News & Insights
Apr 28, 2020
City officials in Shelby County, Knox County, Hamilton County, Sullivan County, and Madison County have announced their respective plans to begin a phased reopening of non-essential businesses. Davidson County previously released its Roadmap to Reopening plan on April 24. Pursuant to Governor Lee’s Executive Order 29, the remaining 89 counties in Tennessee are required to follow statewide guidelines outlined in the Tennessee Pledge.
On Monday, April 27, local leaders from Shelby County, the City of Memphis, and the six surrounding suburban municipalities released the Back-To-Business Framework, a phased, data-driven plan to reopen non-essential businesses. In order to progress through each phase of the Back-To-Business Framework, each municipality must show a positive trajectory in the following metrics:
Each phase of the reopening guidelines details general recommendations that correspond with a sector-specific framework, which may be found here. While Shelby County and the City of Memphis’ shelter-in-place directives are set to expire on May 5, an official reopening date for Phase One of the framework has not been announced.
Phase One includes the following recommendations:
Phase Two includes the following recommendations:
Phase Three includes the following recommendations:
In addition, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon recently announced that the Knoxville area will begin a gradual, phased reopening of businesses on Friday, May 1. Knoxville’s Community Strategy for a Phased Reopening requests that individuals adhere to five core initiatives throughout the reopening process, including practicing social distancing, wearing cloth face covering, practicing proper hand washing, sanitizing surfaces, and staying home when exhibiting symptoms. Each phase of the reopening plan will extend for a minimum of 28 days.
Phase One includes more detailed information regarding reopening measures, while Phase Two and Phase Three serve as a broad framework that will be enhanced through a collaborative process within the community. Businesses that may reopen on May 1, subject to stringent protocols, include, but are not limited to, the following:
For more information on industry specific reopening guidelines, please click here.
County officials in Hamilton County, Madison County, and Sullivan County announced their plans to mirror the statewide reopening guidelines outlined in Governor Lee’s Tennessee Pledge. In an opinion released on Monday, April 27, Tennessee Attorney General Hebert Slatery III confirmed that, "the Governor’s directives in response to an emergency supersede and preempt any action taken by political subdivisions of the State.” Requested by Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton, General Slatery’s opinion affirms previous conflict raised in recent weeks relative to city mayors’ plans to issue separate, more restrictive reopening guidelines than those released by their county government.
As Governor Lee’s executive order delegates the authority to issue reopening guidance at the county level for the six Tennessee counties which operate their own health departments, city mayors must collaborate with county officials on a unified plan. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke acknowledged Hamilton County’s authority to reopen this week in accordance with the Tennessee Pledge, stating, “Yesterday I learned that, despite public and private assurances otherwise, the city of Chattanooga would not be making its own decisions for the reopening of restaurants.”
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