NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 30 Tuesday, which outlines the state's recommendations for returning to work safely.
Many Tennesseans are hoping to get back to work while staying safe since there is still no vaccine or cure for COVID-19. Even though "normal" is still a very distant idea, state officials are hoping these recommended guidelines will give people some sense of normalcy.
However, the order only applies to 89 counties. Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan County are run by county health departments, meaning they are excluded from the state's following recommendations.
Everyone is encouraged to wear a cloth face covering anywhere they are in close proximity to others, especially where social distancing is difficult.
Tennesseans are allowed to return to work in all industries that can safely be done while following health guidelines. However, workers were encouraged to work from home as much as possible if their industry/job allows.
Businesses that reopen are expected to comply with the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group (ERG) and CDC guidelines for operating safely. Those with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay at home, and employers may not require or allow employees with COVID-19 to work.
Social gatherings should be limited to less than ten people which includes but is not limited to festivals, fairs, parades, youth and adult sporting events, and overnight summer youth camps. However, it does not apply to religious services, weddings or funerals.
The order states, "Nothing in this order mandates closure of a place of worship, or prohibits weddings or funerals as a matter of law. However, places of worship are strongly encouraged to continue to utilize virtual or online services and gatherings...It is strongly encouraged that the public celebration component of weddings and funerals be postponed or attended only by close family members."
The order is set to expire May 29, but Lee said continued development of the guidelines could cause the order to be amended.
Not all businesses have been given the green light to reopen. Certain businesses including personal care facilities must remain closed. The list includes
- Barber shops
- Hair salons
- Waxing salons
- Threading salons
- Nail salons or spas
- Spas providing body treatments
- Body art facilities or tattoo shops
- Tanning salons
- Massage therapy establishments
Bars, night clubs and live performance venues will remain temporarily shuttered, too, but to-go and delivery alcohol sales will continue to be allowed. The following venues will remain closed:
- Bowling alleys
- Concert venues
- Sporting venues
- Theaters, auditoriums and the like
- Indoor children's play areas
- Adult entertainment venues
- Amusement parks
- Senior centers
- Roller or ice skating rinks
This order supersedes and repeals several of Gov. Lee's orders that were issued during this time of crisis, (Executive Order Nos. 17, 21, 22, 23, 27, and 29) except for Executive Order No. 25 which prohibits dental and medical procedures; so that personal protective equipment can be preserved for health care workers responding to COVID-19. That order remains in place until april 30.