residents hospitalized, and three staff members in quarantine)

*Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee calls special session for Tennessee General Assembly to meet next Monday, and address topics related to COVID-19 liability protection, expansion of telehealth services, and laws around the capitol grounds and surrounding areas that have been the subject to vandalism, and unlawful overnight camping.

Monday, August 3

*Bristol, VA Public Schools to start 2020-21 academic year using in-person, hybrid model. Classes start Aug. 20, and students will attend Monday-Thursday, with Friday being used as a remote learning day. Face masks are required for students in grades 3-12. Families have the option to opt-in for online learning.

*Kingsport City Schools to start academic year virtually with approval of its original reopening schools framework plan. Current metrics have Sullivan County in the red zone, or 11 or more average cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people over a 14 day period. Should average cases decrease to move the system into the yellow zone, consideration could be made for returning to in-person learning.

*UVA Wise students will now report to classes beginning August 26 after school officials made the decision to delay the start of classes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

*Elizabethton City Schools have announced updates regarding its reopening plan. Officials say beginning Monday, August 17th, the system will implement a hybrid plan for K-12 students, which includes students with a last name starting with A-L attending on Mondays and Tuesdays in person, with remote learning the rest of the week. Students with a last name starting with M-Z will attend in-person Thursday and Friday, with remote learning Monday-Wednesday. This schedule will be in effect through August 28th, and according to a press release, the school system will closely monitor this and adjust the schedule as needed. Face coverings will be required for staff and students unless medically exempt.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published Monday, Aug. 3. 110,636 cases, 4,808 hospitalizations, 1,092 deaths, and 70,878 recoveries. Local cases (3,342, increase of 111 from Sunday), Deaths (25), Recoveries (1,220), and Active Cases (2,097) By County- Carter County (320), Greene County (227), Hawkins County (265), Johnson County (132), Sullivan County (290), Unicoi County (76), and Washington County (787).

*Washington County, TN extends mask mandate through Aug. 29.

*Hawkins County Schools to delay start of academic year to Aug. 17, will operate in red phase of its reopening plan at least through Sept 11.

*Johnson County extends mask mandate as well through Aug. 29, county courthouse will close beginning at 5:00 p.m Monday until Wednesday morning for cleaning.

*Carter County extends mask mandate through Aug. 29.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 93,106 cases, 8,018 hospitalizations, 2,218 deaths, and 12,255 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,806, increase of 60 from Sunday), Deaths (58), New cases reported in Bristol (2), Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (5), Galax (7), Grayson County (4), Lee County (5), Russell County (8), Scott County (6), Smyth County (3), Tazewell County (3), Wise County (10), and Wythe County (3).

*Hamblen County issues mask mandate, set to take effect Tuesday and will run through Aug. 29.

*Washington County, TN Schools, University School both starting 2020-21 academic year today conducting classes virtually.

*Johnson County Schools to delay start of the academic year to Aug. 17 to a rise of COVID-19 cases in the county.

*The Greene County School Board on Saturday approved starting the 2020-21 academic year on Aug. 17 with virtual learning.

Sunday, August 2

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 109,627 cases, 4,756 hospitalizations, 1,073 deaths, and 68,471 recoveries. Local cases (3,231, increase of 130 from Saturday), Deaths (25), Recoveries (1,192), and Active Cases (1,994) By County- Carter (303), Greene (227), Hawkins (231), Johnson (120), Sullivan (274), Unicoi (74), and Washington (765)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 91,782 cases, 7,955 hospitalizations, 2,218 deaths, and 12,108 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,746, increase of 35 from Saturday), Deaths (58)

Saturday, August 1

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 108,184 cases, 4,724 hospitalizations, 1,067 deaths, and 67,651 recoveries. Local cases (3,101), Deaths (24), Recoveries (1,160), and Active Cases (1,917) By County- Carter (306), Greene (223), Hawkins (214), Johnson (101), Sullivan (269), Unicoi (74), and Washington (730)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 90,801 cases, 7,910 hospitalizations, 2,215 deaths, and 12,007 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,711), Deaths (57)

*Emory & Henry College solidifies plans for the 2020-21 academic year, click here for full story.

Friday, July 31

*Kingsport City Schools will meet for a called meeting next Monday at 6:00 p.m to consider approving their operating framework for the 2020-21 school year.

*Sullivan County Schools will meet for a called meeting next Tuesday at 4:00 p.m to consider approving their operating framework for the 2020-21 school year.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Friday, July 31. 105,959 cases, 4,661 hospitalizations, 1,060 deaths, 66,357 recoveries. Local cases (2,942, increase of 229 from Thursday), Deaths (24, increase of 3), Recoveries (1,129), and Active Cases (1,789) By County- Carter (294), Greene (206), Hawkins (203), Johnson (77), Sullivan (253), Unicoi (68), and Washington (688)

*The annual Papa Joe Smiddy Mountain Music Festival at Natural Tunnel State Park scheduled for September has been canceled.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 89,888 cases, 7,866 hospitalizations, 2,174 deaths, and 11,937 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,679, increase of 51 from Thursday), Deaths (55, increase of 6 from Thursday), New cases reported in Bristol (7), Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (2), Dickenson County (1), Galax (2), Grayson County (4), Lee County (5), Norton (1), Scott County (4), Smyth County (5), Tazewell County (6), Washington County (6), Wise County (4), and Wythe County (2). New Deaths reported in Carroll (3), Galax (2), and Lee (1).

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare system reports sixth COVID-19 related death.

*Unicoi County Schools delays start of academic year from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17, remote learning will start Aug. 24, classes could return to in-person instruction starting Sept. 8.

Thursday, July 30

*Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon announces 75 percent of their classes will be offered online for the fall semester which begins Aug. 31.

