April 24, 2020
For immediate release
Johnson City aligns with state reopening plans; cancels fireworks, summer programs
In concert with the “Tennessee Pledge” announced today by Gov. Bill Lee, the City of Johnson City will modify its Safer at Home Order to allow restaurants and retail outlets to begin operating at 50 percent capacity next week.
“We recognize the importance of getting our economy moving again and the most important thing is to do so safely,” said City Manager Pete Peterson. “We will be taking the ‘dimmer switch’ approach, as the state describes it - easing back in with strict guidelines in place. There is no such thing as business as usual. Our new normal is going to look different, with safety precautions in place for the foreseeable future."
Peterson noted that the state's Safer at Home Order remains in effect until April 30 with the only changes being the restaurant and retail allowances. The City's order will be renewed with the same modifications and for the same timeframe.
Currently, gatherings of more than 10 remain prohibited. Without knowing when large group activities will be permissible and safe, the City and Pepsi Bottling Co. have decided to cancel this year’s Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at Freedom Hall Civic Center.
“Planning for an event of that magnitude takes months and unfortunately there are too many unknowns to do so right now,” Peterson said. “Likewise, we are making some tough decisions regarding Parks and Recreation programming as well.”
Summer camps, events, and sports programs have been canceled and pavilion rentals are suspended until further notice. Additionally, the Legion Street Pool will not open this summer.
The City will follow guidance from the state as reopening continues. Please visit www.johnsoncitytn.org/COVID-19 for information. Businesses are encouraged to visit www.RegionAhead.com for information. The City also has established a Safer at Home "hotline" email for questions: SaferAtHome@johnsoncitytn.org.
For more information on Gov. Lee’s Tennessee Pledge, please visit https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery.html.