Caucus chairman responds to Gov. Lee’s extension of emergency order

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Monday, Governor Bill Lee extended his state of emergency declaration which encourages Tennesseans to practice social distancing and wear face coverings until at least late August.

Lee signed a total of three new executive orders to extend provisions that will help the state fight the virus’ spread, to include practices such as telehealth, electronic meetings for lawmakers, alcohol delivery, and encouraging Tennesseans to wear face masks.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart shared his thoughts,

“Given the spike in cases, it’s the obvious thing to do. I also thought that Governor Lee needs to take charge and get his health department to start taking more aggressive steps to track COVID9.”

Stewart said he fears the state’s COVID19 numbers will continue to rise without more contact tracers.

“We need to hire another 1,300 or 1,400 people to keep track of who is getting this disease, to make sure they’re not spreading it.”

He continued saying that the worst outcome of the virus’ spread would be another economic shutdown.

“You know I talk everyday to people that have just got back to work, they’re just now able to pay their bills. We’ve got to do everything we can to keep from going backwards.”

News 2 reached out to Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison who declined to comment for this story.

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