*The presidents of Southeastern Conference universities have approved a 10-game, conference only football schedule for 2020 beginning Sept. 26.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 102,871 cases, 4,572 hospitalizations, 1,033 deaths, and 64,234 recoveries. Local cases (2,713, increase of 119 from Wednesday), Deaths (21), Recoveries (1,077), and Active Cases (1,615) By County- Carter (262), Greene (191), Hawkins (185), Johnson (92), Sullivan (233), Unicoi (61), and Washington (631)

*2020 Unicoi County Apple Festival scheduled for October has been canceled.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 88,904 cases, 7,786 hospitalizations, 2,141 deaths, and 11,728 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,628, increase of 35 from Wednesday), Deaths (49, increase of one in Smyth County) New cases reported in Bristol (2), Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (2), Dickenson County (3), Galax (2), Grayson County (1), Lee County (3), Russell County (1), Scott County (2), Smyth County (5), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (7), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (3).

*US Dept. of Labor weekly unemployment claims report: TN- 19,461 (25,794 the week prior, 6,333 less), VA- 46,524 (37,964 the week prior, 8,578 more), and 65,985 total between the two states.

Below is the Northeast Tennessee unemployment claims breakdown by county:

NETN Total- 1,221 new claims, 13,228 continued claims
Carter County- 102 new claims, 1,082 continued claims
Greene County- 195 new claims, 2,241 continued claims
Hawkins County- 140 new claims, 1,374 continued claims
Johnson County- 46 new claims, 207 continued claims
Sullivan County- 431 new claims, 4,335 continued claims
Unicoi County- 23 new claims, 405 continued claims
Washington County- 284 new claims, 3,584 continued claims

*The City of Johnson City starting today through Aug. 14 will close public access to the Development Services department. The department will remain fully operational and will provide services to residents via telephone, email, and online transactions. The JC Parks and Recreation department will suspend pavilion rentals until further notice beginning Aug 3.

Wednesday, July 29

*Bristol, TN City Schools to start academic year with remote learning from Aug. 6 through at least Aug. 14.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published Wednesday, July 29.100,822 cases, 4,482 hospitalizations, 1,020 deaths, and 62,129 recoveries. Local cases (2,594, increase of 132 from Tuesday), Deaths (21, increase of 1), Recoveries (1,036) and Active Cases (1,537) By County- Carter (245), Greene (184), Hawkins (174), Johnson (42), Sullivan (224), Unicoi (59), and Washington (609)

*Ballad Health weekly hospitalization update: 90 patients hospitalized, 23 on ICU, and 17 on a ventilator. 14 patients are under investigation (those awaiting results of COVID-19 test)

*Washington County, VA Schools to delay start of academic year from Aug. 10 to Aug. 24.

*Mountain Home V.A Healthcare system reports fourth and fifth COVID-19 deaths.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 87,993 cases, 7,738 hospitalizations, 2,125 deaths, and 11,650 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,593, increase of 52 from Tuesday), Deaths (47) New cases reported in Bristol (4), Buchanan County (3), Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (2), Galax (1), Grayson County (2), Lee County (3), Russell County (7), Scott County (4), Smyth County (4), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (11), Wise County (4), and Wythe County (1).

*Greeneville City Schools will start academic year on time, but online for 1-12 grade students through at least Aug. 21. Pre-K and Kindergarten students will have the option to attend school in-person on a staggered schedule.

Tuesday, July 28

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 99,044 cases, 4,372 hospitalizations, 999 deaths, and 59,760 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (2,462, increase of 99 from Monday), Deaths (20, increase of 3), Recoveries (972), and Active Cases (1,470), By County- Carter (241), Greene (174), Hawkins (169), Johnson (33), Sullivan (241), Unicoi (51), and Washington (561).

*TSSAA issues response to Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order that allows contact sports to resume, and high school football/girls soccer to play on this fall. Full story here.

*Kingsport City Schools delays start of 2020-21 academic year to Aug. 10, no decision made yet on if students will return to the classroom or learn online to start the academic year.

*State of Tennessee reopening guidelines available for review here.

*TN Gov. Bill Lee will issue Executive Order No. 55 to allow for contact sports to resume, provided they follow the requirements of TSSAA. Non-TSSAA schools must follow equivalent guidelines, and non-school-sponsored athletics should follow the Tennessee Pledge guidelines.

*North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday a statewide curfew on alcohol sales with restaurants ordered to quit serving mixed drinks at 11 p.m. beginning Friday.

*Johnson City Schools will have online instruction only for the first three weeks of the session beginning Aug. 10.

*East Tennessee State University in Johnson City has issued a mask mandate on campus until further notice.

*Smyth County, VA Public Schools announces delay to start of 2020-21 academic year. The first day of classes are now scheduled for Aug. 20, instead of the previously approved Aug. 12.

*Eight City of Kingsport employees test positive for COVID-19, six of the eight cases are considered recoveries and just two cases remain.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 86,994 cases, 7,686 hospitalizations, 2,095 deaths, and 11,550 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,541, increase of 22 from Monday), Deaths (47, increase of 1 from Monday) New cases reported in Bristol (3), Carroll County (1), Lee County (2), Grayson County (1), Russell County (2), Scott County (1), Smyth County (2), Tazewell County (9), and Wythe County (1). One new death reported in Carroll County (11 total deaths from COVID-19)

*Clintwood, Virginia DMV scheduled to reopen next Monday, August 3rd, after previously being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV is located on 2311 Dickenson Highway, and will offer specific services by appointment only. Hours of operation will be M-F from 8 a.m-5 p.m.

*Buchanan County, VA Schools staff member who works at Twin Valley Elementary/Middle School tests positive for COVID-19. School will close today for deep cleaning before reopening Wednesday. Summer food delivery will not occur at the school from July 28-31, but deliveries will resume Aug. 3.

*Rogersville City Schools to hold a conference call Thursday morning at 9 a.m. after Hawkins County sees large surge of cases of coronavirus, bumping the school district’s reopening plan into the red. The call-in number is (720) 740-9784, and the access code is 4245700#. The call will be recorded and available for playback on the school website.

*Luke’s Pizza in Johnson City to temporarily close after employee tests positive for COVID-19.

