Lee extends state of emergency until Aug. 29

Gov. Bill Lee speaks at a press conference on Tennessee’s coronavirus response in Nashville on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee is extending Tennessee’s state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic until Aug. 29.

Here’s the full release from the governor’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee today signed Executive Order No. 50 to extend the State of Emergency related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to August 29, 2020. The order allows the continued suspension of various laws and regulations and other measures in these orders to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19 through regulatory flexibility, promoting social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings, and protecting vulnerable populations. 

Gov. Lee also signed Executive Order Nos. 51 and 52, which extend provisions that allow for electronic government meetings subject to transparency safeguards and remote notarization and witnessing of documents, respectively, to August 29, 2020.

Executive Order No. 50

Executive Order No. 50 extends previous provisions that:

  • Urge Tennesseans to continue limiting activity and staying home where possible, as well as following health guidelines and maintaining social distancing;
  • Urge persons to wear a cloth face covering in places where in close proximity to others;
  • Urge employers to allow or require remote work/telework if possible;
  • Provide that persons with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay at home, and that employers may not require or allow employees with COVID-19 to work;
  • Limit social and recreational gatherings of 50 or more persons, unless adequate social distancing can be maintained (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments may issue different directives on gatherings)
    • This does not apply to places of worship, for which there are guidelines for safe operation of worship services and gatherings, though places of worship are urged to continue virtual or online services where possible;
    • This does not apply to weddings, funerals, and related events, but encourages postponement of large-gathering components of such events;
  • Limit contact sports with a requirement or substantial likelihood of routine close contact
    • This does not apply to collegiate or professional sports conducted under the rules or guidelines of their respective governing bodies and does not prohibit training or otherwise practicing the elements of such sports that do not involve close contact with persons;
  • Limit nursing home and long-term-care facility visitation, while providing a framework for safe, limited visitation set forth in Executive Order No. 49, and continue the closure of senior centers;
  • Provide that employers and businesses are expected to comply with the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group Guidelines (e.g., Tennessee Pledge) for operating safely, as well as general health guidelines from the CDC and other government entities (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments have authority to issue different directives on businesses/venues);
  • Provide that bars may only serve customers seated at appropriately spaced tables and must follow the Economic Recovery Group Guidelines (e.g., Tennessee Pledge) for restaurants (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments have authority to issue different directives on businesses/venues);
  • Urge persons and businesses to take special care to protect vulnerable populations, including by offering delivery or special shopping hours where possible;
  • Allow take-out and delivery alcohol sales by restaurants and limited-service restaurants to continue to encourage customers to utilize take-out or delivery options;
  • Allow broad access to telehealth services;
  • Increase opportunities for people to easily join the healthcare workforce;
  • Provide easier access to unemployment benefits;
  • Ensure supply chain protections;
  • Extend deadlines and suspend certain in-person continuing education or inspection requirements to avoid unnecessary person-to-person contact; and
  • Increase opportunities to work remotely where appropriate.

A more complete list of measures extended beyond June 30 to promote regulatory flexibility, facilitate social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings, and support supply chains and health care providers includes:

