Chester County Schools remain closed/ businesses start to reopen

To ensure that all school building facilities will be ready for school staff to soon return to work and students to return later in preparation for the 2020-21 school year, Chester County school facilities are undergoing an additional method of disinfecting called ‘ozone disinfection.

As Chester County residents continue to face the threat of the Coronavirus, three more cases have been confirmed, for a total of nine cases, since last week. One more person has recovered from the virus which means six out of nine Chester COVID-19 patients have recovered; 167 Chester County residents have been tested.
Governor Bill Lee has released many announcements concerning the coronavirus since last week.
Tennessee school districts received news from Lee on Wednesday, April 15, that he recommended that they remained closed for the remainder of this academic year.
“In order to keep every Tennessean safe during this pandemic, I am recommending that schools remain closed through the end of this year,” Lee said.
He stated that he is working with the Tennessee Department of Education and local leaders “to ensure there is flexibility for districts to complete critical year-end activities.”
In response to his announcement, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association announced that all remaining TSSAA events for the 2019-20 school year are cancelled. This includes spring sports and the postponed state basketball tournament.
Also on April 15, Lee announced free COVID-19 testing will be available for any Tennessean, regardless of traditional symptoms, as the Unified-Command group ramps up an aggressive effort to expand testing capacity across the state. The testing efforts will extend through the weekends of April 25-26 and May 2-3. A full list of testing sites can be accessed at
On Friday, April 17, Lee also put into place Executive Order 28 to amend Executive Order 15 and remove additional regulatory barriers to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19.
The order’s provisions include, among others:
Extending until October 1 the July 1 deadline for firefighters to obtain a medical examination making them eligible for certain employment-related cancer benefits;
Suspending the collaborating physician requirement for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide increased flexibility regarding where these professionals can provide health care services to facilitate the COVID-19 response;
Allowing nursing school graduates waiting to take the national nursing exam to go to work during the emergency under the supervision of a licensed nurse to boost health care resources;
Allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to write orders for home health services to address the increased need for such services;
Expanding the facilities in which autopsies may be performed to address the potential need for increased autopsies;
Allows medical laboratory personnel to work from home in reviewing data and reporting results;
Protects HIPAA information sent by the Department of Health to first responders and law enforcement personnel by making disclosure agreements the equivalent of an emergency order;
Extends the price gouging law for another 15-day period (the maximum allowed under law).
Feeling better about Tennessee’s current state with the coronavirus, Lee said that he will not extend the stay-at-home order past April 30. He saw this necessary for the state’s economy.
Additionally, he said that State Parks will start to open their gates back up this Friday, April 24.
During his press briefing, Lee stated the number of cases of those who have recovered exceed the number of active cases.
Most businesses in 89 of the 95 Tennessee counties will be able to resume business May 1, and some businesses will be able to start as early as April 27.
Most Chester County offices will reopen May 1 while following state, national and medical guidelines Chester County Mayor Barry Hutcherson said.
“With Governor Lee’s Announcement that the Safer at Home Order will expire April 30th, 2020, Chester County begins the reopening on May 1st. Most of our County offices and businesses will open according to specific guidelines that follow the State and National expert guidelines in both business and medicine; it is important that we remember social distancing rules during this time. We are in constant connection with the Governor’s office and the Economic Recovery Group in accordance to our County offices and businesses.”
Read “Henderson prepares to open” to get information regarding Henderson’s condition with the pandemic and how the city’s businesses and offices will reopen.
Continue to check the Chester County Independent Facebook page and website throughout the week for new COVID-19 updates.