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Gov. Lee: 'Vast majority' of businesses in Tennessee allowed to reopen May 1

Gov. Bill Lee (Gov. Bill Lee Facebook page)
Gov. Bill Lee (Gov. Bill Lee Facebook page)
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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a news conference Monday he will not extend the state's Safer at Home order past April 30 meaning the "vast majority" of businesses in 89 of the 95 counties in Tennessee will be allowed to reopen May 1.

Citing slowing COVID-19 numbers, the governor said the economy cannot remain closed for an extended period of time. The number of new COVID-19 cases each day in Tennessee has remained flat for the past week and a half. Lee praised Tennesseans' social distancing efforts.

Restrictions will continue in Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties. Lee plans to work with those governments to reopen safely.

“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.. “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.”

“Our Economic Recovery Group is working with industry leaders around the clock so that some businesses can open as soon as Monday, April 27,” Lee said in a news release. “These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business.”

Most state parks plan to reopen Friday, April 24.

You can watch Gov. Lee's news conference below:

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