The Governor has issued Order No. 33 allowing for the reopening of close contact businesses at 12:01 a.m. on May 6, 2020. Included in the Order is a reminder of the Guidelines for Close Contact Businesses - which the Order states may be periodically updated.
Tennessee businesses can order no-touch thermometers by clicking this link. There is a purchase limit of ten per business and supplies are limited.
Additionally, the Governor announced the State will be giving free cloth masks to any Tennessean who wants one by distributing them to local health departments beginning this week. Additional information on the masks should be available soon.
For more information, visit our local COVID-19 Information Page.
Summary of Executive Order 33
The Governor's Office has released a document titled "Guidance for Gathering Together in Houses of Worship" available at this link.
A new document has been posted on the Governor's Tennessee Pledge site. Access Guidelines for Close Contact Businesses outlines guidance for "close contact personal services" that include "barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons or spas, spas providing body treatments, body-art facilities or tattoo services, tanning salons, and massage-therapy establishments or massage services." Based on reports from April 29, we expect the Governor may allow these businesses to open on May 6, but this has not been confirmed officially through an Executive Order as of 4/30 at 5 p.m.
Based on the Governor’s April 29 press conference, certain close-contact businesses will be provided guidance that will allow them to open on May 6 in Blount County. The Governor indicated more information will be available from the Economic Recovery Group by the end of this week. When we receive confirmation directly from the Governor’s Office of any new information or Orders that impact citizens and/or businesses within Blount County, we will do our best to pass that information along as soon as possible.
The information included in this Advisory is the most currently released information and subject to change as the Governor’s Orders develop.
As part of the 89 counties that follow the Governor’s "Tennessee Pledge" plan for reopening, the governments of Blount County, the cities of Maryville, Alcoa, Friendsville and Townsend, and the town of Louisville hope to educate the public on the Governor’s Orders and how they relate to our community compared to the six metro counties – including Knox. Knox County’s Plan, “A Community Strategy for Phased Reopening” can be found here.
We must continue to remain vigilant to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. As we know, it is a highly contagious virus and as we begin to participate in more normal activities, we also must continue to take measures to protect ourselves and others – especially those who are most vulnerable. This remains our individual responsibility to protect our families, friends, neighbors and loved ones.
As local government leaders, we are concerned about the confusion caused by how the Governor’s Orders are applied and communicated. As one of 89 counties that must follow the Governor’s Orders, we are subject to laws that are different to our neighboring Knox County which is one of the six metro counties allowed to provide their own plans.
The Attorney General provided an Opinion that explains the Governor’s authority in a public health emergency and the inability of local governments (89 counties) to override the Governor’s decisions. The opinion states, “Regardless of the choice that he might make, political subdivisions may not take any action that undermines the executive orders. Thus, a political subdivision may not take any action that is either more restrictive or less restrictive as to the subjects addressed in the orders. Such action would be at cross purposes with the orders and, therefore, constitute an impermissible legal conflict.” The entire document is available here.
Listed in the table below and on the official release is the current status of certain businesses as outlined by the Governor's Order. Earlier this evening, the Governor also released Order No. 31 which extends the prohibition of non-emergency dental procedures until May 6.
Governor Lee holds live press conferences daily at 4:00 p.m. EST.
To keep our community informed, this site has been established for the public to find contact information for local governments, schools and public facilities. News and information will also be distributed through our local media outlets.