What To Know About Covid-19: City Launches Chatbot, Expands Its Online Information

As residents need easy-to-find authoritative facts on the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s happening locally, the City of Knoxville has launched a chatbot and also expanded its online information.

A chatbot is software that conducts a conversation and directs people – anytime, day or night – to accurate and dependable online information. The “bot” on the Coronavirus and COVID-19 allows a person to go to the City’s website, ask questions and get information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Knox County Health Department websites.

Go to www.knoxvilletn.gov and click on the blue button at the bottom of the screen. (Or go directly to the bot at www.knoxvilletn.gov/chat.) The automated bot will point you to the answers of the most often-asked questions and guide you to resources and more information.

Wanting to read the Knox County Health Department’s Safer at Home Order issued today? Select “Knox County Safer at Home Order.”

Looking for the latest updates on our health locally? Select the “Knox County COVID-19 Info” category, and the bot will provide you a summary of the local situation and provide a clickable link to the Knox County Health Department website.

Looking for basic information on how the Coronavirus spreads and ways to protect yourself? Make those selections, and the bot zeroes in on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On a desktop computer, the chatbot dialogue will pop up on the right side of your computer screen. On a mobile device or tablet, the chatbot will engage through text messaging.

The Knox County Health Department is the best local source for COVID-19 information, which is why the chatbot links to it. The local Health Department also has a COVID-19 public information line: Dial 865-215-5555 or 888-288-6022. The information line is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The chatbot also can direct conversation on a matter unrelated to COVID-19. There’s a separate set of answers to questions related to the 2020 U.S. Census.

Meanwhile, the City has expanded its website information related to closures and cancellations of events at City facilities. Visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/COVID19.

The webpage also includes information about today’s Health Department’s Safer at Home Order and links to additional information and resources.

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