COVID-19 Updates

The lead agencies for Coronavirus (COVID-19) are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the TN Department of Health. Please visit their websites for basic information, guidelines, and recommendations.

Update – January 29, 2021

On Friday, November 20, Mayor Joe Brooks issued a county-wide mask mandate beginning Tuesday, November 24 running through December 31, 2020. As of Friday, January 29, 2021, the mandate has been extended until February 28, 2021. The full order can be found below.

Update – December 31, 2020

On Friday, November 20, Mayor Joe Brooks issued a county-wide mask mandate beginning Tuesday, November 24 running through December 31, 2020. As of Thursday, December 31, the mandate has been extended until January 31, 2021. The full order can be found below.

Update – December 2, 2020

Beginning December 7th, the Claiborne County Health Department will have new COVID-19 testing times, listed below, as they prepare for the COVID vaccine. Also, days/times may be adjusted as needed to accommodate vaccine clinic needs.

• Tuesday’s 8:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
• Wednesday’s 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
• Friday’s 8:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.

Individuals can call 423-626-4291 to schedule a testing appointment. The testing is available at no charge and is available to anyone.
This week they will not be testing on Thursday, December 3rd. 

Update – November 20, 2020

On Friday, November 20, Mayor Joe Brooks issued a county-wide mask mandate beginning Tuesday, November 24 running through December 31, 2020. The full order can be found below.

Update – July 8, 2020

On, Tuesday, July 7, Claiborne County Schools published their 2020-2021 school year reopening plan. This plan has students returning to school on August 10, 2020. For the complete plan, please click here.

Update – July 7, 2020

On Friday, July 3rd, Governor Lee issued Executive Order #54, An order providing Local governments with authority regarding face coverings.  Please see the Memorandum below for Claiborne County’s stance regarding the use of face coverings. 

Update – June 29, 2020

Today Governor Bill Lee  signed Executive Order No. 50 to extend the State of Emergency related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to August 29, 2020. The order allows the continued suspension of various laws and regulations and other measures in these orders to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19 through regulatory flexibility, promoting social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings, and protecting vulnerable populations. 

For more information, click here.

Update – June 18, 2020

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Group (ERG) has developed the TN Strong Mask Movement, partnering with more than 30 flagship brands to distribute close to 300,000 free or low-cost cloth face coverings, at a projected value of more than $3 million, across the state. Now, residents can stay safe while wearing brands synonymous with Tennessee from the worlds of sports, education, and business.

The CDC recently released new guidance for public events and gatherings, strongly encouraging wearing masks to lower the risk of exposure and reduce the spread of COVID-19. As Tennessee safely continues to reopen the economy and residents and travelers alike move about the state, masks have become an important health accessory.

Each business will distribute branded cloth face coverings at little to no cost across their own channels or with the help of the State of Tennessee, which could include employees, fans or nonprofit partnerships. Companies can visit…/covid-19/economic-recovery/mask-movement for additional information. The general public can also visit the link above to order a TN Strong branded mask.

Update – May 13, 2020

On Tuesday, May 12, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Orders 36 and 37. These orders extend the state of emergency declaration from May 18, 2020 to June 30, 2020, in order to extend certain provisions facilitating the State’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please click here.

Update – May 7, 2020

The Claiborne County Library will begin a Phase One opening effective May 11th.  For more information, click

Update – May 6, 2020

The “Tennessee Pledge” is a plan to help Tennesseans return to work in a safe environment, restore their livelihoods and reboot our state’s economy. To view the guidelines and learn more information on the “Tennessee Pledge” please click 

Update – April 29, 2020

On Monday, April 28, Governor Lee issued Executive Order No. 30.

Executive Order No. 30 AN ORDER ALLOWING TENNESSEANS TO RETURN TO WORK SAFELY WHILE ENCOURAGING CONTINUED ADHERENCE TO HEALTH GUIDELINES TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 contains 18 paragraphs outlining Governor Lee’s orders. Although all of the paragraphs provide important information concerning EO No. 30, paragraph #11 (page 5 & 6) is of particular importance as it lists those businesses that are to remained closed until May 29th.

All salons, barber shops, massage parlors, entertainment, and certain recreational venues are to remain closed.

Update – April 24, 2020

Today, Governor Lee announced the “Tennessee Pledge” and issued guidelines for restaurants and retailers to begin safely operating starting Monday, April 27. For more information, please click here.

Update – April 20, 2020

Today, Governor Bill Lee announced the order for Tennesseans to remain at home will expire April 30, with the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties allowed to re-open on May 1.

“Our Economic Recovery Group is working with industry leaders around the clock so that some businesses can open as soon as Monday, April 27,” said Gov. Lee. “These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business.” To read more, click here.

Update – April 16, 2020

The Claiborne County Health Department is offering free COVID-19 testing. For more information, please click here.

Update – April 15, 2020

Governor Lee recommended that all schools remained closed until the end of the School year to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in his daily press conference on April 15, 2020.

To honor Governor Lee’s orders, Claiborne County Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Update – April 14, 2020

The Claiborne County Health Department will be conducting additional COVID-19 testing on Saturday, April 18th and Sunday, April 19th at the Claiborne County Health Department, 620 Davis Street, New Tazewell, TN 37825 from 9 am to 12 pm. There will be no charge for the test and no insurance is required.

Update – April 13, 2020

On Monday, April 13, Governor Lee signed Executive Order 27 extending social distancing and stay-at-home provisions until April 30, 2020 to preserve and increase the containment of COVID-19.

