Reopening Tennessee: Bowling alleys, putt putt among businesses allowed to reopen May 8

Coronavirus

Officials say prison-testing campaign will show a bump in COVID-19 numbers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said the state’s economic recovery group will be issuing guidance Wednesday for small group recreation outfits to reopen on Friday.

Small group recreational outfits include places like bowling alleys and putt putt facilities, Lee said, adding that business owners should expect guidance on operations for those facilities this week.

Other state businesses should be on the lookout for additional guidelines for operation, he said, including businesses that have already receieved the green light for opening back up.

Lee also announced that dentist offices may resume practice next week. He said the Board of Dentistry has opted to use the American Dental Association Guidelines to guide practicing dentists through reopening their offices beginning tomorrow.

Those guidelines include implementing a pre-appointment screening process to test patients for COVID-19, preparation for reception areas and strategies for staff members to use.

In other news, Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey reported less than 1% increase of COVID-19 cases since yesterday.

She cautioned that the number doesn’t indicate a trend, and reminded listeners that results of the widespread testing of the states prison population will begin coming in tomorrow.

“We expect our case numbers to go up because of that,” she said. “That doesn’t cause us alarm.”

So far, almost 2,000 inmates and staff at state prison facilities have tested positive for COVID-19. Piercey said that 98% of them were asymptomatic, which she said is a trend being recorded across the country.

She said experts aren’t sure why people in prison populations appear to be more likely to be asymptomatic when exposed to the novel coronavirus.

You can watch the entire briefing on our WJHL Facebook page below.

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