Hamilton County COVID-19 Restrictions On Businesses And Gatherings Lifted, Effective Immediately

In response to Governor Bill Lee lifting COVID-19-related restrictions on businesses and gatherings with state-run health departments on Tuesday, Hamilton County has given local businesses the greenlight to expand their operations and remove restrictions instituted earlier this year.

With the restrictions lifted, businesses no longer have to operate at half capacity.

However, in Hamilton County, social distancing guidelines and mask mandates are still in effect.

Mayor Coppinger will hold a news conference on October 6th regarding Hamilton County mask mandates, which currently remain in effect until October 8th.

Mike Dunne, Communications Manager on the Hamilton County Mayoral Staff, stated that businesses are still expected to comply with the Tennessee Pledge for operating safely.

Governor Lee stated, “We’re six months into this pandemic and Tennesseans know how to assess risk. They know how to operate safely and I have every confidence that they will do so.”

Governor Lee signed Executive Order 63 to lift the restrictions on only those counties with state-run health departments. This excluded Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison and Shelby counties which have locally-run health departments.

The Executive Order included the following provisions:

• Provide that persons with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay at home, and that employers may not require or allow employees with COVID-19 to work.

• Urge persons to wear a cloth face covering in places where in close proximity to others, while facilitating local decision-making concerning face covering requirements.

• Urge social distancing from those outside of your household, while eliminating caps on gathering size that have proven overly complex and arbitrary because they do not adequately account for critical considerations such as venue capacity and physical characteristics, type of activity involved, and location (indoors vs. outdoors), and thus undermine the more important focus on social distancing.

• Providing a framework for safe visitation for nursing home and long-term-care facilities.

• Allow for the reopening of senior centers, while providing that capacity must be limited to the extent necessary to accommodate adequate social distancing.

• Provide that employers, businesses, and venues are expected to comply with the Tennessee Pledge for operating safely (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments continue to have existing statutory authority to issue additional directives on businesses/venues).

• Continue access to take-out alcohol sales to encourage carryout and delivery orders.

• Allow broad access to telehealth services.

• Increase opportunities for people to easily join the healthcare workforce.

• Facilitate increased testing and health care capacity.

• Extend deadlines and suspend certain in-person continuing education, gathering, or inspection requirements to avoid unnecessary person-to-person contact

• Increase opportunities to work remotely where appropriate.

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