On Friday morning, Gov. Bill Lee and the state’s Economic Recovery Group announced guidelines to loosen restrictions on some types of businesses beginning next week. Those guidelines can be found online at https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery.html, with a printable version available for download.
Bedford County remains in line with the governor’s orders and is not proposing any more stringent measures. But Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham and Emergency Management Agency director Scott Johnson urge citizens to be sure they understand what is – and is not – covered by the new guidelines.
*Starting Monday, restaurants may reopen, but must limit diners to 50 percent of normal capacity. Retailers may reopen on Wednesday, with the same restriction.
*However, close-contact services like beauty salons and non-emergency dentistry will not be re-opened next week.
* Large group gatherings, activities and special events remain off the table for now.
“COVID-19 is still among us,” said Graham. “Gov. Lee, like so many officials nationwide, has attempted to balance the need for safety with the need to prevent permanent damage to our economy. That’s a delicate balance, and it will only work if we, as citizens, do our part by continuing to behave in a safe and responsible manner, for our own sake as well as for the safety of those who are most at risk from this disease.”
That includes observing social distancing requirements and wearing a mask whenever appropriate. Hands should be washed regularly, for an adequate time using soap and hot water.
COVID-19 testing is now available at Bedford County Health Department to anyone who wants it. In the earlier stages of the crisis, citizens had to be symptomatic or referred by a medical professional, but testing is now freely available. Bedford County Health Department is located at 140 Dover Street and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
For more information about COVID-19, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For information specific to Bedford County, call 931-735-6923 or go to https://www.asaferbedfordcountytn.org/.