Governor Bill Lee announced the order for Tennesseans to remain at home will expire April 30, with the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties allowed to re-open on May 1.
“Our Economic Recovery Group is working with industry leaders around the clock so that some businesses can open as soon as Monday, April 27,” said Gov. Lee. “These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business.”
The Lee Administration will work with Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties and their health departments as they plan their own re-open strategies.
“While I am not extending the safer at home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible,” said Lee. “Social distancing works, and as we open up our economy it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it.”
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, as of April 21, there have been 7,394 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tennessee with 187 cases in Wilson County. In total, 760 have been hospitalized and 3,828 have recovered, and 108,182 have been tested.
The Economic Recovery Group (ERG), composed of 30 leaders from the public and private sector, is crafting guidance to assist businesses in a safe reopening. The industry representatives participating in the ERG collectively represent over 140,000 Tennessee businesses that employ over 2.5M Tennesseans.
The ERG is a joint effort between state departments, members of the legislature and leaders from the private sector to build guidance to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy.
“COVID-19 has not only created a public health crisis, it has hurt thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of hardworking Tennesseans,” said Gov. Lee. “As we work to safely open Tennessee’s economy, this group will provide guidance to industries across the state on the best ways to get Tennesseans back to work.”
The group is led by Tennessee Department of Tourism Development Commissioner Mark Ezell.
“This public-private partnership will prioritize connection, collaboration, and communication across industries, the medical community and state government” said Ezell. “We’re grateful to these leaders for serving at a critical time in our state’s history.”
Sammie Arnold will serve as the chief of staff for the Economic Recovery Group. Arnold currently serves as the Assistant Commissioner of Rural Development at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.