The Tennessee Department of Health on Thursday reported 369 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total to 10,735 since tracking began in March. Just two of those new cases were in Northeast Tennessee.
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, said Northeast Tennessee is “beginning to see some sunshine” in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“I believe by June 1 we are going to feel pretty good about going out and doing things," Roe told reporters on a conference call Thursday.
With Gov. Bill Lee deciding to gradually reopen segments of Tennessee’s economy, Roe thinks the area is “slowly climbing out” of the COVID-19 shutdown.
Restaurants throughout the region have opened their doors and welcomed customers and other businesses are figuring out what works for them as we move forward.
The Mall at Johnson City will reopen Monday, May 4, with new codes of conduct in place. While individual tenants will have the final say in how and when they open and for how long, the facility will be open to the public from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday. To see more about the new guidelines and rules, visit our website and search for the Mall Opening article.
Closures, postponements, and cancellations continue to be announced - Kingsport’s FunFest, the area’s largest summer festival, canceled their plans for 2020, this year’s TriPride Festival decided to postpone, and even the Little League World Series, a mainstay for the past 74 years, has been called off because of the pandemic.
With changes being announced daily, and updates needing depth and understanding as we move forward, please make the time to check in with the Johnson City Press for more information along the way.
In non-virus related news, our area’s sports landscape took a heavy blow yesterday as East Tennessee State University’s head basketball coach Steve Forbes took the same position at Wake Forest University. He will be replacing the fired Danny Manning, who was reportedly making $3 million a year coaching the ACC school.
“When you get a chance to be a head coach in the most historic basketball league in the country, I just couldn’t pass that up,” Forbes said Thursday evening.
Forbes was 130-43 at ETSU, and his teams won two Southern Conference tournament championships. This year, the Bucs finished with a program-best 30-4 record, but didn’t get to play in the NCAA Tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many prognosticators had the Bucs going deep into the tournament.
Forbes hopes ETSU will hire Jason Shay, his loyal assistant throughout the five years at ETSU, as his replacement. Shay and Forbes have worked 12 years together, going back to their days as assistants on Bruce Pearl’s staff at Tennessee.