Opening for Business: Knoxville, Knox County making plans for successful reopening

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knoxville and Knox County are still working on plans to reopen the economy even as Gov. Bill Lee issued guidelines Friday for most of Tennessee’s smaller counties.

Lee issued the first steps in what he calls the “Tennessee Pledge” at a news conference Friday morning.

A joint City/County Task Force convened by the Knox County Health Department said it is still working a local plan for some businesses to successfully open May 1.

Knox County will continue operating under Governor Bill Lee’s safer-at-home order through April 30.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs discusses COVID-19 on Thursday, April 9, 2020. (WATE)

“I had hoped we would be able to get people back to work before May 1, and as a former small business owner myself, I understand how stressful and frustrating this situation has been,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs.

“I still believe that government shouldn’t tell businesses when and how to operate,” Jacobs said, “but now that it has, we have a responsibility to work with the business community to carefully craft guidelines and communicate them directly and thoroughly to provide as much certainty and opportunity for success as we can in what remains a very fluid situation.”

RELATED: Knox County has 24 active coronavirus cases and 207 total cases

Knoxville County Mayor Indya Kincannon said “I am grateful for the many public health experts who analyzed local data and worked to develop a gradual plan to safely reopen local businesses.

Indya Kincannon

“It is important that we all continue to take the necessary safety precautions like physical distancing and wearing face masks. However, I am hopeful we can have healthy residents and a healthy economy. We will closely watch the health trends in our area and continue to carefully assess what is safe for our community.”

The city and county mayors plan to release more information at a 10 a.m. Monday press conference.

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