Sevier County, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Pittman Center and Sevierville Covid-19 updates

Press Release # State


www.mountaintough.org has been re-launched as a website for Sevier County residents to receive updated information regarding COVID-19.

The website has the following information:

  • Announcements concerning COVID-19

  • Unemployment and layoff information

  • SBA Grant information

  • Sevier County School System information

  • How to stay safe and how to do know if you need to be tested

  • Sevier County Health Department information Walter State Community College information

  • East Tennessee State University, Sevierville campus information

  • Press releases concerning COVID-19

  • A community resource directory

  • Links to public utility websites

The website will be updated as new information becomes available.

“We encourage all citizens and business owners to visit this site for the latest information on the COVID-19 situation”
said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters.
“This will be a great resource for our community. Working together, we will show resiliency to rise above this situation quickly and show everyone that we will always be, mountain tough.”

The site was originally developed to provide information and assistance to the citizens of Sevier County after the wildfires of 2016. Mayor Larry Waters, Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Ogle, Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster, Sevierville City Manager Russell Treadway and Pittman Center City Manager Michael Borders, along with the city mayors, authorized the Sevier County Economic Development Council to re-launch the site.

“This website, managed by IMEG, is designed to provide the most updated information and to point our citizens to the appropriate websites or agencies that will provide them assistance during this very difficult time,”
stated Allen Newton, Executive Director of the SCEDC.


Due to the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in Tennessee, the mayors and city managers of Sevier County, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Pittman Center, and Sevierville have requested the Tennessee Department of Health issue orders for restaurants and bars in Sevier County. The orders would include no more than 50% occupancy for in-building dining, closing bars, and following CDC guidelines for spacing.

Over the past several weeks, leaders from Sevier County and the cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Pittman Center, along with health experts and emergency responders, have been meeting frequently and communicating daily on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Individuals and local businesses must play a role in limiting the spread of the virus. The CDC and Tennessee Department of Health have directives and guidelines to help slow COVID-19. We encourage everyone to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of the public. The President’s Coronavirus Guidance for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread contains specific guidance for individuals. We implore our citizens to follow these guidelines.

After consulting with our legal advisors, it is not clear that the cities or county have the authority to close businesses at this time, during this stage of the public health crisis. However, we strongly advise that all of our businesses and citizens follow the advice of the CDC and the state of Tennessee.

In addition, the cities and county have been working to create a website with updated COVID-19 information. It should launch soon and contain updates regarding businesses, employees, unemployment, closings, and healthcare.

On Thursday, Sevier County was notified that it was approved for Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance due to the COVID-19 crisis. Please visit www.disasterloan.sba.gov

We urge everyone to be safe and to take necessary precautions. Thank you for working to keep our community healthy.

Message from Mayor Waters:

Sevier County and our sister cities continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak. Local, state and federal health experts, government leaders, and emergency responders continue to meet and work together to have the latest information and to be prepared.

I want everyone to be safe and urge you to take necessary precautions to help slow this disease including washing your hands frequently with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you feel ill, stay at home. Please call your healthcare provider if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

But please, do not allow fear to set in. There is no need to hoard food or medical supplies. In fact, that can be harmful to our community; it can deprive necessary supplies to those who need it.

Please visit www.cdc.gov for up-to-date information. For local notifications, you can visit our social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter.

Sevier County is a resilient community. Together, we will get through this trying time. Thank you.

- Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters