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Hamilton County appreciates everyone’s comments and opinions over the last few months. After much consideration, we will be following Governor Lee’s order, as we have consistently, to start re-opening businesses through a phased process. That process, called “Tennessee Pledge,” is listed below.


As businesses reopen, we continue to request their implementation of social distancing practices of at least six feet and ask that 10 or more individuals are not in one area at the same time (*restaurants, please see Governor Lee’s guidelines specific to you). We also strongly recommend that employees continue to wear protective face masks.


If businesses cannot adhere to these guidelines, they must restructure their operations to ensure the safety of their employees and customers.

We continue to strongly advise individuals only to visit places they need to go and to practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently and covering their face when sneezing and coughing. High-risk groups are still encouraged to stay home. This includes citizens 65 years and older, as well as any individuals with underlying health conditions.


Please read Governor Lee’s “Tennessee Pledge” below, which highlights the guidelines issued for employers and businesses to follow until further notice.

We appreciate the continued cooperation of all residents during this time.


Frequently asked questions:

Q: When will businesses reopen?
A: All Hamilton County restaurants are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity beginning Monday, April 27th, 2020. All Hamilton County retail businesses are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity beginning Wednesday, April 29th, 2020. Please read Governor Lee’s guidelines below on how to operate these businesses properly upon reopening.

Q: What about other businesses, churches, playgrounds, etc.?

A: Hamilton County is mirroring Governor Lee’s “Tennessee Pledge,” which will be a phased process. The date to reopen businesses other than restaurant and retail, as well as churches, playgrounds and other services are currently being discussed; we will provide these dates once we receive them from the Governor’s office.

Q: If I work at a business that is not implementing safe practices to ensure the safety of all employees, what should I do?

A: Upon reopening, if your employer or the business you are visiting is not practicing within the recommended guidelines listed in the “Tennessee Pledge,” you may call the Hamilton County Health Department at (423) 209-8383, or the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration at (423) 634-6424.


Update May 20:

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced today that all restaurant, retail stores and large attractions throughout Hamilton County can expand their operations as of Friday, May 22nd with updated guidelines while still practicing social distancing.

The Hamilton County Health Department is ordering the expanded operations based on the authority delegated by Governor Bill Lee through the Tennessee Pledge. All restaurants, retail stores, non-contact attractions and venues including concert and performance venues, amusement and water parks, auditoriums, theaters and dinner theaters, zoos, large museums and more can also reopen safely under new Tennessee Pledge guidelines.

 Those guidelines for May 22nd can be found on the state of Tennessee's website at


List of Hamilton County Business Openings and Closures (updated 5/22/20)

Governor Lee Executive Order Number 38

Hamilton County released Guidance for Gathering Together in Houses of Worship in alignment with Governor Bill Lee Friday Afternoon

Governor Lee's Executive Orders explaining opening limitations

Governor Lee's Close Contact Business Guidelines

Read Governor Bill Lee's TN Pledge

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