**LIST of COVID-19 testing availability in Northeast Tennessee:
(Health Departments by County/locality)
*Carter County – 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
*Church Hill Health Department – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
*Greene County – 9 a.m. – Noon (Please call 423-798-1749 to pre-register.)
*Hancock County – 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
*Hawkins County, Church Hill – 10 a.m. – a.m.
*Hawkins County, Rogersville – 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
*Johnson County – 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
*Sullivan County Regional Health Department has a COVID-19 Information Line at 423-297-2777 open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Testing is conducted on Tuesdays by appointment only between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Blountville office. People of any age can be tested and insurance is not required.
*Unicoi County – 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
*Washington County – 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

(Other available facilities)
*Ballad Health maintains the 24/7 Nurse Connect Hotline at 833-822-5523 to screen people and schedule an appointment for COVID-19 testing. People seeking testing who have health insurance will be asked to provide details about coverage and people of any age can get tested.

*East Tennessee State University provides COVID-19 testing through the Downtown Day Center at 202 W. Fairview Avenue; call for an appointment 423-439-7371, and Johnson City Community Health Center at 2151 Century Lane; call for an appointment 423-926-2500.

*CVS Pharmacy Minute Clinic provides COVID-19 testing appointments for people who complete a survey online and qualify based on guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://cvshealth.com/covid-19/testing-locations. Those with insurance will be asked to use it and those without insurance can bring their Social Security number and driver license or state-issued identification card to apply for the federal program to cover COVID-19 tests for the uninsured.

*Walgreen’s provides COVID-19 testing appointments for people who complete a survey online and qualify based on guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing. People with insurance will be asked to use it and people without insurance can bring their Social Security number and driver license or state-issued identification card to apply for the federal program to cover COVID-19 tests for the uninsured.

*James H. Quillen VA Medical Center in Johnson City provides testing for veterans. Call 423-926-1171 ext. 3472 to be screened and make an appointment for a COVID-19 test.

*Boones Creek Urgent Care has limited testing and supplies. Call 423-268-2606 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at 4100 N. Roan Street, #3 in Johnson City.

*Fast Pace Urgent Care at 1112 N. Main Avenue in Erwin offers limited testing after being seen by a provider. Call 423-560-6010 to set up an appointment.

*Medical Care at 1500 West Elk Avenue in Elizabethton offers limited testing. Call 423-929-2584 to be screened and set up an appointment.

*Stone Mountain Health Services offering COVID-19 testing today by appointment only on a first come, first serve basis today at the Appalachia Family Health Center in Appalachia, VA – 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Call (276) 299-1659 to reserve your test and receive an appointment time. Testing also available tomorrow at the Western Lee County Health Clinic in Ewing, VA – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

*Christian Care Center of Bristol COVID-19 cluster update: 61 recoveries reported as of Monday, including 37 residents and 24 staff members. Active cases among staff and residents have also dropped to 30, compared to 53 a week ago. 20 residents remain in isolation, 7 residents are hospitalized, and four staff members remain in quarantine.

Monday, July 27

*Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced that $70 million in grants will be made available to small businesses and non-profits who’s normal operations were disrupted by COVID-19. The “Rebuild VA” initiative is a state recovery fund that will distribute grants of of up to $10,000 to nearly 7,000 applicants which can be used to help cover eligible expenses. The full news release from Governor Northam can be found here.

*Elizabethon/Carter County Library closing immediately until at least August 4 after employees reportedly came into close contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19. Library says deadlines for books will be extended and fines will not be charged.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Monday, July 27. 96,489 cases, 4,280 hospitalizations, 978 deaths, and 57,239 recoveries. Local cases (2,363, increase of 127 from Sunday), Deaths (17, increase of 1), Recoveries (902), and Active Cases (1,444). By County- Carter (240), Greene (173), Hawkins (155), Johnson (31), Sullivan (245), Unicoi (50), and Washington (550).

*The Washington County, Tennessee Schools will begin their year online next Monday, Aug. 3. A report from Director of Schools Bill Flanary says parents can contact officials concerning home technology needs and students should be prepared to spend typical school learning hours on their computers since attendance and schoolwork are being tracked. Flanary also said the move comes as COVID-19 cases remain high. Classes will remain on a virtual schedule for 30 calendar days but if virus cases drop, schools will revert to a reopening plan in coordination with regional health officials.

*Johnson County, TN Schools delaying start of 2020-21 academic year from first full day of August 4, to a half day now set for Friday, August 7. The first full day will be scheduled for August 10. The school district says they are preparing for fully remote learning should they have to make that switch.

*Planet Fitness to require all members to wear a mask in their gyms beginning August 1.

*The Virginia High School League Executive Committee votes to move fall sports to the spring with practices beginning Feb. 28 and games scheduled for March 5.

*2020 Bands of America Championships canceled due to COVID-19. Season schedule included stop in Johnson City on October 10.

*UPDATE: City of Bristol, VA officials say there are eight positive COVID-19 cases among Bristol, VA police and police staff.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 86,072 cases, 7,647 hospitalizations, 2,082 deaths, and 10,940 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,519, increase of 36 from Sunday), Deaths (46). New cases reported in Bristol (1), Dickenson County (3), Galax (4), Grayson County (3), Lee County (4), Norton (1), Russell County (3), Scott County (3), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (4), and Wise County (8).

*A third death has been reported within the Mountain Home V.A. Healthcare system. Active cases of the virus now sit at 60 in the system, and among those with the virus includes 56 veterans and 4 employees. There are 71 recoveries within the system, 63 of those veterans, and eight employees, two of which are veteran employees.

*The deadline to apply for the COVID-19 pandemic food assistance program for families in TN has received another extension. An update from the Tennessee Department of Human Services says the pandemic EBT program has been extended to Friday August 14th at 5:30 p.m. It provides parents with $5.70 in food benefits per child each day that child qualifies. Children are eligible if they receive free or reduced meals at schools or attend a Community Eligibility provision school. Families can apply online and those who have questions can call the Tennessee Department of Human Services hotline at 1-833-496-0661.

*University School in Johnson City will open classes for 2020-21 academic year remotely on August 3, will operate on remote status through September 18.

*Johnson County Courthouse closed today after Mayor Mike Taylor confirms two cases of coronavirus reported at the courthouse. Anyone who visited the courthouse between July 17-24 should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through August 3. The courthouse is scheduled to reopen Tuesday after a deep cleaning today.

