Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Local Situation

The Sullivan County Regional Health Department (SCRHD) received confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) of the county’s first case of COVID-19 on March 10, 2020. Per standard public health protocols for infectious disease response, SCRHD epidemiologists are working with TDH and are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to contact and monitor anyone who may have been exposed. Currently, there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Sullivan County. Those with questions about testing options and more information on COVID-19 can contact SCRHD’s public information line at (423)279-2777, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. After hours please call (423)279-2777.

SCRHD anticipates identification of additional cases of COVID-19 in the county and has extensive plans and preparations to properly respond in concert with local health care providers, TDH and CDC.

Sullivan County Regional Health Department is offering free masks that can be picked up at either the Blountville Office or Kingsport Office Monday- Friday 8:00-5:00.

People with Certain Medical Conditions

CDC has updated the list of certain medical conditions that put people at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 to include additional disabilities, primary immunodeficiency, and physical inactivity.

CDC determines the level of risk of severe COVID-19 based on available information, such as published reports, scientific articles, and data from rigorous CDC-led investigations.

This list may not include every underlying medical condition that might increase a person’s risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. This list will be updated as CDC learns more about other medical conditions.

A person with a condition that is not listed may still be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 and should talk with their healthcare professional about how best to manage their condition and protect themselves from COVID-19. Learn more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html?ACSTrackingID=USCDC_2067-DM76440&ACSTrackingLabel=People%20with%20Certain%20Medical%20Conditions%20%20%7C%20COVID-19&deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM76440

Please visit these links for more information and Sullivan County specific data:

Visit the TDH webpage for statewide updates or the new Tennessee COVID-19 Information website.

Helpful Information

Helpful facts

  • There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a new coronavirus that hasn’t previously been seen in humans.
  • There is still more influenza and other respiratory illness circulating in our community than COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet):
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs by people in close contact.
  • For the vast majority, symptoms of COVID-19 are mild. Fever and respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, are some of the common symptoms. Other typical cold symptoms such as a runny nose and a sore throat are generally not associated with COVID-19.
  • Those who are not sick do not need to be seen by a medical provider or tested.
  • If you are sick, click here.

Local preparedness & response

SCRHD has implemented its Incident Command Structure (ICS) to support the COVID-19 preparedness and response effort. SCRHD senior leadership, all members of its epidemiology and emergency preparedness teams are responding. As with any public health investigation and response, additional SCRHD team members are being trained and can be activated when needed.

SCRHD is in daily communication with the Tennessee Department of Health. SCRHD is also communicating regularly with various state and local partners, such as hospitals, businesses, emergency management, schools, city and county leadership, among others.

In addition to responding to thousands of infectious disease cases annually, SCRHD’s epidemiologist and emergency response team also routinely prepare for public health threats and will continue to protect the health and safety of the people in Sullivan County.

Click for information regarding FEMA COVID-19 funeral assistance


SCRHD has launched a COVID-19 public information line. For more information feel free to call our hotline number at 423-279-2777. The information line will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

You may also call Ballad Health’s Nurse Connect at 833-822-5523 to be screened. This line is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call volume is expected to be high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time. People with concerns about their health should contact their health care provider.

In addition, the Tennessee Department of Health has a public information line, 877-857-2945, that is available 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST (10 a.m. – 10 p.m. central time), seven days a week.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Stop The Spread of Germs-CDC

Stop The Spread of Germs-CDC

COVID19-Facts about COVID-19 CDC

COVID19-Facts about COVID-19 CDC

COVID-19 Symptoms CDC

COVID-19 Symptoms CDC