NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Governor Bill Lee’s statewide “Safer-at-Home” order went into effect at midnight Tuesday. The executive order urges people to stay home and stay apart, as well as, ordering the closure of businesses that cannot safely operate.
The order is not a mandate, but rather Governor Lee is urging Tennesseans to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
This could be especially important as heading into the next two weeks when doctors believe Tennessee will see the peak of the virus.
The “Safer-at-Home” order decrees all non-essential businesses must close, including hair and nail salons, entertainment establishments and gyms and fitness centers. Churches are exempt from closing.
Restaurants and bars have been closed or operating curbside since March 22.
Governor Lee said this order quote “substantially changes the activities, giving Tennesseans no reason to travel” though he has faced criticism for not acting sooner.
“We tried to determine, the right time to do this, you can’t do it for an unlimited time period, you have time periods you can do it, the right time when the curve is at the right place in Tennessee will likely have the best impact to slowing the surge and that’s what we’ve tried to do, flattening the curve,” explained Lee.
Many cities in the state have already closed non-essential business and ordered residents to stay at home, including Nashville, Franklin, Knoxville and Memphis, and have seen success.
“The response of Tennesseans has been powerful. The need for enforcement in those cities has been minimal, most of that has been done by encouraging enforcement there. I don’t think we’re going to have a large number of Tennesseans who are not going to comply with that order,” said Gov. Lee.
Some lawmakers and healthcare providers are still calling on the governor to do more and mandate a shelter-in-place.
Gov. Lee said it is deeply important to him to protect the personal liberties of Tennesseans.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )
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