Governor Bill Lee issues state of emergency in response to coronavirus outbreak

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Governor Lee Tennessee_1542840786166

Governor-elect Bill Lee speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Lee defeated Democrat Karl Dean in the gubernatorial race Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Lee declares a state of emergency in Tennessee to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19.

“Today’s action will move us into position to utilize additional emergency funds as needed and relax provisions of certain laws to provide the flexibility needed to respond to this disease,” said Gov. Lee. “While the risk to the general public remains low, we encourage all Tennesseans to exercise caution and maintain good hygiene practices as there are serious risks to our vulnerable populations. We will continue to evaluate and adapt our position accordingly to fit what we believe is best for Tennesseans.”

According to Executive Order 14, the goal is to:

  • Implements the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan;
  • Permits health care professionals licensed in other states to provide health care services in Tennessee related to COVID-19;
  • Allows pharmacists to dispense an extra 30-day supply of maintenance prescriptions as needed in response to COVID-19;
  • Allows health care professionals to provide localized treatment to patients in temporary residences;
  • Expands testing sites for COVID-19;
  • Allows the construction of temporary health care structures in response to COVID-19;
  • Implements price-gouging protections on medical and emergency supplies;
  • Suspends restrictions on vehicles transporting emergency supplies to areas affected by COVID-19;
  • Permits the waiver of certain regulations on childcare centers as needed to respond to the effect of COVID-19;
  • Authorizes TennCare policy changes to ensure that covered individuals receive medically necessary services without disruption; and
  • Directs coordination with health insurance plans to improve access to screening, testing, and treatment for COVID-19.

According to the order, vulnerable populations should stay home where possible and avoid large gatherings or locations where they are more likely to contract the virus.  This includes older adults and adults with underlying conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory illness.

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