Sunday, July 26

*Peggy Ann Bakery locations in Johnson City and Greeneville are both temporarily closing after employee at Greeneville location tests positive for COVID-19.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 93,936 cases, 4,244 hospitalizations, 967 deaths, and 54,730 recoveries. Local cases (2,236, increase of 198 from Saturday), Deaths (16), Recoveries (855), and Active Cases (1,365) By County- Carter (228), Greene (165), Hawkins (146), Johnson (24), Sullivan (252), Unicoi (41), and Washington (509).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 84,567 cases, 7,593 hospitalizations, 2,078 deaths, and 10,882 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,483, increase of 51 from Saturday) Deaths (46)

*Bristol, Virginia School employee who works at the district’s central office tests positive for COVID-19. The employee hasn’t had any contact with other staff members since July 6 and the individual has not physically worked at office for 21 days.

Saturday, July 25

*Holy Taco and Cantina in Johnson City reopens indoor dining after announcing earlier in the week that they would temporarily halt indoor dining.

*Go Burrito in Johnson City temporarily closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 90,796 cases, 4,196 hospitalizations, 964 deaths, and 53,808 recoveries. Local cases (2,038, increase of 105 from Friday) Deaths (16), Recoveries (841), and Active Cases (1,181). By County- Carter (202), Greene (142), Hawkins (123), Johnson (39), Sullivan (217), Unicoi (35), and Washington (442).

*Johnson City Schools say they received over 2,400 remote learning applications after giving families two track option for learning for the academic year.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 83,609 cases, 7,570 hospitalizations, 2,075 deaths, and 10,800 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,432, increase of 42 from Friday), Local deaths (46) New cases reported in Bristol (5), Carroll County (5), Galax (5), Lee County (5), Scott County (1), Smyth County (2), Russell County (1), Tazewell County (8), Washington County (5), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (4).

Friday, July 24

*Elizabethton City Schools delays start of 2020-21 year, will use staggered re-entry plan by alphabetical starting August 10-14.

*Sullivan County Schools to start academic year online August 5 through August 14.

*Dickenson County Public Schools will begin classes on Aug. 17 with COVID precautions in place.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Friday, July 24. 89,078 cases, 4,120 hospitalizations, 938 deaths, and 52,983 recoveries. Local cases (1,933, increase of 135 from Thursday), Deaths (16, increase of 2 from Thursday), Recoveries (821, increase of 42 from Thursday), and Active Cases (1,096, increase of 91 from Thursday). By County- Carter (199), Greene (130), Hawkins (112), Johnson (18), Sullivan (214), Unicoi (27), and Washington (396).

*McDonald’s announces Friday that all customers will be required to wear a mask beginning Aug. 1.

*Spiking COVID cases force Hamblen County Schools to move opening day to Sept. 8.

*Carter County Health Department updates COVID-19 testing hours. Effective Monday, hours of the COVID drive-thru testing site will be Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 82,364 cases, 7,515 hospitalizations, 2,067 deaths, and 10,576 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,390, increase of 54 from Thursday) New cases reported in Bristol (3), Carroll County (6), Dickenson County (1), Galax (6), Grayson County (3), Lee County (3), Norton (1), Russell County (2), Scott County (3), Smyth County (11) Tazewell County (2), Washington County (12), and Wythe County (1). Three new deaths reported including Russell, Scott, and Smyth County.

*The City of Johnson City will conduct most of its meetings, including the board of commissioner meetings electronically until further notice due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. This is permitted under Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 51.

*The deadline to complete an application to learn remotely for students in the Johnson City Schools system is today at noon.

Thursday, July 23

*Christian Care Center of Bristol COVID-19 Update: A report from the center on Thursday said 35 residents with the virus are in isolation and five others hospitalized while three former patients died from the condition. TN health officials inspected various operations within Christian Care earlier this week and staff continue to confer with local health executives about procedures and strict guidelines. The center also reported that 13 staff members and 23 residents are recovering from the virus.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published Thursday, July 23.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 86,987 cases, 4,016 hospitalizations, 925 deaths, and 51,661 recoveries. Local cases (1,798, increase of 95 from Wednesday), Deaths (14), Recoveries (779), and Active Cases (1,005). By County- Carter (184), Greene (130), Hawkins (99), Johnson (16), Sullivan (204), Unicoi (20), and Washington (352)

*The Virginia State Fair in Richmond for 2020 is canceled for the first time since World War II.

*Tazewell County, VA closing several buildings to the public until further notice amid a growning number of COVID-19 cases in the county. Buildings include the County Administration Office, Animal Shelter and Building Inspection Office. Those who need to meet with County staff in person should call (276)-385-1200 to make an appointment or see if their issue can be resolved by phone. Building Permit applications may be made online. As of Thursday, Tazewell County had 55 total coronavirus cases.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 81,237 cases, 7,437 hospitalizations, 2,054 deaths, and 10,479 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,336, increase of 34 from Wednesday) New cases reported in Bristol (4), Buchanan County (1), Carroll County (3), Dickenson County (1), Galax (1), Grayson County (3), Lee County (6), Norton (3), Smyth County (1), Russell County (1), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (1), Wise County (3), and Wythe County (5).

*Shoney’s in Bristol, VA announces on Facebook that their Lee Highway location will close until further notice.

*AMC Theatres delaying reopening of theatres nationwide until mid to late August.

*Nearly 25% of Kingsport City Schools students will start the 2020-21 academic year online.

*The Mountain Home V.A Healthcare system is reporting its second COVID-19 death as of an updated dashboard Thursday. Active cases within in the system now sit at 54: 48 veterans, and 6 employees.

*US Dept. of Labor weekly jobless claims report 7/23- Tennessee (25,794 new claims, 22,431 claims in the prior week, 3,363 more)/Virginia (40,188 new claims (32,292 claims prior week, 7,896 more) 65,982 total claims

*Bristol, TN City School students and staff also required to wear a mask when they return to the classroom. It comes in response to Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable’s executive order mask mandate. Masks will be provided to students who need them.

*Food City mask mandate requirement for shoppers takes effect today.

*Washington County, TN Inmate tests positive for COVID-19.

