City and County Leaders Outline a Local Business Reopening Plan Posted: 04/27/2020

Knox County and the City of Knoxville will begin a gradual, phased-in reopening of businesses Friday, May 1, 2020. The collaborative plan emerged after extensive work from a joint City / County Task Force convened by the Knox County Health Department.

Dr. Martha Buchanan, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon unveiled the plan during a news conference in the Main Assembly room of the City / County Building Monday morning.

The plan highlights the fact that the community will not be immediately returning to a pre-pandemic “normal”, but instead outlines a 3 phase approach to reopening. Each phase will last a minimum of 28 days.

This plan also emphasizes 5 core actions all individuals are being asked to adhere to throughout the reopening process:

• Practice Physical Distancing
• Wear Cloth Face Coverings
• Practice Proper Handwashing
• Clean / Sanitize Surfaces
• Stay Home if Sick

Phase one of the three-part plan, which goes into effect Friday, May 1, 2020, will allow most businesses to open with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

The list includes, but is not limited to:

• Daycares
• Restaurants
• Salons
• Spas
• Retail Stores
• Gyms
• Places of Worship

Each business has specific, stringent protocols to follow that can be found in the official plan document: A Community Strategy for Phased Reopening [PDF].

The full plan also includes benchmarks that will be evaluated throughout each phase, a collaborative community process to help determine business protocols in future phases and a certificate program to recognize businesses that have successfully taken the safety measures spelled out by the task force.

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