NASHVILLE — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee today announced Monday he is issuing a statewide order closing “non-essential” businesses and directing state residents to remain at home to battle the continuing spread of the coronavirus, according to sources.
In doing so, the Republican governor follows the lead of mayors in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville as well as some 25 other state governors in issuing “safer at home” orders. It comes at the urging of frantic physicians who are battling potentially COVID-19 cases and as Tennessee's rate of infection continues to climb.
Lee said he it is “not a mandated shelter in place order” but a “strong urging of Tennesseans to stay home if at all possible.”
“We need you to stay home where at all possible,” Lee said during an afternoon teleconference. “Your habits and routines will make the difference.”
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, the Senate speaker, joined with fellow Republican Lee and said “this threat changes from day-to-day, hour-to-hour and minute-to-minute. I appreciate Gov. Lee's ability to remain data-focused and flexible.
“Today's order is a big step but a needed one at this time. Most population centers in our state are already operating under these conditions,” McNally added. “Essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open. The most important part of this order is that it sends the message the governor has been sending for many days now in no uncertain terms: stay home and stay apart.”
Credit: The Chattanooga Times Free Press