Mayor Jim Coppinger says Hamilton County will start reopening process

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced some businesses could start opening as soon as Monday with the majority of businesses opening by the end of the month.

“It is our firm intent that by May first, the end of next week, the vast majority of closed businesses in 89 Tennessee counties will be allowed to reopen. These businesses will open according to specific guidelines and guidance that will be provided by state and national experts, in both business and in medicine,” says Governor Bill Lee.

Shortly after the announcement on Monday, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, stated the city will not be following in line with Governor Lee’s plan.

“The governor’s order today does not apply to Hamilton county, in fact what he has consistently said is that he knows that these big four cities need to figure out what’s right for them,” says Mayor Andy Berke.

On Tuesday, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced the county will move along in the reopening process despite Mayor Berke’s announcement.

“We feel like Hamilton County is able and will reopen on May the first and I sincerely hope that our municipalities will do so as well,” says Mayor Jim Coppinger.

Mayor Coppinger says there is no conflict between him and Mayor Berke, both the city and county will end up at the same place in the end.

Officials want to remind people that the reopening of the county will continue in phases.

“No one should expect that on May first everything is just going to go back to normal. We are going to go through this in phases. What we hope to see and what we’re going to see is going to be some restrictions when you do open. Some of the requirements will hold a lot of emphasis on social distancing,”says Mayor Coppinger.

Coppinger says if they see a spike in the virus numbers, he will reverse his decision.

Categories: Business, Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News

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