Lee calls on schools around Tennessee to shut down for rest of month

Gov. Bill Lee welcomes delegates to a summit on economically distressed counties in Linden on Aug. 13, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee is calling on schools around the state to close for the rest of the month to help stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic:

As the response to COVID-19 evolves, I urge every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible, with all schools expected to close by Friday, March 20, 2020 at the latest. Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31. Superintendents and local leadership have the full support of my administration to determine effective dates for closure this week as they evaluate what is best for families within their respective districts. We understand the tremendous burden school closure places on families and we will continue to work with both the federal government and school districts to ensure we continue essential supports like meals for students in need. Every Tennessean has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and I urge Tennesseans to be quick to help neighbors as new needs surface with the closure of schools.

Lee is scheduled to begin holding daily media briefings on the state’s handling of the coronavirus crisis on Monday afternoon. Reporters attending the press conferences will have to undergo coronavirus symptom and temperature checks prior to entering the room.

12 Responses to Lee calls on schools around Tennessee to shut down for rest of month

  • MARLE says:

    I heard time and time again that school breakfasts and lunches were being provided, not as an alternative welfare program (remember when Clinton ended “welfare as we know it”) but because “Children cannot learn on an empty stomach”.

    So when you’re not in school………. we will, and should, continue this welfare program because children need nourishment having nothing to do with classroom learning.

    Why can’t we just sell and deliver on a concept or a program without the lies.

  • John Stewart says:

    Governor Lee should get on the phone and call Rep. Tim Burchett of the 2nd Congressional District and demand that he support forthcoming legislation focused on the medical and economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Burchett was one of 40 representatives that voted against the emergency bill passed last Friday by a bipartisan vote of 363-40. We cannot abide this head-in-the-sand attitude on future emergency measures that surely will now come before Congress. Schools, children, businesses large and small, the aged, hospitals, working families are all certain to face medical and economic crises in the immediate future. All will be looking to the Federal government for critical help. Governors, like Bill Lee, will be counting on the Feds to help them through this crisis. Why can’t Tim Burchett understand these obvious realities? What will it take?

    • James White says:

      “federal government, save us save us” is what I see. The federal government is limited by the constitution (and Rightly so) as to what it can and cannot do. At least it is supposed to be.
      Get a grip.

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    He can’t demand anything of a federal legislator

  • James White says:
  • Paul says:

    While it does appear that cases in China are subsiding, the story in the US should not be inferred to somehow be related. We’ve come late to the party on testing and management and are not taking the massively enforced (not suggested or hoped for) approach that China took. It’s not clear if US citizens would stand for that model, given the blase attitude that’s out there among certain groups. For example, while states are taking action, weirdly the federal government is not following it’s own CDC’s advice and is staffing most offices as normal (large numbers of folks in cubes in close proximity, etc). Similarly, we continue to see the “it’s just the flu, if a few thousand folks die, that’s normal stuff and OK” mentality in certain quarters. In the US, rates continue to rise is the bottom line, so China and the US are nowhere the same at this point Likewise, the fallout has been devastating to China’s economy and reopening some Apple stores is not exactly a great barometer of that. It could be fine here in a month or not; who knows.

    That said, if your point is “things are better in China”, they do seem to be.

    • MARLE says:

      There is No year in recent history that 10’s of thousands (primarily the elderly for whom even vaccines are only about 25% effective) did not Die of the annual flu.

      You seem to be saying (actually are saying) that to prevent deaths we should distance ourselves in the recommended way which would mean no airline flights, live events etc. Really? You should have spoken up years ago before so many perished.

  • Donna Locke says:

    As warm weather takes hold in April or May, the virus will retreat, but something to remember is that the virus, like other coronaviruses, is probably here to stay and will circle back seasonally now.

  • MARLE says:

    The virus that killed 70 Thousand in 2018 was not new but re-emerged. So if keeping Granddady and Nana free of contagion from a killer virus is the goal and what we are doing now is working better than doing less (and it is) then shutting down the economy in the peak 4 months of every flu season makes sense to those who embrace the concept that nothing else matters but health and safety.

    • MARLE says:

      Here, in fact, is the exact quote from Surgeon General Jerome Adams:

      At the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House on Saturday, Adams explained how the tactic could help prevent the most at-risk groups, older people and those with underlying conditions, from contracting the disease.

      “Social distancing and mitigation — they’re not to protect the 30-year-old or the 20-year-old from getting coronavirus. They’re to protect your nana. They’re to protect your granddaddy. They’re to protect the people you love in your lives — and we need your help,” he said.

  • James White says:

    Perhaps the best thing for the children is to Keep the Communist School system closed. Give the education of the children back to the parents.

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