SEVIERVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Health has added another number for people to call when they are trying to register for COVID-19 vaccinations.

The new hotline, which can be reached at 866-442-5301, should help relieve staff at the health department who were working to field calls from people seeking to register for the vaccine, said Cory Gouge, spokesperson for the Sevier County Health Department.

Staff there can take reservation information directly, and can help callers navigate the state’s registration website.

“They would be happy to help anyone who is having trouble with the website,” Gouge said.

The hotline takes calls for extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The health department’s reservation line, which can be reached by calling 865-453-1032, takes calls from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Some readers of The Mountain Press have said they’ve had trouble reaching the health department line.

Gouge said staff there have been taking as many calls as they can.

“Folks are likely having a hard time getting through because all our lines are busy getting other people registered,” Gouge said.

The health department still has a supply of vaccine and has been getting shipments from the state, she said.

“We’ve never run out of vaccine,” she said. “We’re just getting more steady shipments of vaccine.”

The vaccine is available in Tennessee to anyone over the age of 75, as well as health care professionals, first responders and mortuary employees.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths related to COVID-19 in Sevier County rose by six Thursday, reaching a total of 116 since the pandemic started.

The Tennessee Department of Health also reported four new hospitalizations related to the virus.

The number of active cases in the county remained the same as the previous day, at 761.

There were 64 positive tests out of 266 tests returned Thursday, for a positivity rate of 24.8%.

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress

Contact Jeff at jfarrell@themountainpress.com or Twitter at @jeffmtnpress