Lee signs executive order declaring state of emergency over coronavirus

Gov. Bill Lee delivers his second State of the State address in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee has signed an executive order to declare Tennessee under a state of emergency to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

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

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 14 declaring a state of emergency in Tennessee to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19.

“Today’s action will move us into position to utilize additional emergency funds as needed and relax provisions of certain laws to provide the flexibility needed to respond to this disease,” said Gov. Lee. “While the risk to the general public remains low, we encourage all Tennesseans to exercise caution and maintain good hygiene practices as there are serious risks to our vulnerable populations. We will continue to evaluate and adapt our position accordingly to fit what we believe is best for Tennesseans.”

Executive Order 14 declares a state of emergency to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19.  To achieve these goals, the order:

  • Implements the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan;
  • Permits health care professionals licensed in other states to provide health care services in Tennessee related to COVID-19;
  • Allows pharmacists to dispense an extra 30-day supply of maintenance prescriptions as needed in response to COVID-19;
  • Allows health care professionals to provide localized treatment to patients in temporary residences;
  • Expands testing sites for COVID-19;
  • Allows the construction of temporary health care structures in response to COVID-19;
  • Implements price gouging protections on medical and emergency supplies;
  • Suspends restrictions on vehicles transporting emergency supplies to areas affected by COVID-19;
  • Permits the waiver of certain regulations on childcare centers as needed to respond to the effect of COVID-19;
  • Authorizes TennCare policy changes to ensure that covered individuals receive medically necessary services without disruption; and
  • Directs coordination with health insurance plans to improve access to screening, testing, and treatment for COVID-19.

Vulnerable populations should stay home where possible and avoid large gatherings or locations where they are more likely to contact the virus. Vulnerable populations include older adults and adults with underlying conditions like diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illness. Non-essential visits to nursing homes and hospitals are strongly discouraged.

The full text of Executive Order No. 14 can be found here.

Up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Tennessee can be found here.

7 Responses to Lee signs executive order declaring state of emergency over coronavirus

  • Avatar
    John says:

    Where’s MarLe?

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Right here….not cowering in a corner. Back from 2 hrs at the germ infested big box gym. Think we should hang a sign at the borders: closed for business; all gone nuts. Italy btw was the first EU country to initiate (they may have been the only) a ban on China travel. That helped a lot, right?

    • Avatar
      Cottonelle was made for this... says:

      Where is the toilet paper?

  • Avatar
    David Collins says:

    it’s nice to have an elected official who does not deny reality and who possesses the wherewithal to act to protect the citizens whom he governs. Too bad there’s not one in Washington, D C.

  • Avatar
    Donna Locke says:

    One of my kids says their suburban Atlanta public school system has closed. Going to digital. Grandchild gonna miss a band competition.

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    Perhaps the bright spot in all of this is that we may just find that we can deliver education in a 21st Century way.

    College professors need not be in every branch campus of each of the 4,500 institutions of higher ed in America. Rather, we can hire talented, engaging faculty on all sides of the political spectrum (for a change) to be “teleported” into college classrooms around the country.

    Students, assembled in a classroom on campus or in their living rooms at home, being taught, live in real time, Psych 101 by one of the most talented presenters in his field who is either a progressive or a conservative ( your choice) instead of having it taught by whichever professor is willing to live in some small town in South Carolina, or Kentucky or wherever.

    More diversity of perspective (no longer skewed to liberal as was the case on the selective college campus where I worked for 16 years), fewer high priced faculty, convenience of seeing the lecture in real time or on delay or seeing it multiple times…..your choice

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