Governor Bill Lee: COVID-19 Bulletin No. 25
Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19 relief. Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live this week Monday through Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT here. Gov. Lee has also established a website specific to COVID-19 updates which can be found here.
The Tennessee Pledge: Reopening Tennessee Responsibly
Gov. Bill Lee and the Economic Recovery Group issued first steps from the “Tennessee Pledge,” the state’s rollout of guidance and best practices for Tennessee businesses in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to keep employees and customers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first industries to receive guidance through the plan include the restaurant and retail industries.
Additionally, a comprehensive summary of this guidance can be downloaded here.
Gov. Lee and the Economic Recovery Group will provide specific guidance for additional Tennessee industries in the coming weeks. More information on the Tennessee Pledge is available here and more information on Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group is available here.
Executive Order 29
Executive Order 29 amends Executive Order 17 to reopen dining in restaurants beginning at 12:01 CDT Monday, April 27. Subject to the expectation that restaurants will operate within ERG Guidelines, on-site dining at restaurants will no longer be prohibited in Tennessee, unless a locally run county health department in Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby, or Sullivan Counties independently prohibits or otherwise regulates the opening, closing, or operation of restaurants within its respective county.
If a restaurant does not operate in a safe manner, or if health outcomes demonstrate that a particular business or industry sector is unable to be operated in a sufficiently safe manner, the Governor and/or other applicable state official(s) may issue additional orders concerning that business or industry.
Bars, nightclubs, and limited service restaurants shall continue to be closed to persons for the purposes of eating or drinking on-site. Take-out and delivery alcohol sales by restaurants remain permitted.
For the full text of the order click here.
Expanded Testing Continues This Weekend
Tennessee’s expanded COVID-19 testing continues this weekend, with the Department of Health and the Tennessee National Guard opening 18 additional drive-through sites across the state (April 25-26). We encourage every Tennessean who isn’t feeling well or has been in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19, to visit a free testing site in their community. This weekend’s pop-up locations are available here.
Tennessee Department of Health nurses and Tennessee National Guard medics will perform tests at these drive-through sites and results are projected to be delivered to participants within 72 hours of testing. In addition to drive-through testing sites, Tennesseans can get a test free of charge, five days a week at every rural county health department in the state.
On Saturday, Gov. Lee will travel to Memphis to visit a Tennessee National Guard drive-through testing site and tour an alternative care site.
Drive-through testing sites will also be available during the weekend of May 2-3. A full list of sites is available here, and additional information on Tennessee’s aggressive testing push is available here.
For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.