Gov. Lee announces end to Tennessee’s COVID-19 State of Emergency

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Governor Bill Lee announced an end to Tennessee’s COVID-19 State of Emergency Friday.

“I am not renewing the COVID-19 state of emergency that expires tonight. For almost 20 months, this tool has provided deregulation and operational flexibility for hospitals and industries most affected by COVID’s challenges. Should our state face any future surges, we will consider temporarily reinstating this tool, but in the meantime, we are evaluating opportunities for permanent deregulation.”

Last week, Governor Bill Lee signed a bill that makes major changes to how the state will allow government bodies and businesses to operate while dealing with COVID-19.

The bill sets a high bar for when schools could require masks – while private schools are exempt. It also makes it unlawful for businesses to require proof of vaccination among other measures.

Under the new law, entities looking to maintain or put in place, a vaccine requirement must be granted permission from the comptroller’s office.

The 50th governor took to Twitter this week, calling for law enforcement officers upset with vaccine mandates across the country to come to Tennessee, a state in the bottom 10 when it comes to vaccination rates.

“For cops in New York all the way to sheriff deputies out in LA, we want you to join the Tennessee Highway Patrol,” Lee said in a video message.

To sweeten the deal, the governor says taxpayers will foot the bill to relocate the officer a move that could put officers on the street faster. “We believe that you will be a great fit for our state, we’ll even help cover your moving expenses,” Lee said.

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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.

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