by Tyler Arnold
Tennessee issued new business guidance Wednesday that will end capacity restrictions for restaurants and retail shops and permit large noncontact attractions to open in 89 of the state’s 95 counties.
Attractions that now can reopen include amusement parks, zoos, large museums and theaters.
Although the state will allow any number of people to be in restaurants and businesses, it will maintain its social distancing guidelines. Restaurants still will be asked to keep tables 6 feet apart, and every business and attraction is urged to enforce social distancing. Restaurants also will be allowed to offer live music.
“Tennesseans have worked hard to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state, and their efforts have allowed us to continue to reopen our economy further,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “These guidelines share best practices to ensure our state’s businesses can continue to operate in a way that protects customers and employees while putting people back to work.”
Six counties – Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – have their own health departments are not subject to these guidelines and are reopening on their own schedules.
Democrats have criticized Lee for how quickly he’s reopening the economy.
Tennessee has had more than 18,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 305 deaths, according to the state department of health’s most-recent numbers. The country has more than 1.54 million positive cases and at least 93,518 deaths.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus. COVID-19 symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
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Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and Tennessee for The Center Square.