SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Sevier County businesses attended a meeting in Pigeon Forge Monday. A meeting to talk about the COVID-19 situation and the nearly 300% rise in cases in the county.
There’s been a big spike since tourism reopened. Monday’s meeting was a reminder of the Tennessee Pledge.
Inside The LeConte Center, a closed meeting to the media brought business owners together with county leaders. Business owners who attended say health leaders encouraged them to use the CDC’s protocols to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Sevier County Health Department recommends:
Employees should avoid work if symptomatic
Screen employees Temperature Daily
Staff should wear face coverings
Employees should increase hygiene practices
Long lines of people and few wearing masks are seen at most attractions in Pigeon Forge in the last few weeks. Only a handful of businesses make masks a requirement for both guests and employees.
“As an owner, I believe everyone should be wearing masks,” said Mary Kellogg-Joslyn. She is with the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. “We realized we wanted to follow the CDC guidelines. That is requiring masks, not only to protect our crew but to protect our guests. So it was a mandatory decision and everybody agreed that we should go with masks.”
Kellogg-Joslyn says everyone who walks through the doors must have a mask. She says they’ve had only a few people pushing back about the masks, and it was a mutual decision with her management team.
“We haven’t had any push back, and I think that’s because we’ve been communicating with our guests because reservations are required. So during that time, they are informed that masks are required,” she said.
A spokesperson for Pigeon Forge says the meeting was closed because they wanted business owners to speak candidly to leaders about problems, issues, and questions.