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Hawkins mayor lifting county's Safer-at-Home order on April 27

Jeff Bobo • Apr 22, 2020 at 8:30 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County Mayor Jim Lee announced on Monday that he will be lifting Hawkins County’s Safer-at-Home order as of Monday — three days ahead of the expiration of Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order.

“If our case numbers rise considerably, I will put the order back into place,” Mayor Lee said. “COVID-19 has not only created a public health crisis, it has hurt several businesses and thousands of hard-working Hawkins County citizens. Medical and public health professionals tell us that social distancing has been working. I have been encouraged by the COVID-19 case count and low increase percentages in Hawkins County. We have been blessed in Hawkins County that the numbers are not as high as predicted.”

As of Tuesday evening, the Tennessee Department of Health was reporting 28 positive COVID-19 cases in Hawkins County, 24 of whom had recovered, 339 negative tests and two deaths.

Mayor Lee said he agrees with the governor’s stance that for the good of the state social distancing must continue, but the economic shutdown cannot.

“The only way we can save our economy is to save lives, and the only way we can save lives is by safely reopening our economy in Hawkins County,” Mayor Lee added. “The economic impact facing Hawkins County will be more painful than the 2008 recession, but we are strong and will come back even stronger.”

County parks reopening as well

Mayor Lee announced on Tuesday that Hawkins County's two public parks, Laurel Run Park and St. Clair Park, will reopen on Monday at 8 a.m. unless Hawkins County sees another spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We urge visitors to park only in designated areas and plan a visit at times other than the busiest of the day. Please maintain social distance from other visitors, and if you encounter a crowded trail, seek another location to recreate.

Free COVID-19 testing Saturday at Volunteer

On Sunday, Volunteer High School will again host a free COVID-19 drive-through testing event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A similar event was held this past Saturday at Volunteer, with testing taking place in the parking lot between the football stadium entrance and the school building. 

Anyone with health concerns or who has concerns about the health of a family member is invited to come to receive testing for COVID-19. This testing will be provided at no cost to participants, and those who come for testing can remain in their vehicles throughout the process.

No appointment or pre-registration is required. For more information, call the Northeast Region’s Coronavirus Public Information hotline Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at (423) 979-4689.

Public access to County Commission meeting 

The Hawkins County Commission meeting scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. will be held electronically and can be heard by the public via telephone conference call.

County Clerk Nancy Davis issued the following instructions for the public to listen to the meeting:

Call telephone number 1-408-418-9388 beginning at 5:50 p.m. and enter the access code 791-337-935, followed by the pound (#) button. Say your name then hit the # button again.

At that point you should be logged into the meeting. Immediately mute your telephone. If you don’t have a mute option, make sure you are in a quiet location where there is no background noise.

No public comments will be heard during Monday’s meeting. The public is instead encouraged to address questions or concerns to their commissioners prior to Monday’s meeting.

The public can review the combined March and April County Commission agendas that are available online at www.hawkinscountyclerk.com.

To find the agendas, click on the tab “services,” use the dropdown to “commission information,” click on “commission agendas – 2020” and find both March and April agendas there for viewing.

Hawkins County budget hearing dates 

On Monday, the Hawkins County Commission’s Budget Committee met and agreed to set hearings for the 2020-21 fiscal year budget for May 12 and May 13 — and if needed May 14.

All budget hearing meetings will be held in the public meeting room at the County Administration Building, 150 E. Washington St., Rogersville, starting at 8:30 a.m., and are expected to last most of the day.

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