Wednesday, July 22

*TSSAA Board of Control votes to accept a hybrid football schedule that could begin Sept. 18.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published Wednesday, July 22. 84,417 cases, 3,907 hospitalizations, 888 deaths, and 49,748 recoveries. Local cases (1,703, increase of 36 from Tuesday), Deaths (14), Recoveries (740), and Active Cases (949). By County- Carter (161), Greene (126), Hawkins (94), Johnson (14), Sullivan (203), Unicoi (19), and Washington (332).

*Sullivan County Schools also requiring students as well as staff to wear face coverings when students return to campus in response to Mayor Richard Venable’s mask mandate. Officials say they encourage all parents to provide their children with masks, but in the case they do not have one, the school system will provide them.

*Go Burrito in Johnson City and Texas Burritos and More in Jonesborough both announce via Facebook that they will close their dining rooms again due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Both reverting back to online and curbside orders.

*Ballad Health Bristol, TN Volunteer Parkway Urgent Care scheduled to reopen next Monday.

*Ballad Health weekly COVID-19 hospitalization update: 70 patients being treated, 18 of those in the ICU, and 13 are on a ventilator.

*Kingsport City Schools to require students to wear masks when attending classes on campus, per an update from their school supplies list. Students can wear a cloth/disposable mask, bandana, or neck gaiter. This is based on the executive order issued by Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable. We have reached out to Sullivan County Schools and Bristol, TN City Schools to see if that also applies to their students.

*Link to Tazewell County, VA Schools reopening plan available here. The school system allows students to choose between in-person or online learning. Students who choose the in-person route will attend classes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m-1:40 p.m. Wednesday will be used as a distance learning day.

*Elizabethton City Schools issues two track option for students to take for 2020-21 academic year. The “Cyclone Academic Track” offers students the opportunity to take the traditional learning track will physically attend school as long as school buildings remain open and will transition to Distance Learning should the pandemic force school closure. The distance learning track is the other option will attend school, receive instruction, and complete assigned tasks in an online setting. A link to the application is available here. The deadline to complete the application is Sunday, July 26.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 80,393 cases, 7,351 hospitalizations, 2,051 deaths, and 10,331 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,302, increase of 42 from Tuesday) New cases reported in Bristol (2), Buchanan County (7), Carroll County (1), Lee County (8), Russell County (4), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (6), Washington County (4), Wise County (4), and Wythe County (5).

*Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN holding a food distribution event on Saturday July 25th, from 9 a.m-11 a.m. It will be located at Second Harvest Food Bank on 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN. For more information, call 423-279-0430, or email communityrelations@netfoodbank.org, or visit Second Harvest’s Facebook Page. Families will receive up to 100 lbs. of food on Saturday. No pre-registration is required.

*Stone Mountain Health Services offering COVID-19 testing by appointment only, on a first come, first serve basis. Patients need to call (276) 299-1659 to reserve their test and receive an appointment time. Below are the times and places of testing:

Tuesday, July 28,2020: Appalachia Family Health Center in Appalachia , VA in Ewing, VA – 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 29,2020: Western Lee County Health Clinic – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

*Wise County School Board approves hybrid learning plan for 2020-21 academic year. Involves two groups attending classes on campus on separate days (Group A- On campus Monday/Tuesday, remote learning the remainder of the week…Group B- Remote learning Monday-Wednesday, on campus learning Thursday and Friday). The school board has also decided to delay the start of the school year until August 20.

*The Town of Abingdon, VA announces changes to operation at its Town Hall. Customers will be served on the first floor starting today, residents will be able to make utility or tax payments from the service window to the right of the Main St. exterior doors. Payment options are also available via telephone, mail, online bill-pay, and dropbox at Town Hall. Anyone with questions should contact Town Hall at 276-628-3167.

Tuesday, July 21

*Johnson County, TN issues mask mandate, set to go into effect Thursday until August 3.

*Scott Co., VA Schools presents four different plans for reopening of schools. Includes the following:

Plan A would have all students on site all week except for Wednesday which would be used as a deep cleaning and planning day. A survey sent to parents favored this option, with 54% preference. Plan B would have two groups of students on campus either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday.

Plan C would use a hybrid option based on the level of the reopening phase that the state of Virginia is in. Phase 3 would have PreK-7th grade students follow plan A, while 8th-12th grade students would follow plan B. In Phase 2, PreK-3rd, Special Ed, and EL students would follow plan A, while 4th-12th grade students would follow plan D, which is set aside for a fully remote option that could be used if Virginia reverts back to Phase 1.

*Emory & Henry cancels fall and winter sports for 2020 season.

*Hawkins County Schools pushes back start date to August 10th from August 4th. All other dates on the calendar will stay the same.

*Starbucks in The Pinnacle retail area in Bristol, Tennessee reopened Tuesday on a limited schedule after they closed Monday due to an employee testing positive for coronavirus.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Tuesday, 7.21. 81,944 cases, 3,798 hospitalizations, 871 deaths, and 47,852 recoveries. Local cases (1,667, increase of 76 from Monday), Deaths (14, increase of 1 from Monday), Recoveries (715), and Active Cases (938). By County- Carter (156), Greene (128), Hawkins (93), Johnson (14), Sullivan (208), Unicoi (14), and Washington (325).

*Dollar Tree and Dollar General reverses mask mandate in stores, still strongly requests shoppers wear face covering while inside the store.

*UPDATE: City of Bristol, VA officials say six Bristol, VA police officers have tested positive for COVID-19.

*A spokesperson with Walgreens reports an employee at the Broad Street Elizabethton location tested positive for COVID-19. Officials say the store closed on Thursday and Friday of last week after learning of the positive virus case. Walgreens said the store closed for approximately 4-5 hours for deep cleaning both days before reopening.

*The first COVID-19 death has been reported within the Mountain Home V.A. Healthcare System.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 79,371 cases, 7,267 hospitalizations, 2,048 deaths, and 10,235 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,260, an increase of 30 from Monday) New cases reported in Bland County (2), Bristol (2), Carroll County (1), Galax (1), Grayson County (3), Lee County (9), Russell County (1), Scott County (5), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (2), and Wythe County (1).