  • Health care licenses, certificates, and registrations are extended until August 31, 2020, and the number of health care professionals and facilities that are eligible for an extension is increased.
  • Degree holders in science fields can work as laboratory personnel under supervision. Allows more qualified graduates to work in medical laboratories.
  • Testing for COVID-19 can occur at more medical laboratory facilities. Allows for more widespread testing related to COVID-19.
  • Driver licenses and photo ID renewal deadlines are further extended. CDL license types remain extended until June 30, 2020; other types are extended until November 15, 2020. More people qualify for an extension.
  • Deadlines for payments to reinstate driver licenses are further extended. More people qualify for an extension.
  • Enhanced handgun carry permits are further extended through November 15, 2020. More people qualify for an extension.
  • Deadlines for persons with interlock ignition devices are further suspended. More people qualify for an extension.
  • Professional educational and training deadlines administered by the Department of Commerce and Insurance may be extended. The Department now has the authority to extend testing deadlines for regulated professions.
  • Activation of Tennessee Emergency Management Plan.
  • Out-of-state health care providers may practice in Tennessee.
  • Prescriptions available in 90-day supply.
  • Increased availability of home health services.
  • Notarization is not required for health care applications.
  • Retired medical professionals can easily reenter the health care workforce.
  • Continuing education requirements are suspended to allow health care professionals to receive such education through electronic means.
  • Laboratory inspections are suspended to allow for immediate COVID-19 testing.
  • Health care licensing inspections and investigations are suspended to increase resources available to fight COVID-19 and to protect public health.
  • Inspections of pain management clinics are suspended.
  • Inspections of health care facilities are suspended.
  • Inspections of medical laboratories are suspended.
  • Inspections of pharmaceutical facilities are suspended.
  • Inspections of veterinary facilities are suspended.
  • Live human patient examinations are suspended for dentistry applicants, and the Board of Dentistry may modify licensing procedures accordingly.
  • Memoranda of Understanding with the Department of Health to obtain confidential personal health information are enforceable emergency orders.
  • Nursing graduates may practice under supervision without examination.
  • Expanding locations for autopsies.
  • Pharmacists can process prescriptions remotely.
  • Each pharmacist can supervise more pharmacy technicians.
  • Medical laboratory directors can monitor facilities remotely.
  • Pre-license, post-degree mental or behavioral health professionals can provide telehealth services under supervision.
  • Medical laboratory personnel can work remotely.
  • Increased number of hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients.
  • Regulations of emergency medical services are suspended to increase services.
  • Temporary quarantine and isolation facilities may be constructed.
  • Size and weight transportation restrictions suspended for emergency supplies.
  • Transportation hours of service restrictions suspended for emergency supplies.
  • Certain criteria for unemployment benefits are suspended to ensure such benefits are available to COVID 19-affected employees.
  • Unemployment information from employers required more quickly to process benefits faster.
  • Child care licensure and assessment requirements are suspended to facilitate continued operation of child care facilities.
  • Examination cycle of financial institutions may be extended.
  • Deadline for TNInvestco annual audited financial statement reports extended until July 31, 2020.
  • Departments may extend deadlines to deposit state funds to protect state employees/customers.
  • Deadline for ethics filings is extended until July 15, 2020.
  • Deadlines for law enforcement training are extended.
  • Free copies of business entity filings available for those using them to seek state or federal disaster relief.
  • Board of Parole may modify procedures to protect public health.
  • Suspends temporary application of safety valve provisions resulting from the temporary decrease in TDOC prisoners.
  • Governor has discretion to utilize National Guard members in connection with TDOC operations if needed.
  • Motor vehicle dealers can record liens with the Secretary of State.
  • Administration of driving tests is suspended.
  • Issuance of REAL-ID is suspended.
  • Tennessee Corrections Institute transfer procedures are adjusted to respond to COVID-19.
  • Tennessee Corrections Institute may flexibly respond to COVID-19 issues.
  • Deadlines for building code and building plan inspections may be extended.
  • Notarization requirements for bonds and certain legal documents are suspended.
  • Deadline for firefighters to complete training may be extended.
  • Deadline for law enforcement and firefighter physical examinations is extended until October 1, 2020.
  • Deadline for peace officers to complete training may be suspended.
  • Annual meeting of the Tennessee Judicial Conference is suspended.
  • Time periods for completing securities registration requirements may be extended.
  • Remote shareholder meetings permitted under certain conditions.
  • Discretionary leave available for state employees affected by COVID-19.
  • Inspections of mental health and substance abuse facilities and services are suspended.
  • Telephone assessments for involuntary commitment cases are permitted.
  • TennCare policies adjusted to prevent coverage disruptions.
  • Limitations on emergency admissions to Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities facilities are suspended.
  • Medication administration certificates may be extended for Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities personnel.
  • Suspending requirements not feasible during COVID-19 pandemic to maintain service levels for persons supported by Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Health insurance carriers encouraged to take steps necessary to maximize access to COVID-19 treatment, screening, and testing.
  • Telemedicine access is expanded.
  • All licensed health care providers can practice telemedicine.
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation may conduct name-based background checks.
  • Deadline to remove expunged records is suspended.

Executive Order No. 51

Executive Order No. 16, as previously extended by Executive Order No. 34, which allows governing bodies to meet electronically regarding essential business as long as they provide electronic access to the public and meet the safeguards established in that order to ensure openness and transparency, is extended through August 29 to ensure that governmental entities are able to carry out essential business in a safe, transparent way without creating large gatherings in a confined space and endangering persons, particularly those at increased risk of suffering severe illness from COVID-19, while determinations of how best to return to safe, in-person governmental meetings remain ongoing.

