On Sunday, March 22, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced the “Safer at Home Order,” issued by the Medical Director pursuant to the Metro Public Health Department’s declaration of a Health Emergency. This order closes non-essential businesses and encourages residents throughout Davidson County (Tennessee) to stay home when possible and avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people for non-essential purposes. The Order does not restrict or limit any employer’s right to ask employees to work from home.

Until further notice, all businesses not performing essential services have been ordered closed for 14 days beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 23.

Essential Activities Remain Open

The following essential activities will remain open:

  • Federal and state offices and services, including post offices and airports.
  • Essential Nashville government functions including law enforcement, transportation and businesses that provide government programs and services.
  • Food and beverage, including grocery and beverage stores, farmers markets, food banks, catering, convenience stores selling food, agriculture, food processing, feed mills, and other businesses that directly support the food supply.
  • Healthcare, mental and behavioral health, and biomedical research and businesses that directly support the healthcare industry including health information technology, staffing and supplies.
  • Sanitation and waste removal businesses and services,
  • Energy, water and sewage businesses and services.
  • Pharmacies and medical supply businesses, and other businesses that directly support the drug and medical supply pipeline.
  • Vehicle fuel, support, service stations and related businesses,
  • Banks, savings and loans institutions, insurance companies, accounting businesses, and other businesses that directly support the insurance and financial services sector.
  • Legal and judicial services.
  • Laundromats, laundry and cleaning services.
  • Home and business repair and hardware supply.
  • Warehousing and storage.
  • Construction and facilities design businesses.
  • Product logistics, transport and distribution businesses.
  • Parcel transportation and delivery businesses.
  • Veterinary and pet supply businesses and services including agricultural services and the caring and feeding of all livestock and farm animals.
  • Home and business cleaning and maintenance services.
  • All businesses which rely upon deliveries may continue, including florists.
  • Internet and telecommunications systems, including the provision of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications and web-based services.
  • Print, online and broadcast media.
  • Certain other businesses and services of the Health Department, in coordination with Metro Legal and the Office of the Mayor, determined essential for the continued safety and security of Davidson County.

In addition:

  • Daycare and childcare business will remain open, but will prioritize children of parents working in essential services.
  • Hotels and commercial lodges will remain open, but must end entertainment or dining services in restaurants or group settings. Pick-up and room-service food services may continue.
  • Housing and rental services may continue, but agents should practice social distancing, hold no open houses or gather in groups larger than 10.
  • Essential services listed above may continue as long as appropriate distancing is physically possible and encouraged. These businesses will adhere to CDC guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene in the workplace, including encouraging work-from-home and allowing employees when possible to work on-site in shifts to optimize social distancing in the workplace.
  • All essential services, especially grocery stores and pharmacies, will make best efforts to establish hours when only available to senior citizens or otherwise vulnerable populations.

This Order does not apply to employees of government agencies working within the course and scope of their public service employment. Employees of Metro Nashville shall follow any current or future directives issued by the mayor.

Individuals may leave their residences to provide any services or goods or perform any work necessary to the operations, maintenance and manufacturing of essential infrastructure, including without limitation:

  • Construction of commercial and institutional buildings, and residential buildings and housing.
  • Airport operations, food supply, concessions and construction.
  • Water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil extraction and refining.
  • Roads, highways, public transportation and rail.
  • Solid waste collection and removal.
  • Flood control and watershed protection.
  • Internet and telecommunications systems, including the provision of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications and web-based services.
  • And manufacturing and distribution companies deemed essential to the supply chains of the above industries.

You may view the Order itself here.  Metro Nashville also has published a thorough Q & A on the Order.  We also anticipate further guidance from the City on the interpretation of the Order.

If you have questions or need assistance related to the Safer at Home Order, please contact the authors of this alert.