KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee’s Safer At Home Order is on track to expire in less than two weeks, on April 30th.
Governor Bill Lee said Monday it is almost time to start letting more businesses reopen. Lee says the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties will be allowed to reopen on May 1, some even as early as next Monday.
But those businesses will have to follow guidance provided by the state. The six Tennessee counties that have their own health departments, which does include Knox County, will design their own reopening strategies with the help of the governor’s administration.
“I’m very excited about it. I look forward to having people back in the gym,” said Maxed Out Gym’s Ryan Carson.
The gym hasn’t seen people working out inside for almost a month, amid state orders to temporarily close. But owner Ryan Carson is now making plans to open back up, after Monday’s announcement from Gov. Lee.
“This week I’ll be contacting members. We are changing our layout to where we can have more social distancing,” Carson said.
Extra safety measures are also on the mind of Kara Koontz, of Bombshells Salon Knox.
“We’ll totally redo our floor plan to really spread out 6 feet between stations. We’re going to mark every other shampoo bowl to where you won’t be beside someone,” said Koontz.
The Lee administration will be working with Knox County and the Health Department as they plan their reopen strategy.
“It’s great news, I can’t wait for folks to start getting back to work,” said Knox County mayor Glenn Jacobs. “We’re planning on going along according with the state guidelines.”
“We’re excited to hear that news today, of course we’re excited to get reopened and get back to doing what we love. However I do feel a huge sense of responsibility for when we reopen that we’re just very responsible as we reopen,” said Koontz.
However, not everyone is rallying behind the order expiration announcement.
Representative Gloria Johnson shared her thoughts.
“I’m not in support of it because it only allows us like seven days to develop a plan, and I don’t think we’re at the place in numbers. We should be talking about it, because I think it takes longer than seven days to develop a true, statewide strategy,” she said.