*Kroger officials confirm employee at Johnson City State of Franklin store tests positive for COVID-19. Employee has not worked in the store since June 26.

*Free COVID-19 antibody testing being offered by Marsh Regional Blood Center, donors must complete pre-screening and be approved prior to donating. Our full story with additional information including donation times can be found here.

*Bristol, TN City Schools delay start date of academic year from August 3 to August 6.

*Johnson City Schools delay start date of academic year from August 4 to August 10, both for in-person and remote learning. A mask mandate for all students and staff will also be in effect.

Monday, July 20

*Sullivan County Schools on Monday announced in-person, outdoor graduations for later this month. Participation is optional, according to a report from Director of Schools David Cox, and these plans are subject to change.
– Sullivan East High School – July 31st at 6 p.m.
– Sullivan Central High School – July 31st at 8 p.m.
– Sullivan South High School – Aug. 1st at 6 p.m.
– Sullivan North High School – Aug. 1st at 8 p.m.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 79,754 cases, 3,712 hospitalizations, 847 deaths, and 45,974 recoveries. Local cases (1,591, an increase of 129 from Sunday), Deaths (13), Recoveries (679), and Active Cases (899). By County- Carter (144), Greene (121), Hawkins (86), Johnson (14), Sullivan (208), Unicoi (16), and Washington (310).

*Lee County, VA Public Schools staff members test positive for COVID-19. Includes staff that works at Rose Hill Elementary and The Lee County Career and Technical Education Center

*Holy Taco & Cantina in Johnson City closing dining room temporarily again due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. The restaurant will revert back to curbside pickup for the time being.

*The annual Land of Oz’s “Autumn at Oz” Festival scheduled for September in neighboring North Carolina has been canceled due to COVID concerns.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 78,375 cases, 7,201 hospitalizations, 2,031 deaths, and 10,107 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,230, increase of 25 from Sunday) New cases reported in Bristol (2), Buchanan County (1), Galax (4), Grayson County (1), Lee County (3), Norton (1), Russell County (1), Smyth County (4), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (1), Wise County (2), and Wythe County (3).

*Two Southwest Virginia DMVs have reopened after previous closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the two locations that have reopened-

Jonesville (195 Hill Street, Jonesville, VA 24263) Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Wytheville (800 East Main Street, Suite 100, Wytheville, VA 24382)
Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-noon

*Virginia Employment Commission holding statewide virtual hiring event next Tuesday (July 28th, 1:00-5:00 p.m) A link to registration for the event can be found here.

*Johnson City Schools online learning option application available to apply for through Friday. Parents have the option to send their students in-person to learn or to learn online for the 2020-21 academic year. For parents interested in having their student learn online this year, the application process can be found here.

*Unicoi County Schools releases reopening plans. It includes color-coded three threshold based on level of spread of COVID-19 to determine its operation status. To view the full plan, click here.

Sunday, July 19

*Stone Mountain Health Services announces staff member at Thompson Valley Health Center in Vansant, VA has tested positive for COVID-19. An exposed staff member also traveled from the Vansant location to their clinic in Hurley, VA. Both clinics are closing until August 3rd.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 78,115 cases, 3,681 hospitalizations, 843 deaths, and 44,319 recoveries. Local cases (1,462), Deaths (13), Recoveries (654), and Active Cases (795). Active Cases By County- Carter (120), Greene (107), Hawkins (80), Johnson (14), Sullivan (191), Unicoi (13), and Washington (270)

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 77,430 cases
7,165 hospitalizations, and 2,027 deaths
Local cases (1,205)
By County:
Buchanan- 53
Dickenson- 10
Russell- 29
Tazewell- 43

Lee- 32
Norton- 4
Scott- 25
Wise- 52

Bland- 5
Bristol- 21
Carroll- 279
Galax- 300
Grayson- 103
Smyth- 69
Washington- 111
Wythe- 69

Saturday, July 18

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 76,336 cases, 3,649 hospitalizations, 838 deaths, and 43,706 recoveries. Local cases (1,356), Deaths (13, one new in Greene and Sullivan County), Recoveries (645), and Active Cases (699). By County- Carter County (103), Greene County (96), Hawkins County (72), Johnson County (14), Sullivan County (181), Unicoi County (13), and Washington County (220).

*Aldi to require face coverings in stores starting Monday, July 27.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 76,373 cases
7,147 hospitalizations
2,025 deaths
Local cases (1,178)
Buchanan County- 54, Dickenson County- 9, Russell County- 28,
Tazewell County- 39, Lee County- 32, Norton- 4, Scott County- 25, Wise County- 52, Bland County- 5, Bristol- 18, Carroll County- 275, Galax- 299, Grayson County- 100, Smyth County- 69, Washington County- 104, and Wythe County- 65

Friday, July 17

*Christian Care Center of Bristol has third resident death.

*Stateline Bar & Grille in Bristol, TN closing temporarily due to employee testing positive for COVID-19. Bar will close for deep cleaning but will open back up Tuesday, July 21.

*Scratch Pizza in Johnson City closing for the next seven days due to three employees showing signs of COVID-19 symptoms.

*Lowe’s, Home Depot, issuing mask mandates for all customers in stores.

*The Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office politely asks residents to stop calling 9-1-1 to report people who are not wearing masks.

*Quaker Steak and Lube in Bristol, Virginia has temporarily closed its doors due to a worker testing positive for the coronavirus.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Friday. Local cases (1,272), Deaths (11), Recoveries (636), and Active Cases (625). By County- Carter County (88), Greene County (95), Hawkins County (65), Johnson County (14), Sullivan County (151), Unicoi County (14), and Washington County (199).

*Entry into Virginia ABC stores statewide will require a mask beginning Monday.

*Officials with the Washington County, Virginia Fair announced the 2020 is canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

*Food City requires customers to wear a mask starting Thursday, July 23.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 75,433, 7,087 hospitalizations, 2,013 deaths, and 9,883 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,137) New cases reported in Buchanan County (1), Dickenson County (1), Grayson County (2), Lee County (1), Russell County (1), Smyth County (14), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (5), and Wise County (2). One less case reported in Carroll County from the day prior.

