Based upon calls
and emails to TAUD, this Update has been prepared to bring you up to date
on issues related to COVID-19 for Tennessee utilities.
Electronic Board Meetings
On Friday, March 20, 2020, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order No.
16 which authorized the members of governing bodies of local governments
to participate in board meetings electronically through May 18, 2020. On
May 6, 2020, Governor Lee issued Executive Order No. 34 which extends
this authorization through June 30, 2020. The guidance for local
governments on the parameters and conditions for conducting electronic
board meetings remain the same which are described in TAUD COVID-19
Update – March 24, 2020: Conducting Utility Board Meetings with
Electronic Access. https://www.taud.org/Corona/UPDATE%20FROM%20TAUD%20ON%20THE%20COVID-19%20CRISIS_3-18-20.htm
Opening Up Utility Offices
The Governor’s Safer at Home order expired on April 30, 2020. The State
of Tennessee has issued guidelines on the re-opening of businesses using
a plan known as “Tennessee Pledge.” This plan has been adopted to help
Tennesseans return to work in a safe environment, restore their
livelihoods and reboot our state’s economy. The Tennessee Pledge has some
specific guidelines for certain businesses such as restaurants, retail
stores and close contact businesses (barbers shops, nail salons).
There are no specific guidelines for public utilities. However, there is
a set of guidelines for Office Buildings which would apply to the offices
of public utilities. You can find these guidelines for Office Buildings
on the Governor’s website at: https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery/office-guidelines.html
. These guidelines apply to all businesses, including those that are
reopening and those essential businesses that remained open during the
Safer at Home order. These guidelines in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.
The following counties have the flexibility to establish their own return
to work guidelines: Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and
Sullivan Counties. If your utility is located in one of these counties,
the utility needs to follow the local guidelines adopted by your county.