Governor Lee issues new executive order

Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 6:26 PM EDT
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Governor Lee announced he is issuing a new executive order that "supersedes and repeals" previous orders and will go into effect Wednesday, April 29 through May 29.

According to a release, "The order allows Tennesseans and businesses to return to work in all industries where that can be safely accomplished by following health guidelines, while urging employers to allow or require remote work/telework if possible."

Under the order, residents "are urged to continue limiting activity and staying home as much as possible to preserve and build on the health progress we’ve made."

The order said that all businesses that choose to reopen are "expected to comply with the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group (ERG) Guidelines for operating safely, as well as general health guidelines from the CDC and other government entities."

Social and recreational gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited, including but not limited to festivals, fairs, parades, youth and adult sporting events, and overnight summer youth camps.

The governor added that it "does not cover places of worship" which will have other guidelines, but it does "strongly encourage" places of worship continue to hold services virtually when possible.

Under the order, weddings and funerals are not prohibited but it does encourage "postponement of large-gathering components of such events."

"Entertainment and recreational gathering venues must remain closed to the public for now, including, but not limited to, bars, night clubs, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, concert and sporting event venues, theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, racetracks, indoor children’s play areas, adult entertainment venues, amusement parks, senior centers, and skating rinks."

Salons are to remain closed, too, and other "close-contact" personal services such as, barber shops, salons, nail salons, spas, body-art/tattoo services, tanning salons and massage facilities.

The execute order also mandates that nursing homes and similar facilities must remain closed to visitors "except for critical assistance and in end-of-life situations."

People with "COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay at home, and employers may not require or allow employees with COVID-19 to work," the release said.

In public, people are "urged" to wear cloth masks "especially where social distancing is difficult."

While restaurants are reopening for dining-in, the order allows such businesses to "encourage customers to utilize take-out or delivery options."

You can read the full order


Lee said that, for the 89 counties without a locally-run health department, "this order supersedes any contrary orders or measures, meaning that the counties cannot issue independent orders regarding the opening, closure, or operation of businesses, organizations, or venues covered by this order, though counties may continue issuing or enforcing orders or measures on other matters related to COVID-19, such as opening or closure of their governmental buildings, governing their employees, or dealing with the operation of their local government."

For the remaining six counties, which includes Knox, their health departments "shall have authority to issue orders or measures that permit or restrict to a different degree than this order the opening, closure, or operation of businesses, organizations, or venues, except for places of worship."

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