Our Response to COVID-19
What is Impacted
- Restroom facilities, large-group pavilions and playgrounds at TVA’s developed recreation areas are closed (portajohns are available at Chickamauga, South Holston, Boone, and Guntersville)
- TVA visitors’ centers at dam reservations remain closed
- Non-mission critical visitors to TVA facilities are prohibited (business-related delivery personnel are permitted)
- TVA personnel in administrative and support roles are working remotely and non-mission-critical travel is restricted.
- Some TVA operational facilities are supported by reduced staff but additional employees remain available for urgent needs
What is NOT Impacted
- Reliable electricity
- River management, flood control and navigation
- Select special project work, including the Boone Dam repair and projects with regulatory deadlines
- General access to the majority of TVA’s developed recreation areas, TVA trails and undeveloped lands
- Managed campgrounds at TVA’s dam reservations on Cherokee, Douglas (headwater and tailwater), Melton Hill, Pickwick and Watauga
- TVA lakes remain open
- Scheduled recreational flows on the Ocoee River to support commercial whitewater rafting and kayaking
We encourage all visitors to TVA public lands and water to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 public health guidelines for physical distancing and cloth mask use.
Q. What is TVA doing during the pandemic?
A. Our priority is protecting employee and public health as we continue to provide reliable energy and other critical services to the region. We have implemented and are following our agency response plan and staying in touch with the CDC, other federal and state agencies, and local power companies and communities to ensure coordination.
Q. Will my power stay on during this period?
A. Yes, TVA employees are working hard to keep energy flowing to the region around the clock. Employees in some jobs are teleworking and others are onsite at locations across the Tennessee Valley to supply energy and manage the Tennessee River system. We have plans in place to ensure those vital missions continue.
Q. Will my power get turned off if I’m unable to pay my bill?
A. In our role as regulator, TVA is working with all 154 local power companies who provide electric power to nearly 10 million people across seven states. We are offering support and flexibility to ensure they are in the best position possible to address local conditions and the concerns of their members and customers. Please reach out directly to your local power company to determine what programs are available that may provide assistance during this difficult time.
Q. Will my bill go up because I’m home all day?
A. The cost of power isn’t changing because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The biggest factor in your energy bill is how much energy you use, and being home more could change your energy use. Raising your thermostat by as little as one or two degrees in warm weather (and lowering it by one or two degrees in the winter) will help keep your bill lower than it would be otherwise. TVA power rates are among the lowest in the nation, and we encourage people to make their homes and businesses as energy efficient as they can, so their bills aren’t higher than necessary. TVA and many local power companies offer programs to help consumers use energy wisely. See www.energyright.com for information and energy-saving tips.
Q. Are TVA lakes and recreation areas open?
A. Yes, TVA's lakes remain open and the majority of our developed recreation areas and nearly 290,000 acres of other public lands. However, unique times call for unique measures to protect you, your family and other residents using our facilities. Know that all public restrooms are closed along with playgrounds, visitor centers and large group pavilions, so plan accordingly. Just like other locations, maintain the proper social/physical distancing and avoid any group of 10 or more people.
Three TVA recreation areas remain closed or partially closed due to repair and maintenance activities unrelated to COVID-19:
- Kentucky Dam West Bank Road (walk-in access to fishing areas is still permitted)
- Pickwick (boat ramp and one campground loop are open)
TVA-managed campgrounds at Cherokee, Douglas, Melton Hill, Pickwick (one loop) and Watauga dams are also open. We’ve also restarted scheduled recreational flows on the Ocoee River. All should follow state park rules and guidance regarding COVID-19 precautions.
Q. Can I still go out on TVA public land?
A. Yes! However, we encourage you to maintain the appropriate physical distancing and avoid large groups. Also, follow the guidance provided the Leave No Trace environmental education program. Remember, all public restrooms are closed along with all beach areas, visitor centers and large group pavilions, so plan accordingly
Q. What do I do about reservations at TVA’s managed campgrounds?
A. If you have reservations after May 15, those are still available and you can contact the campground with any additional questions. If you had reservations for camping prior to May 15, please contact the campground where you have reservations directly. They will be able to assist you with securing a refund or providing instruction regarding rebooking your reservation later in the year. The following is a link to the Recreation Resource Management: https://camprrm.com/parks/, which includes site-specific contact information. If you have further questions please feel free to contact us through our Public Land Information Center at 1-800-882-5263.
Health & Safety
Q. Did TVA have a plan for this type of event?
A. Like all utilities, TVA has extensive plans in place for dealing with any type of event that could interfere with our mission of service. That does include infectious diseases, like COVID-19. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been carefully monitoring how the COVID-19 outbreak has been developing and adjusting our plans to be ready for this specific issue. We will continue to adapt our plans to be ready for whatever the future may bring us.
Q. What is TVA doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
A. Our overriding priority is the health and safety of our employees and the public. We remain focused on efforts to help slow the spread of disease and prevent major impacts to the vital services we provide. We are following CDC recommendations and working to be consistent with local health organization requirements in localized high outbreak areas.
