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Kingsport closes most facilities; KATS makes some changes

Matthew Lane • Mar 18, 2020 at 8:00 PM

KINGSPORT — The city is closing a number of buildings and facilities — effective Thursday afternoon — in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The decision comes from City Manager Chris McCartt and follows the recommendation of the CDC and the Sullivan County Regional Health Department. The closures take place Thursday at 5 p.m. and will remain in effect until further notice. Additionally, all rentals of city facilities are suspended until at least April 3.

All city programs, classes and events were suspended indefinitely on Monday. At this time, all other city offices, including city hall, remain open. City officials are reminding and encouraging residents they can make payments online.

Here’s a list of the buildings and facilities affected by the decision:

FACILITY LIST

— Allandale Mansion and all associated facilities. The park and grounds will remain open.

— Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium: All park buildings (Nature Center, herpetarium) will be closed, but the park itself will remain open to the public. The Nature Center bathrooms, accessible from outside the building, will remain open.

— Civic Auditorium: Closing at 5:00 p.m. with the exception of essential public meetings for city commissions.

— Kingsport Aquatic Center: Closed until further notice.

— Kingsport Carousel: Closed Wednesday at noon.

— Kingsport Farmers Market: The market will delay its opening until May 2.

— Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts: All programs and classes are suspended.

— Kingsport Public Library: The library will close to the public. Due dates on materials currently in possession will be extended, and late fees will not apply. Holds and donations will not be available during the closure. Visit kingsportlibrary.org for access to digital resources at any time, including e-books, audiobooks and other virtual programs.

— Kingsport Parks and Recreation: All of Kingsport’s parks and on-site bathrooms will remain open to the public, but all programming including athletics is suspended. The Lynn View Community Center and the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex will close. Ballfields, including Brickyard and Domtar Park, will also close.

— Kingsport Senior Center: Closed Wednesday at noon.

— Renaissance Center: Closed Wednesday at noon.

— Sports facilities: Eastman Park at Horse Creek complex and Lynn View Community Center athletic fields are closed until further notice. The walking track will remain open.

RENTAL RECOMMENDATIONS

If you have rented a city facility between now and April 3, please contact the facility. As of March 17, the CDC recommends that for the next 15 days, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events of 10 or more people; and for the next eight weeks, that they cancel events of 50 or more people. If anyone who has already booked a rental has questions or wishes to cancel, please reach out to the facility directly.

For up-to-date information on the city’s response to COVID-19, visit kingsporttn.gov.

CHANGES TO KATS

The Kingsport Area Transit Service (KATS) implemented some operational changes on Wednesday in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to provide additional vehicle sanitation, KATS will stop fixed-route service for one hour between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. KATS will also begin limiting the number of passengers in transit vehicles to no more than 10 at one time.

Depending on federal, state, and local guidance, additional service changes could be necessary. For more information, visit kingsporttransit.org.

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