Gov. Lee announces guidance for close contact businesses ahead of May 6 reopening in 89 counties


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Economic Recovery Group released guidance Thursday for close contact businesses in 89 counties who will be allowed to reopen for business on Wednesday, May 6.

Six counties including Davidson, Shelby, Madison, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan Counties will “create individual plans in consultation with their locally-run health departments.”

“As we continue a measured reopening of the economy, it’s critical we provide evidence-based guidance to businesses so they can keep their employees and customers safe,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “The very nature of close contact businesses calls for strong solutions and we’re inspired by the willingness of these small business owners to take the Tennessee Pledge. These guidelines will allow thousands of businesses to reopen, put their employees back to work, and serve customers in a thoughtful and safe manner.”

Close contact businesses such as barbershops, hair salons, waxing salons, nail spas, and massage therapy services will be allowed to reopen under recommended CDC guidelines including limiting the number of customers to 50% of fire code capacity; practicing social distancing between customers; appointment only services; physical modifications to accommodate social distancing including workstations 6-feet apart and physical barriers; prohibiting waiting areas, common areas, or serenity lounges; thorough workstation and equipment disinfection after each customer and utilization of single-use or disposable items; enhanced sanitation of commonly touched surfaces and equipment at least every two hours and when visibly soiled; discarding of single-use tools immediately after use; daily deep cleaning and sanitation of high-touch areas; appropriate temperatures for washers and dryers to ensure thorough sanitation; prohibiting non-customer companions to accompany customer during services; and no group or communal settings for close contact personal services such as couples’ massages, salt rooms, saunas, or pools.

According to the guidelines, services that require removing face coverings such as beard shaving/trimming, facials, etc. are not permitted during phase 1. Customers will be required to wear a cloth face covering at all times while in the premises not including N-95 or medical masks which should be reserved for healthcare workers. Customers will be screened for illness upon entry. Massage professionals may consider other precautions to avoid uncomfortable or dangerous positions for clients wearing face coverings.

Employees will be screened and temperature-checked before reporting to work, and are advised to increase hygiene practices like washing hands more frequently and changing protective garments regularly. Employees will be asked to wear a cloth face covering and perform disinfection of high-touch surface areas regularly.

For full guidance for close contact businesses, click here.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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