*Target, CVS, and Publix among the latest national chains to issue mandates requiring customers to wear masks in their stores.

*Unicoi County issues mask mandate, took effect at midnight.

Thursday, July 16

*Three Bristol, VA police officers test positive for COVID-19. City Hall and police departments to close Friday for deep cleaning. All parks & recreation activities will be suspended for two weeks, and the campground and picnic areas will close for two weeks beginning Monday.

*The Town of Marion, VA is closing its municipal buildings to the public effective Friday due to an increase of COVID exposure in staff and the public. Access will be limited to by appointment only, and masks will be required. Bills can be paid via online or by drop-box outside Town Hall.

*Bristol, Virginia near finalized reopening plan, available for view here- Draft 2 BVPS School Reopening Plan

*Hawkins County Mayor Jim Lee orders mask mandate to take effect Friday at midnight.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Thursday. Local cases (1,200), Deaths (11), Recoveries (616), and Active cases (573). By County- Carter County (82), Greene County (90), Hawkins County (59), Johnson County (14), Sullivan County (137), Unicoi County (10), and Washington County (181).

*Team member at Firehouse Restaurant in Johnson City tests positive for COVID-19. The restaurant will close for the remainder of the week.

*Flyer for free COVID-19 testing for residents within the Cumberland Plateau Health District (Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell counties) Appointments required to be tested beginning Friday, numbers below:
Buchanan: 276-935-4591
DIckenson: 276-926-4979
Russell: 276-889-7621
Tazewell: 276-988-5585

Testing only available to residents 10 years and older.

APPOINTMENT REQUIRED- To maintain a safe traffic pattern due to increased demand, beginning Friday (7/17/20)…

Posted by Cumberland Plateau Health District on Thursday, July 16, 2020

*Carter County mask mandate to take effect Friday, read full executive order here- Carter County Executive Order 5

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 74,431 cases, 7,020 hospitalizations, 2,007 deaths, and 9,644 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,110) New cases reported in Bland County (2), Bristol (1), Buchanan County (3), Carroll County (6), Dickenson County (1), Galax (3), Grayson County (4), Russell County (1), Scott County (3), Smyth County (3), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (5), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (2). New death reported in Wise County (3 deaths total now)

*Weekly unemployment claims report (Week of July 11) Tennessee- 22,431 (week prior 25,843/3,412 less) Virginia- 33,850 (week prior 31,825/2,025 more) In Northeast TN (New and continued claims by county)

Carter County- 84 new claims (1,116 continued claims)
Greene County- 209 new claims (2,409 continued claims)
Hawkins County- 162 new claims (1,535 continued claims)
Johnson County- 36 new claims (326 continued claims)
Sullivan County- 331 new claims (4,347 continued claims)
Unicoi County- 26 new claims (445 continued claims)
Washington County- 262 new claims (3,774 continued claims)
Total- 1,110 new claims (13,952 continued claims)

*Ballad Health announces changes to visitation policy amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. This is set to take effect Friday, see full tweet for details below:

*Ballad Health transferring some staff from Hancock County hospital and Hawkins County Memorial hospital to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport to assist with recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Anyone needing in-patient care in Hancock or Hawkins will be transferred to Holston Valley.

*Kohl’s to require all customers to wear a face mask in stores beginning July 20.

Wednesday, July 15

*Employee at Smoky Mountain Bakers in Roan Mountain tests positive for COVID-19. All employees are being required to self-quarantine until July 22, so the store will be closed until then.

*Walmart and Sam’s Club to require wearing face coverings for all customers beginning July 20.

*Kroger grocery stores announcing all customers are now required to wear masks.

*Washington County, Virginia administrators announcing they are closing all county offices due to the spread of COVID-19 on Monday, July 20.

*The Virginia High School League Executive Committee to make a decision on fall sports July 27. They are currently weighing three options. None of them include playing high school football this fall. Options can be reviewed here.

*Ballad Health hospitalization update: 60 in-care patients, 14 of those in ICU, and 8 on ventilator.

*Ballad Health announces 23 staff members at Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Elizabethton have tested positive for COVID-19. The cluster was confined to the geriatric psych unit where six patients also have the virus.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published Wednesday. Local cases (1,124), Deaths (11), Recoveries (608), and Active Cases (505). By County- Carter County (69), Greene County (79), Hawkins County (46), Johnson County (11), Sullivan County (160), Unicoi County (8), and Washington County (169).

*Best Buy requiring customers to wear masks across all stores nationwide.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 73,527 cases, 6,905 hospitalizations, 1,992 deaths, and 9,527 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,075) New cases reported in Buchanan County (2), Carroll County (8), Dickenson County (1), Galax (2), Grayson County (2), Lee County (4), Scott County (1), Smyth County (1), Tazewell County (1), Washington County (1), Wise County (1), and Wythe County (3).

*Tennessee added to list of New York travel advisory, requiring any resident from 22 states including TN to quarantine for 14 days. They must also fill out contact information with the NY Department of Health either online (when traveling by bus, vehicle, etc.) or when arriving at an airport when flying. The state department of health says failure to leave contact information could result in a $2,000 fine and an issued court order mandating the required following of the 14 day quarantine.

*Dollywood removes reservation requirements before visiting.

*Officials with Bristol, Tennessee have canceled the remainder of dates for the Sounds of Summer concert series in August and September.

*Town of Coeburn, VA town hall closing its doors to the public effective 8:00 a.m today until August 17 due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Tuesday, July 14

*Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett expected to formally issue mask mandate Wednesday.

*Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler announces eight employees test positive for COVID-19.

*Greene County Mask mandate official, takes effect Wednesday. Required for all residents, visitors, employees, or patrons of businesses, industry, retail, organizations, or venues are required to wear or shall require the wearing and use of a face mask. Children under the age of 2 or those with underlying conditions are exempt from this order. The order is in effect until August 14.

*Starbucks at 1150 West State of Franklin in Johnson City is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. They are scheduled to reopen on Sunday, July 19.

