This story was updated at 1:23 p.m. on Oct. 6, 2020, with more information.
State and local government officials in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama have worked to amend the issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic over the last few months. The work includes the implementation of safety measures, such as Gov. Bill Lee's safer-at-home order, to current local efforts like Hamilton County's mask mandate.
Here are Tennessee guidelines and mandates in relation to the coronavirus:
- Tennessee released guidelines for faith communities on in-person gatherings following the state's reopening phase in May. The guidelines were compiled by the governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
- Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group released guidelines for restaurants at the end of May to allow a seating occupancy of 50% with tables spaced six feet apart.
- The Healthcare Facilities Board unanimously approved rules from the Department of Health that require nursing homes to test all residents and staff after the month of June. It also requires that all staff members be tested at least once every seven days.
- Lee signed an executive order on May 22 that increased the number of people who can participate in social and recreational activities from 10 to 50.
- The Tennessee Department of Education released the first document in June of a series of guidelines to reopening schools in the fall. The department will continue to post updates about reopening guidance as new information is available.
- Lee signed an executive order on July 3, granting mayors in 89 counties in the state of Tennessee with the authority to issue local face mask requirements.
- Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger issued a county-wide mandate on July 10, requiring masks or facial coverings be worn over the mouth and nose "at all times when indoors in all public and private buildings and when outdoors," through Sept. 8. On Sept. 8, Mayor Coppinger extended the mandate to Oct. 8.
- While law enforcement officials said they won't enforce mask mandate violations, the City of Chattanooga has dedicated two code enforcement officers to make sure businesses within the city are following proper protocols and requiring customers to wear masks.
- Lee signed an executive order on July 28 to allow contact sports to resume provided they follow requirements of TSSAA.
- In the executive order released on July 28, Lee announced the state of Tennessee's recommendations to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Lee signed executive order number 63 on Sept. 29, which lifts COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and other public gatherings. Lee also extended Tennessee's state of emergency order.
- Coppinger announced on Sept. 30 that the Hamilton County Health Department is ordering the removal of COVID-19 business restrictions in the Chattanooga area based on an executive order issued by Lee.
- Coppinger renewed the mask mandate for Hamilton County on Oct.6, extending the requirement through Nov. 22.
Here are Georgia guidelines and mandates in relation to the coronavirus:
- An emergency rule by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp allows workers to make up to $300 a week without the reduction of their weekly benefit, which allows employees that are working reduced hours to qualify for state and federal benefits.
- The Georgia Department of Education released Georgia's Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools in June, which is a guideline of recommendations for the return of the fall school year.
- Kemp signed an executive order on June 11, lifting statewide restrictions to include the reopening of bars, nightclubs, and indoor movie theaters. Public gatherings of more than 50 people are still prohibited unless there is six feet of distance in-between.
- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order on July 8, mandating the use of face masks throughout the city. Kemp followed by issuing a new executive order on July 15, overriding the local governments in Georgia that have issued face mask mandates.
- Kemp released film and TV guidelines for best practices to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and announced in June that motion picture companies plan to bring back and hire over 40,000 production workers over the next 18 months.
- The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved CEO Michael Thurmond's amendments to a mask ordinance commissioners passed on July 14. The ordinance rules that residents of DeKalb County must wear a mask in public or face a fine of $250.
- Kemp issued an executive order on July 31, extending Georgia's public health emergency once again, through Sept. 10.
- Kemp signed an executive order on Aug. 15, that allows local governments to enact mask requirements to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The executive order also continues to ban gatherings larger than 50 people if people are closer than 6 feet apart.
Here are Alabama guidelines and mandates in relation to the coronavirus:
- Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide mask mandate on July 15, requiring face masks in public places to try to slow the state's surge of new coronavirus cases.
- Ivey's Safer at Home order rules that all businesses can operate under social distancing guidelines and retail stores can operate at 50% occupancy.
- Under Ivey's Safer at Home order, schools can begin the process of reopening following sanitation and social distancing guidelines.