Thursday, March 12, 2020

Gov. Lee Declares State of Emergency Over COVID-19

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 11:36 AM


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency Thursday amid the threat of coronavirus.

“As the number of cases rise, the responsibility that we each have rises as well,” Lee said at a Thursday press conference.

This move makes Tennessee one of 20 states to declare an emergency in response to coronavirus.

Lee said while the risk to the general population remains low, the risk for vulnerable populations “is very real.” Vulnerable populations include older adults and those with underlying health conditions or chronic illness.

He advised those individuals to stay home when possible and avoid large gatherings where they are likely to contract the virus. Lee also encouraged the public to avoid non-essential visits to nursing homes and hospitals.

The governor signed an executive order earlier Thursday that will allow Tennessee to receive additional funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and that will relax certain laws making it easier to respond to the disease. Wednesday the state received just over $10 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support the state’s response to the virus.

Watch the governor's full news conference below:

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