Summary of Executive Order No. 52

Executive Order No. 26, as previously extended by Executive Order No. 37, which allows for remote notarization and witnessing of documents, subject to compliance with certain procedures, is extended through August 29 to ensure that persons, and particularly populations especially vulnerable to COVID-19, including older adults and persons with compromised immune systems or serious chronic medical conditions, can continue to engage in commerce and execute legal documents without requiring in-person contact.



32 Responses to Lee extends state of emergency until Aug. 29

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    So Lee’s latest order Urges mask-wearing. Nashville’s mayor Mandates mask wearing BUT has about a thousand ways around any enforcement (medical reason, exertion, religious events~ the medical reason cannot be questioned or inquired about)…..so basically a toothless missive better left unwritten.

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Covid is really taking its toll on the lives of Tennesseans and Americans. We must go back to staying at home

    • Avatar
      Cannoneer2 says:

      Shhh. Don’t stir up and upset the businesswhiners!

    • Avatar
      Karen Bracken says:

      It is not COVID. It is our bureaucrat we call Governor. He wants to play with the big boys and is taking down our state like so many other Governors. Follow the money. There is more federal money to states that drag out this FAKE pandemic. I wonder how many know that on March 19, 2020 the UK downgraded COVID to a yearly flu. Gee didn’t hear that on FOX or from Tucker Carlson now did ya??

  • Avatar
    STEVE CATES says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, Ms. Shaw. The proliferation of graduations, music concerts, extended family gatherings, large weddings, funeral home visitations, church as usual, etc., etc., etc. is frightening!

  • Avatar
    Cannoneer2 says:

    Gov. Milquetoast strikes again.

  • Avatar
    Gail McPeak says:

    WOW!!! It’s been over 30 minutes since this was released. Where are all the whiners?

  • Avatar
    Teddy says:

    I suppose demonstrators, rioters and terrorists are not included in this order. Are they still camping our on legislative plaza in violation of the state law?

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Death Rates have continued to fall since April 18.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Because we have stopped tossing everyone with a low blood oxygen level onto a ventilator aka Killing Machine. And we’ve stopped diverting sick covid patients from hospitals to recover in, of all places, nursing homes. Those 2 things combined have driven down rates. Once you stop overt measures destined to kill the death rates go down.

  • Avatar
    Karen Bracken says:

    Governor Lee is a coward. There was never any reason to shut TN down in the first place and there is no reason to keep us locked down. I WILL NOT WEAR A MASK NOR WILL I STAY HOME. He is carrying the water for someone that is for sure. There were NEVER enough cases in TN to shut down our state but when there is federal money involved we always do what gets us more of that money than what is really good for the people. Can you say refugee resettlement? Can you say Common Core?? Can you say vouchers?? Remember this people in 2022 when it is time to elect a new Governor. If Lee gets elected again then you will only have your own ignorance and complacency to blame.

    • Avatar
      LeeAnn C. says:

      Remember this in 2020 when Bill Lee’s campaign team is selling another candidate with only words to demonstrate conservatism. Never again vote for a candidate that has NO record, claims to be an outsider and a conservative.

      • Avatar
        John says:

        I’ll take no-record conservatives over liberal record RINOs. Sethi is better than a liberal Romney bundler named Francis Hagerty IV

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          John, you’re an embarrassment and you are aggravating Perry. Do you know what a liberal is and if you do what evidence do you have that Hagerty is a liberal? Romney has a Heritage score of 69%, does that make him a “liberal”? If so, what about Lamar at 51%, is he a “super liberal”? How about Chuck Schumer at 3%, a “super, duper liberal”? Then again, what about our own Diane Black who had a 78% score when she retired, was she some sort of “sub-liberal”?

