Mayors working on plans to reopen businesses

Knox County will continue operating under Governor Bill Lee’s Safer at Home Order through April 30. The joint City/County Task Force—convened by the Knox County Health Department—has advised Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon that it is still working on a local plan to ensure some area businesses can successfully open on Friday, May 1.

Mayor Jacobs and Mayor Kincannon provided the following statements Friday.

“I had hoped we would be able to get people back to work before May 1, and as a former small business owner myself, I understand how stressful and frustrating this situation has been,” said Mayor Jacobs. “I still believe that government shouldn’t tell businesses when and how to operate, but now that it has, we have a responsibility to work with the business community to carefully craft guidelines and communicate them directly and thoroughly to provide as much certainty and opportunity for success as we can in what remains a very fluid situation.”

Mayor Kincannon said: “I am grateful for the many public health experts who analyzed local data and worked to develop a gradual plan to safely reopen local businesses. It is important that we all continue to take the necessary safety precautions like physical distancing and wearing face masks. However, I am hopeful we can have healthy residents and a healthy economy. We will closely watch the health trends in our area and continue to carefully assess what is safe for our community.”

No further comments will be made regarding plans for reopening or guidelines for businesses until 10 a.m. on Monday, April 27 when the two mayors host a joint press conference in the City/County Building Main Assembly Room.