‘Limit travel to Tennessee,’ Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear asks

Friday and Saturday during his daily news briefing, Gov. Beshear asked Kentuckians to avoid unnecessary travel to Tennessee. 

Beshears says state leaders have failed to enact strict social distancing guidelines. Kentuckians can still go to Tennessee for work, to take care of a loved one or even buy groceries if it is closer, Beshear said. 

He warned against crossing the Tennessee state line to partake in activities that have been limited or were limited earlier in Kentucky. Beshear says traveling to states that may not have the same restrictions or orders in place as Kentucky could endanger many lives.

“If you simply drive over the border to another state and have all the contacts we’re trying to stop, you frustrate the sacrifice of those in your community,” he said.

Beshear said the state needs everybody to be at their best in the coming weeks to stop the spread of the virus and keep their neighbors safe.

RELATED: Real-time updates: Gov. Beshear confirms 45 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky

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NC County closed at Tennessee state line

As of Friday, Graham County in North Carolina is currently prohibiting traffic from entering the county. 

Graham County is attached to Cherohala Skyway SR 165 in Monroe County, which is now closed at the Tennessee and North Carolina state line, according to a press release. 

Officials said the following decisions and guidelines were also made:  

1. Cherohala Skyway NC 143 at the Graham County line will close at 5:00 pm on Friday, March 27, 2020. 

This closure will be a barricaded closure with no checkpoint. The Tennessee DOT is working cooperatively with Graham County and has the Tennessee side marked for the road closure to advise all traffic coming through Tellico Plains and on the Skyway, of the closure.

2. We will advise of the final date and timing of the closure of Hwy. 129 and NC 28 at Deal’s Gap, NC 28 at Tsali, and US 129N at Topton as soon as more information becomes available. Officials said they are working out details with local and State officials on final timing.

3. Go to http://www.grahamcounty.org to continue to apply for entry permits. Due to extremely high volumes we are processing them as quickly as possible. Permits have been processed and will be emailed out as soon as practicable tomorrow, officials said. 

4. Public comments may be directed to public@grahamcounty.org.

5. Persons with either a Robbinsville, Almond or Topton address may pass through checkpoints, when opened, with their driver licenses only.

Motorists on US 129 in Blount County can enter North Carolina in Swain County, but again will be stopped at the Graham County line.

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