Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday the order for Tennesseans to remain at home will expire April 30.
In a release, Lee indicated that the majority of businesses in 89 counties would be allowed to re-open on May 1. His announcement said that his administration would work with Metro areas in Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties as they decide how and whether to re-open.
“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,” Lee said in the release. “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.”
The World Health Organization recommends that governments hold back from lifting restrictions until they are able to "detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact,” among other recommendations.
The counties excluded from his order are the six counties in the state with their own health departments, Lee said, but they also correlate with some of the state’s most significant concentrations of COVID-19 cases.
In Spring Hill, Mayor Rick Graham wrote that the city "will follow the governor's plan entirely," meaning businesses in the city ordered by Lee's administration to temporarily close such as bars and gyms are expected to begin a phased re-opening on May 1.
The city of Franklin is still currently developing guidelines for businesses to re-open within the city, and will soon submit those guidelines to the governor's task force. Mayor Ken Moore released the following statement on the city's plans Monday evening.
"Phased, smart and strategic is what the governor says and it will be safe for our citizens," reads a statement from Moore. "As we take these next steps, we will need to keep an eye on the number of cases and the risk of community spread, especially as it relates to our most vulnerable citizens."
Brentwood community relations director Deanna Lambert said that city leaders had made no concrete decisions yet as to how to handle its own re-opening, and that such decisions would be made after receiving more information from the governor's office.
"At this point, we're just waiting on the direction from the governor's office," Lambert said. "[Lee] had put together the task force to work on what re-opening would look like, so we're just waiting to hear that guidance either later this week or early next week."
Leadership in the town of Nolensville also said they were still considering how to re-open businesses in accordance with Lee's recent announcement, with Nolensville Mayor Jimmy Alexander releasing a statement Monday evening as well.
"I meet with all the mayors on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and will have some discussion with them on Wednesday as to the governor's statements today," Alexander wrote. "We will do what is best for our town."
Thompson's Station Mayor Corey Napier said that while the town "frankly never shut down," town leadership would continue to practice safety measures as to reduce the spread of COVID-19 even beyond May 1, but would act in accordance with Lee's announcement.
"I think we're in line with most everybody else in that we'll follow in with the governor's directions," Napier told the Home Page. "Thompson's Station's a smaller town in a variety of respects and limited number of businesses — frankly we never shut down. We stayed open, took care of the public's business, kept the parks open and just tried to make sure that we're living within the directions about social distancing and everything else we've talked about ad nauseam as a country."
This post will update with info on each city in Williamson County and their plans to re-open or continue with a stay at home order.