As part of our company-wide response plan, we are taking a number of actions. These include encouraging employees with potential symptoms to stay home, increase physical distancing through telework for administrative and support personnel, restricting access to our facilities and implementing health checks for employees reporting to work, eliminating all but mission-critical travel and discouraging group gatherings through virtual meetings.
We have also closed some of our recreation areas to help slow the spread of the virus.
Q. Are TVA employees still traveling around the Valley?
A. All TVA travel is restricted to critical business functions only, and we are encouraging employees to avoid unnecessary personal travel. We encourage our employees to use phone or video conferencing to meet instead of traveling.
Q. Will any of these practices change if the spread of COVID-19 increases?
A. We are closely following COVID-19 levels, and we will continue to follow the guidance from the CDC and take actions in line with CDC guidelines and our company-wide response plan. This includes necessary precautions to keep our employees and the public safe. Throughout this situation, you have our commitment that we will do everything we can to continue supplying reliable, low-cost energy for the nearly 10 million people we serve, while protecting employee and public health and safety.
Q. Will there be a delay if I have a scheduled delivery to make to TVA? Any special requirements for suppliers or contractors?
A. Please see the TVA Coronavirus Update on our Supplier Connection web page for the latest information about Coronavirus impact on suppliers and contractors. If you have a specific question about your particular contract, please contact your TVA contract manager.
Q. What happens if TVA crews were working on my property?
A. To help protect the health of our own team members, as well as the public, we are delaying work on many non-mission-critical jobs, including right-of-way vegetation maintenance and routine transmission line maintenance and construction. Crews are expected to leave each work area in a safe condition, but full restoration of the property may be delayed until after the current COVID-19 outbreak has eased. We apologize for this inconvenience but will return to finish our work as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the TVA Transmission Right of Way team at email@example.com or (844) 812-2626.
Q. Is work on the Boone Dam Project continuing?
A. Yes, our project work is continuing at Boone Dam. The safety of our workers and the public continue to be our top priorities. We are keeping workers safe by maintaining social distancing, deep cleaning and practicing good hygiene. Those workers not directly involved in construction are teleworking. As of April 6, about 100 of the 307 pilings that will form the underground cutoff wall are complete and more are under construction.
Q. Will TVA still be conducting public comment periods on various issues?
A. Yes, we will continue to use the NEPA process while making decisions, and we count on public input. Draft and Final Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements will continue to be posted on our website. Our public comment process will remain in place as well. We encourage your engagement in this process and appreciate your input. If you have questions about our process, each document on the website includes our contact information.
Q. What are the symptoms associated with COVID-19?
A. Common signs of infection are a combination of fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. To learn more and stay current with the latest COVID-19 guidance, visit one of these special websites developed by the federal government:
- https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus (Spanish: https://www.usa.gov/espanol/coronavirus)
Q. What precautions are recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
A. Recommendations in the CDC guidelines include social distancing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, hand hygiene, routine cleaning of surfaces, and avoiding exposure to those who are ill. To learn more and stay current with the latest COVID-19 guidance, visit one of these special websites developed by the federal government:
How TVA’s Helping
The current Coronavirus outbreak asks the best of us—that we do what we can to make life better in the Tennessee Valley even under these difficult conditions. We’re going above and beyond our commitment to keep the lights on, Here’s how.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a landing page on CDC.gov with the latest information from the CDC and the overarching medical community on COVID-19. The page provides information on how COVID-19 spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, stigma, what to do if you are sick and frequently asked questions. See https://www.coronavirus.gov.
Energy Saving Tips
Here are some tips to save power and money as these challenging times change how and where we use electricity:
Reduce the strain on your HVAC system – your home’s largest energy user – by adjusting your thermostat to 78°F for cooling, and 68°F for heating.
Lower your water heater temperature. By setting the temperature to 120°F, you reduce the energy needed to heat the water.
Turn lights and electronics off when not in use. TVs can use up to six times more energy than a light bulb, so turning them off will help you save energy.
Unplug your electronic devices and chargers when not in use. Many electronics consume energy even when they are switched off – unplugging ensures you are not wasting energy.
Run full loads in the dishwasher and the washing machine whenever possible - the amount of energy used is the same regardless of how full they are. Air dry your clothes and dishes to save even more.
Fire up the grill or use a microwave to cook your food. Conventional ovens use more energy and create excess heat in the kitchen, which can be uncomfortable during warmer weather.
Click here to learn more about how to save energy around your home.
Remember to turn off all lights, even those in display cases. If you won’t return for an extended period, you may want to turn off breakers for outdoor lights controlled by photocells (ambient light sensors).
Adjust thermostats to 85°F during warmer months and set fans to “Auto.” It is very important to not turn off the AC, as that can lead to higher humidity inside your facility and mold. If you have specialized equipment and the building will be empty, you can close fresh air dampers to save more energy.
Unplug non-essential equipment. Consider removing all food and defrosting and unplugging refrigerators and freezers.
Close blinds and drapes to reduce cooling expenses.
If you have any leaky faucets, urinals or water closets, shut off the water supply and repair when the facility reopens.
Click here to learn more about how to prepare your business for reduced occupancy or temporary closure during COVID-19.