Limited capacity restriction to be lifted for restaurants, retail in most counties

Avo restaurant
Posted at 3:01 PM, May 15, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee restaurants and retail businesses will no longer have to operate at a limited capacity on or after May 22.

The state Economic Recovery Group made the announcement Friday. The capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail will be lifted and business owners will be instructed to instead focus on social distancing practices instead.

It will come as good news to most areas of the state, but not all of them. Six counties are still operating under restrictions designated their own county health departments. They include: Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan

Officials stated in a press release that the updated guidelines come as Tennessee continues to meet the White House state criteria for phased reopening, which includes the following:

  • Symptoms
    • Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period; AND
    • Downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic (CLI) cases reported within a 14-day period
  • Cases
    • Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period; OR
    • Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests)
  • Hospitals
    • Treat all patients without crisis care; AND
    • Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing