Gov. Lee’s Safer at Home Executive Order officially expired at the end of April, and close contact businesses, gyms, restaurants, as well as retail entities across Tennessee have officially begun opening back up with an emphasis on safety. Hospitals have also resumed elective surgical procedures and dental offices are seeing patients again.
Tennessee is one of the first states to reopen, and we are continuing to work with all sectors of our local and statewide economies to reopen as quickly and as safely as we can, so we can succeed in our economic recovery. As a member of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group, my colleagues and I have worked together with industry leaders in recent weeks to develop recommendations and guidance that will support all businesses as they reopen so they continue operating in the best interests of both their employees and customers.
Recently, we asked all those reopening to take the Tennessee Pledge. This plan was developed by the Economic Recovery Group, and it offers industry specific guidance that aligns with recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to support the creation of safe environments for all. The overall goal is to help Tennessee businesses responsibly and successfully reopen so we can begin restoring livelihoods.
Tennessee Pledge encourages safeguards for businesses, employees and consumers like limiting reopening capacities, utilizing face masks and gloves, and temperature checks and other screenings for Covid-19 symptoms. Additional recommendations made through the Tennessee Pledge include thorough workplace cleaning and disinfection, modifying operating schedules and allowing some employees to continue working from home wherever appropriate, as well as social distancing and good hygiene practices. Tennessee Pledge also reminds businesses to inform covered employees about their options related to paid sick, expanded family, and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Because of the sacrifices we have made and those we continue to make, more and more restrictions are now being eased. This includes those on our larger attractions like amusement parks, theaters, and museums, which are now all ready to safely reopen. At the same time, we must continue doing our part to slow the spread of Covid-19, and to preserve our health system capacity, while also protecting our most vulnerable. Taking the appropriate precautions and following these suggestions and others from the CDC will help restore consumer confidence and ultimately, rebuild our economy.
Brighter days are ahead of us, and I know our nation and Tennessee will come back stronger than before Covid-19 first arrived on our shores and within our borders. May God continue to bless all of us, our families and this great state!
William Lamberth is the House Majority Leader for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. He is also a member of the House Finance, House Government Operations, and House Calendar & Rules Committees, as well as the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Lamberth lives in Portland and represents Tennessee House District 44, which includes part of Sumner County.