MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett and City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts rolled out plans Thursday for the phased reopening of commercial activity in Clarksville-Montgomery County.
Phase 1 of the plan is expected to take effect Friday, May 1, when businesses that are able to complete an extensive permitting process will be allowed to open. Businesses eligible to apply for Phase 1 permits include restaurants, retail shops, and personal services businesses such as barbers, hairstylists, and nail salons. Full details for businesses will be released Monday, April 27.
In another important element of Phase 1, businesses that were deemed essential and remained open through the stay-at-home era will be required to obtain a permit, increase their safety measures and allow less traffic in their stores.
“I want to make sure we’re doing it right,” Clarksville Mayor, Joe Pitts said. “We’re prepared to throttle back pretty quickly if our trends don’t continue to improve.”
The mayors met extensively in recent days with their chiefs of staff, local public health officials, City and County attorneys and representatives from Fort Campbell to develop a plan to move the community beyond the stay-at-home orders put in place last month to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t want to open everybody up then close everyone down 10 days later,” Clarksville-Montgomery County Mayor, Jim Durrett said. “So lets do it in a phased approach– everybody do what were asking them to do and the sooner everybody starts following that path, the sooner we’ll be back how we used to be”
Mayor Pitts said reopening decisions were being guided by rigorous study of daily testing data.
The decision to restore some activity in Phase 1 is based on the national standard of a downward trend of reported, documented COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period.
Statisticians at Austin Peay State University and local public health officials are analyzing local testing data and providing a daily chart, which shows the rate of positive tests for novel coronavirus compared to all such tests being conducted in the community.
“We are well-aware that Gov. Lee’s stay-at-home order will be ending on April 30 and have been diligently working out a plan for Phase 1 of our reopening,” Mayor Durrett said. “It’s fully possible that some of our operating requirements will be more restrictive than the state’s order.”
On Monday, April 27, Montgomery County and the City of Clarksville will issue new Emergency and Executive Orders that will legally define the terms of the reopening.
With the new regulations in place, businesses will get several days — from Tuesday, April 28 to Thursday, April 30 — to apply online for permits to reopen. Some may choose to wait so the application process will remain open.
The online permit process will spell out in detail what businesses must do to obtain operating permits. On Friday, May 1 businesses that meet the Safe Operating Restrictions outlined in the Emergency and Executive Orders will be able to reopen.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.