Update – April 9, 2020

On April 8, Gov. Lee signed Executive Order 25, which extends the postponement of elective medical and dental procedures until April 30, 2020. The order:

  • Helps ensure that PPE is preserved, and community spread through close medical interaction is limited during the upcoming weeks in which cases/hospitalizations are expected to increase;
  • Expands EO18 to more specifically cover all procedures that are elective and non-urgent and can be delayed until after the Order without risking serious adverse consequences to a patient; and
  • Limits attendance at surgeries and invasive procedures to essential personnel to preserve PPE to the greatest extent possible.

Update – April 8, 2020

Starting April 9th, anyone wanting to conduct business at any of the Claiborne County Courthouse offices or the Finance Department will be required to wear a mask before being allowed to enter either of these two locations.

Based on CDC recommendations, cloth face covers are a good means to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cloth face covers do not protect the wearer but does protect others by catching droplets that are emitted from coughing, sneezing and speaking. Cloth face covers should not replace social distancing. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you in order for you to conduct any necessary business you may have within these two county locations.

Congress and President Trump have provided massive investments to support small businesses and other distressed businesses, as part of the government’s response to combat the effects the coronavirus is having on the economy. These resources are designed to help small businesses stay open and keep workers connected to their jobs – and to employer-sponsored benefits such as health insurance.

Please click here for a document that outlines possible resources for those who have lost health insurance due to COVID-19.

Update – April 6, 2020

Claiborne County Business Owners – We have created a COVID-19 Business Impact & Support Survey to help us know your needs and provide you with support for those needs. Please take 3-4 minutes to follow this link below and fill out the survey so we can assist you in the best way possible. The survey can be found here.

Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced $200 million in grants to be distributed to every county and city government across Tennessee for one-time, local expenses in fiscal year 2021. Funding is based on population as published by the US Census Bureau. Each county will receive at least $500,000, and each city or municipality will receive at least $30,000.  For more information, please click here.

Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the State of Tennessee will allocate $10 million in Small and Rural Hospital Readiness Grants to support hospitals that are facing financial strain due to the ongoing response to COVID-19. Applications can be accessed here.

Update – April 3, 2020

On Thursday, April 2, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive order number 23.  This order mandates the “Safer at Home” order that was issued in Executive order 22.  It states that all persons in Tennessee are required to stay at home, except for when engaging in Essential Activity or Essential Services as defined in this Order. 

The Clerk and Master’s office is closed to the public until further notice due to Judge’s orders.

Update – April 2, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their
employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a poster that covers these leave provisions that can be found here.

Update – March 30, 2020

Governor Bill Lee issued Executive numbers 21 and 22.  Executive order 21 closes down all nonessential businesses effective 11:59 pm Tuesday, March 31, and lasting until April 14, 2020.  For more information, please click here.  

Executive order 22, the “Safer at home” order, takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and lasts through April 14, during which time only essential businesses are to continue operating and residents are to stay home “as much as possible.”  For more information, please click here

Due to the spread of COVID-19, Claiborne County residents are asked to try and keep their trash to a minimum at convenience centers. Convenience center employees are no longer allowed to unload or handle your trash until further notice.

Update – March 29, 2020

Effective March 30, 2020 at noon, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park will be closed to all park visitors until further notice to support efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This closure includes all park trails, the Pinnacle Road and Overlook, the Visitor Center and parking area, all restrooms, the Wilderness Road Campground and picnic area, the Bartlett Park Road and picnic area, the Sugar Run picnic area, the Civic Park picnic area, and all backcountry campsites. Law enforcement rangers continue to patrol, monitor the park, and enforce all the rules. For more information, please click here.

Update – March 27, 2020

Through Executive Order No. 15, Governor Bill Lee extended the deadline for obtaining vehicle registration renewals that expire in March or April. The new deadline for obtaining these renewals is June 15, 2020. The Department of Revenue hopes this extension of time will alleviate concerns of motor vehicle registrants so they can focus on their health and safety amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

To renew your Vehicle registration online, please click here.

“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline. I have determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. DHS will publish a notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days.”

To renew your Driver’s License online, please click here.

Update – March 26, 2020

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. For more information click here.

Update – March 25, 2020

For information on the resources available from the TN Department of Human Services, please click here.

Update – March 24, 2020

Due to Governor Lee’s recommendation, Claiborne County Schools will remain closed until April 24, 2020.

For more information on how to sign up for unemployment due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), please click here.

Update – March 23, 2020

Claiborne County has its first confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mayor Joe Brooks has released a memorandum regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). View below:

Update – March 22, 2020

Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 17 calling for businesses across the state to utilize alternative business models beginning at midnight on Monday, March 23, 2020 until midnight on April 6, 2020.

For more information on this order, please click here.

Update – March 20, 2020

As of 6:00 PM on Friday, March 20, the Claiborne County Public Library will be closed to the public until further notice. All late fees will be waived. Free ebooks, magazines, videos, etc. from Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. will still be available. Wi-Fi can still be accessed outside the library. They can be reached on the Claiborne County Library Facebook page or by email at :

The Tennessee Chamber is committed to helping businesses create a positive work climate. As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world and the United States, it is imperative that Tennessee employers are prepared to handle this issue. For more information and resources, please visit:

Tennessee is now listed on for COVID-19 Disaster relief small business loans. In order to apply for the loan, click here.

Update – March 19, 2020

Governor Bill Lee has submitted a request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Once the declaration is made, all Tennessee small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 will be eligible to apply for disaster loan assistance of up to $2 million per applicant. More information can be found at:

Per social distancing recommendations and President Trump’s recommendation to avoid gatherings of no more than 10 people, Claiborne County has implemented the following precautionary measures against the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Claiborne County Schools will be closed until March 30, 2020.
  • Harrogate Senior Citizens Center and Tazewell Seniors Center will be closed until further notice.