City of Oak Ridge External Community Guidelines for Business, Restaurants and Public Facilities

POSTED: April 27, 2020

On March 12, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order #14 declaring a State of Emergency in Tennessee. The Oak Ridge City Council adopted a Mayoral Executive Order effective March 23, 2020. The Mayor’s Executive Order has been extended in seven (7) day increments since that time due to the Coronavirus.

On April 24, 2020, Governor Lee announced a “phased reopening” of the State’s economy in order to bring back industries and businesses, including retail, and restaurants. This first phased reopening applies to 89 counties, including Anderson and Roane County.

Restaurants will be allowed to reopen on April 27 with a limit of 50% normal capacity; retail stores will be allowed to reopen on April 29, also at 50% occupancy. More detail is provided below as a guide for business and retail.

Guidelines for Daily Business Activity – Maintaining Future Social Distancing

  • Minimize or eliminate the need for waiting rooms and lobby areas by using outdoor space or asking customers to remain in vehicles
  • Install protective barriers where a 6-foot separation is not possible to protect customers and employees
  • Sanitize common-use areas and amenities such as coffee pots, microwaves, refrigerators, restrooms, doors, computers and printers
  • Utilize online meeting services when practical to minimize social interaction
  • Utilize external space outside of business facilities to maintain social distancing requirements of 6 feet
  • Limit gathering to no more than 10 people and distance appropriately
  • Encourage online shopping and store-to-business delivery
  • Engage in telecommuting with employees when possible
  • Limit points of entry by public for better hygiene controls
  • Engage frequent cleaning and sanitizing

Planning for Restaurants and Facilities

  • Provide personal protective equipment for employees to handle food or merchandise
  • Face coverings and gloves are to be used by employees and customers are encouraged to use masks (except customers may remove face coverings while eating and drinking)
  • Establish social distancing of 6 feet between tables, chairs and individuals
  • Capacity (50%) is measured on number of tables prior to 3/1/20 and 6-foot distance is measured from chair back to chair back.  Capacity plan should not include bar area
  • Conduct sanitary cleaning of tables and chairs after each seating/turnover
  • Shared condiment containers shall be cleaned after each customer and single use condiment packets are encouraged
  • Restaurants with a bar may serve dine-in customers or as part of to-go orders.  Beer licenses by state law are for premises only and does not include areas outside of restaurants or patio facilities
  • Curbside pickup and delivery are encouraged as alternate options
  • No live music or dance floors (to avoid creating congregation of customers and employees)
  • No self-service buffets, salad bars, or self-service condiment or beverage stations that require the consumer to touch any part of the dispensing apparatus. No refills on self-service beverages.
  • Continuously screen incoming employees and customers for symptoms and use temperature checks before accessing facilities

Planning for Retail Stores and Facilities

  • Employees and customers should always wear face coverings inside stores
  • Develop shopping hours for aged and vulnerable populations
  • Continuously prompt customers to observe social distancing
  • Retail stores should use 50% of the defined store capacity limits exclusive for 3rd party vendor space. Call (865) 425-3524 with questions
  • Rearrange floor displays/racks to encourage one-way routing or greater separation of customers
  • Employees should frequently clean hands with sanitizer or soap

Remaining Regulated Public Facilities

  • Current Tennessee Executive Orders state that bars, salons, barbershops, theaters and gyms are not included in the above changes and will remain closed
  • Government buildings will remain closed to the public except for arranged visits and appointments
  • Public playground facilities will remain closed
  • Gatherings of more than 10 individuals are prohibited by Executive Order, except equivalents of the 50% capacity rule for restaurants