*Tennessee Department on Health COVID-19 update published on Tuesday. Local cases (1,063) Deaths (11) Recoveries (589) Active Cases (463). By County- Carter County (63), Greene County (70), Hawkins County (43), Johnson County (12), Sullivan County (121), Unicoi County (8), and Washington County (146).

*Borden Dairy, UT Extension, and the Washington County, Tennessee Agriculture Partnership will be providing free milk to deserving families during the virus pandemic on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon at the former Earth Fare location at 1735 West State of Franklin Road in Johnson City. Individuals can pull into a drive-thru and the product will be placed in vehicles.

*The Town of Saltville, VA has closed their Town Hall indefinitely beginning today due to possible COVID-19 exposure. The Town says on social media that if anyone has emergencies with water or sewer please call 276-706-7123. Payments for water bills can be left in the Dropbox or mailed in.

*CarMax officials confirmed two associates at the Bristol, TN Pinnacle location have tested positive for COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 72,443 cases, 6,817 hospitalizations, 1,977 deaths, and 9,432 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,048) New cases reported in Bristol (1), Buchanan County (4), Carroll County (4), Galax (1), Grayson County (1), Lee County (2), Russell County (3), Tazewell County (3), Washington County (1), and Wise County (7).

*Johnson City Schools have released remote learning guidelines via YouTube video, available for watch here.

*Ballad Health issues letter urging all regional cities and counties to order mask mandate amid surging hospitalizations rates in the health care’s facilities.

*Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison expected to issue a mask mandate today for the county that would take effect Wednesday.

Monday, July 13

*128 Pecan in Abingdon reverting back to outside dining and carryout only for at least the next few weeks.

*Washington County,TN issues mask mandate for all residents 12 and older to wear a face covering in indoor public places. Remains in effect until August 3. See the full executive order below:

Executive Order No 2

*Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon reports its first case of COVID-19. The school said the person confirmed with the virus visited the campus in a classroom setting. The building they were in was closed for cleaning over the weekend and was reopened on Monday.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published Monday. Local cases (993), Deaths (11), Recoveries (573), and Active cases (409). By County- Carter County (51), Greene County (64), Hawkins County (39), Johnson County (12), Sullivan County (106), Unicoi County (7), and Washington County (130).

*City of Bluff City, Tennessee lobby is closed until further notice due to coronavirus precautions. The facility’s drive-thru is still available for residents for any city business.

*Bluff City Heritage Days scheduled for September 26th has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 71,642 cases, 6,765 hospitalizations, 1,968 deaths, and 9,330 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,021) New cases reported in Buchanan County (3), Carroll County (2), Galax (1), Lee County (1), Scott County (2), Smyth County (2), Tazewell County (2), and Washington County (1). Wise County had decrease of one case from the day prior.

*Wise County, VA Commissioner of Revenue Office closed until further notice after staff experienced indirect contact with individual who was exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. Test results are still awaiting for the individual who was exposed to a COVID-19 case, and all staff is working remotely effective Monday.

*Washington County, VA Public Schools using hybrid operating schedule to start 2020-21 school year. Group A students will go to school Monday and Tuesday, and learn remotely Thursday and Friday. Group B students will learn remotely Monday and Tuesday, and go to school Thursday and Friday. A full detailed plan is expected to be released soon.

Sunday, July 12

*The Mountain View District of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church announced they are closing for in person worship and all outdoor and drive-in worship for the remainder of July. The Appalachian District of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church announced they are closing for in person worship for this past Sunday and next Sunday.

*Main Street Pizza announces all locations will revert back to curbside pick-up beginning this week, and an employee at the Kingsport location has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee last worked at the Kingsport store on July 5, and Owner Jamie Dove is urging anyone who ate their prior to July 5 to get tested for the virus. All dining rooms will remain closed while the Kingsport store will be temporarily closed.

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 61,960 cases, 3,520 hospitalizations, 741 deaths, and 35,855 recoveries. Local cases (934), Deaths (10>, Recoveries (562), and Active cases (362). By County- Carter County (49), Greene County (58), Hawkins County (35), Johnson County (9), Sullivan County (93), Unicoi County (5), and Washington County (116).

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 70,670 cases, 6,744 hospitalizations, 1,966 deaths, and 9,310 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (1,008) New cases reported in Bristol, (1), Carroll County (4), Dickenson County (1), Galax (1), Grayson County (1), Lee County (2), Russell County (2), Tazewell County (2), Scott County (3), Washington County (7), Wise County (3), and Wythe County (2).

Saturday, July 11

*Daily TN COVID-19 Update: 61,006 cases, 3,193 hospitalizations, 738 deaths, and 35,435 recoveries. Local cases (916) Active cases (355) By County- Carter County (48), Greene County (57), Hawkins County (30), Johnson County (9), Sullivan County (89), Unicoi County (6), and Washington County (116).

*Northeast State Community College announces first student tests positive for COVID-19.

*Daily VA COVID-19 Update: 69,782 cases, 6,707 hospitalizations, 1,962 deaths, and 9,271 coronavirus patients discharged from the hospital. Local cases (979) New cases reported in Bristol (2), Carroll County (1), Galax (4), Russell County (3), Tazewell County (2), Washington County (4), and Wise County (2).

*Northeast State Community College has announced changes to their upcoming fall semester course offerings in response to COVID-19. The college says enrollment for on-site classes will be lowered for social-distancing requirements that requires a shift to hybrid and online formats. Format updates are set to become available starting today for students, and in addition to on-site instruction, hybrid and fully online formats will be offered. For full details, click here.

Friday, July 10

*Pizza Inn in Elizabethton temporarily closes due to a team member testing positive for COVID-19. The restaurant says the last time that team member worked was July 5. The store anticipates reopening possibly July 25.

*Greystone Healthcare Center in Blountville reports two positive COVID-19 cases among staff and residents.

*Bristol, VA City Manager Randy Eads reminds Bristol residents to wear a mask amid growing cases across the region.

*Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 update published on Friday. Local cases (833) Active cases (283) By County- Carter County (33), Greene County (44), Hawkins County (28), Johnson County (8), Sullivan County (96), Unicoi County (3), and Washington County (91).

*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.