          On the other hand, if you agree that Chairman Manny has “no-record” exactly what makes him a “conservative” rather than just a self-infatuated rich guy other than the allegations of Chuck Devaney’s expensive ads? John, you’re confused so you don’t quite have a handle on what you’re talking about. How about this for self-therapy, give up using the “L word” for thirty days because in your hands it’s embarrassing everyone on the right side of the political spectrum.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            And when John gives up the “L word” I will give up the “C word” as in “Chuck.” It’s “CHRIS” Devaney,

          • Avatar
            John says:

            You’re a shill for the Haslam family. A liberal in conservatives’ clothing.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Right you are John! You certainly found me out.

    • Avatar
      B Bullington says:

      Karen Bracken, you’re exactly right. Lee started showing his RHINO color not long after taking office and he hasn’t looked back. Early on he hosted a “Muslim Day On The Hill” and the publicity was huge.
      But when a Second Amendment group asked for their “Day On The Hill,” They were turned down for a multitude of reasons. Yet Lee is supposed to support The Second Amendment. Lee only supports what’s beneficial to him. Extending this state of emergency is rediculous. Like you, I will not comply!

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        OK, but Lee is in for another 6+ years. There’s nothing we can do about it. There is, however, something you can do about our next U. S. Senator. Chairman Manny is attempting to buy the seat with the SAME campaign team that allowed Lee to buy the governorship, using the SAME flim-flam “CONSERVATIVE-OUTSIDER” campaign, presenting the SAME political credentials (none). Now the question is will you allow your observations about Gov. Lee influence your vote in a few weeks in the U. S. Senate race?

      • Avatar
        Eddie White says:

        I have not heard anything about Lee hosting a Muslim Day on the Hill. I googled it and found nothing. Do you have a link for this?

  • Pingback: Tuesday, June 30

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    When is the Muslim Day? Why don’t they make these things public so we can also attend? Where do we find the schedules?

  • Avatar
    Benton Temple says:

    At this point Bill Lee is just a walking advertisement for mismanagement and missed opportunities. Is it too late to bring back Haslam?

  • Avatar
    Dr. Arnold Hopland says:

    Heavy handed ruling by left wing tiny tyrants are a fundamental deterrent to efficient return to economic prosperity. I am heartened to note most actions aimed at individuals in this state of emergency extension are recommendations rather than orders. The many relaxations of arbitrary deadlines and requirements of unelected bureaucrats help individuals and caretakers to continue their good work without fear of fines and censure. Bill is treading a fine line between absolute freedom from government intervention and tyrannical overreach. Support this good man who is making an honest effort to protect you and I and all others who may agree or disagree with particulars in this effort.

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    China has a new pig flu virus emerging that may also become a Pandemic. Best to keep all measures in place until it passes also. Good thinking, Governor!

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    n what is being called a win for school choice, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a ban on taxpayer funding for religious schools.

    In its 5-4 ruling, the court saved a Montana tax-credit scholarship program that provided residents with up to $150 in credit for donating to private scholarship organizations to help students pay for their choice of private schools.

    The state’s revenue department made a rule banning those scholarship funds from use at religious schools before the state supreme court shut down the entire program, provoking the legal battle that ultimately brought the case to the nation’s highest court.

    “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion.

  • Avatar
    Donna Locke says:

    My son-in-law in Atlanta has the virus. My daughter and their two children have been exposed. My daughter, like me, has A blood type, the one that fares the worst with this virus.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      If they are below the ages of 41 the chances for a bad outcome are very low. Just be sure to stay away from them for the recommended period of time and all should be well. Please keep us informed and best wishes to them.

      • Avatar
        Donna Locke says:

        Thanks for the good thoughts, Stuart. They are in their forties, older than 41. My son-in-law has been sick for several days and is closed off in part of their ranch house. He is a chef in an Atlanta restaurant.

  • Avatar
    JUDY R says:

    Before you get online and say something hateful about the mayor of your city, the governor of your state, the President of the United States, no matter how horrible evil or wicked you think they are maybe what you should do is drop to your knees and say a prayer for each of them no matter what political party they belong too. I’m not sure any of us would do any better leading this country and before you become an armchair quarterback maybe you should become an armchair prayer warrior?

  • Avatar
    Charles says:

    Someone please explain why churches may continue to hold services in person? No masks. What happens is that people from various areas gather. Some have the virus – may not know it. Then they return home to their various areas and the virus is spread. I don’t think that God is protecting any of them.

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    It makes no sense whether the exception is created by a Republican governor or a Democrat Mayor of Nashville. No sense whatsoever.

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