Venable extends Sullivan state of emergency

J. H. Osborne • May 13, 2020 at 8:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Although many businesses and public places have reopened, albeit under social distancing guidelines, localities within Tennessee remain under state of emergency orders proclaimed by their top government officials. Sullivan County is no different.

On Monday, Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable once again signed an order to extend the state of emergency status for the county through 11:59 p.m. on May 18.

Venable first issued a state of emergency disaster proclamation for Sullivan County on March 30. Monday’s action marks the sixth extension.

“We have certain areas of the state that are not reopened, such as movie theaters and sports venues,” Venable told the Times News. “As long as we have those closed, they are closed by virtue of us having a declared emergency. The governor’s order No. 35 identifies those venues that are not open at all.”

The county’s state of emergency status will probably continue for a while, requiring more weekly extensions like the one issued Monday, Venable said. 

“I don’t think we will leave this until we are declared all clear, and that would be after Phase Three, and we’re still under Phase One, according to the president’s order,” Venable said. “We continue to do extremely well, I think. Of course, the hot spots in Tennessee are in the more heavily populated areas. We’re trending in exactly the right direction.”

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