March 13, 2020
For immediate release
City of Johnson City announces COVID-19 preparedness measures
The City of Johnson City on Friday announced the following measures that have been taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus:
- Events scheduled at Freedom Hall Civic Center through April 9 have been postponed until further notice. Information regarding ticket refunds will be posted to the Freedom Hall website, www.freedomhall-tn.com, as soon as it becomes available.
- The Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court has suspended in-person court proceedings, except for certain types of cases, until March 31, 2020. This suspension applies to criminal, juvenile, municipal and session courts. Juvenile Court will continue to hold emergency and abuse hearings but will reschedule many other cases during the next 2.5 weeks. Notices will be sent via mail regarding these cases.
- The Johnson City Public Library will remain open but all events and programs through April 6 have been canceled.
- Events held on City property that were to draw attendees from outside the local area have been postponed until further notice. This includes the USA Softball Tournament scheduled to be played at Winged Deer Park this weekend.
- The Johnson City Senior Center will remain open, however, all programs expected to have an attendance of more than 25 are postponed until further notice. Essential senior support programs, including meals, will remain available as regularly scheduled.
City Hall remains open but citizens are asked to conduct business via phone or online when possible. Permits, business licenses, tax payments and fee payments can all be accessed via our website, www.johnsoncitytn.org. For those who must conduct business in person, please utilize hand sanitizing stations, which are located throughout the building. City staff are disinfecting common spaces, counters and door handles regularly during business hours at all City facilities.
City officials are in constant contact with health and other officials and are monitoring the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Updates to City plans and schedules may be found at https://www.johnsoncitytn.org/covid-19 as well as the City’s Facebook page (@CoJCTN).
The City encourages citizens to utilize the TDH and CDC websites for current COVID-19 information and best practices.
“Our decisions are informed by the experts at the health department and the CDC, and we will continue to follow their guidance as this progresses,” said City Manager Pete Peterson. “Social distancing can go a long way in slowing the spread of COVID-19, as can basic hygiene like proper handwashing and staying home if you’re sick. We especially encourage our older population and those who are immune-compromised to limit public interaction as much as possible.”
Peterson noted the City of Johnson City has taken all the necessary and prescribed steps to ensure business continuity should we experience an outbreak here.
“We are speaking with health and other officials and meeting as a staff on a daily basis to modify our plan as needed,” Peterson said. “City services will continue.”