Governor Lee: TN ‘Safer at Home’ order to expire April 30, phased reopening next week

Coronavirus
Bill Lee

FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee answers questions concerning the state’s response to the coronavirus during a news conference in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee abortion providers are asking a federal judge to order that abortions can go forward despite an executive order from Gov. Lee aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Their lawyers argue in a motion filed on Monday, April 13, 2020, that Lee’s order blocking “nonemergency healthcare procedures” should not apply to abortions. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Governor Bill Lee announced Monday that the ‘Safer at Home’ order will expire on Thursday, April 30 and the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties will be allowed to reopen on Friday, May 1.

“Our Economic Recovery Group is working with industry leaders around the clock so that some businesses can open as soon as Monday, April 27,” said Gov. Lee. “These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business.”

The Lee Administration will work with Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties and their health departments as they plan their own re-open strategies.

“While I am not extending the safer at home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible,” said Lee. “Social distancing works, and as we open up our economy it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) made the statement below following Governor Lee’s announcement today:

“Since the emergence of COVID-19 in this state, Governor Lee has been flexible and data-focused. Due to the Safer at Home order, the curve is flattening and damage to the public health has been minimized. We are testing more Tennesseans than ever and that will continue. We are now well-prepared for a cautious reopening and economic reboot. Our state has consistently balanced the health of our people with the health of our economy. That remains the case today as we prepare to reestablish Tennessee’s strong and structurally sound economy.”

Governor Lee said he is advising state parks to reopen by this Friday ‘so Tennesseans can start enjoying the outdoors.’

“For the good of our state, social distancing must continue but our economic shutdown cannot,” said Governor Lee.

This is a breaking story and will be updated. Stay tuned to News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

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