Capitol Hill Update from State Representative David Byrd: Gov. Lee’s COVID-19 Executive Order


●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 child care 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. Executive Order No. 15

●Relieves regulatory burdens to quickly boost Tennessee’s health care capacity, continue important consumer protections, and provide enhanced customer service to Tennesseans.

●Health Care Capacity -Further deregulates hospital beds to free up capacity. -Further deregulates scope of practice, allowing more health care professionals to treat patients. -Expands the number of providers who are eligible to provide telehealth services by loosening regulations around technology and geographic area and urges insurers to provide coverage for COVID-19.

●Customer Service Provisions -Suspends rules to address expirations and renewals of driver licenses that will occur during the state of emergency.

●Consumer Protection -Cracks down on the price gouging of consumer foods and supplies.  

●Allows for official public meetings to be held remotely due to concerns over COVID-19.

●Calls for businesses across the state to utilize alternative business models to protect vulnerable populations while doing everything possible to keep Tennesseans in a financially stable position. ●Prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more people;

●Directs restaurants, bars, and similar food and drink establishments to exclusively offer drive-thru, take-out or delivery options to support families, businesses and the food supply chain;

●Allows for the sale of alcohol by take-out or delivery (with the purchase of food) in closed containers to those who are age 21 and up;

●Directs gyms and fitness/exercise centers or substantially similar facilities to temporarily close and suspend in-person services;

●Restricts visitation to nursing homes, retirement homes, and long-term care or assisted-living facilities to essential care only; and

●Encourages businesses to enact policies that take extra steps to assist vulnerable populations by considering measures such as shopping hours exclusive from the general public.

●Helps Tennessee procure additional personal protective equipment.

●Prohibits hospitals and surgical outpatient facilities from performing elective surgeries and instructs dentists to halt non-emergency dental services.

●Practitioners are asked to donate their personal protective equipment at their nearest National Guard Armory until April 13.

●Extends deadlines to renew drivers and other licenses.

●Suspends issuing REAL ID through May 18, 2020 as the federal government waived the deadline for REAL ID.

●Waives emissions testing requirements through May 18, 2020.

●Loosens restrictions around retired medical professionals to help get qualified individuals back in the workforce.

●Temporarily suspends continuing education requirements so professionals can continue working through the pandemic.

●Calls for the availability of phone assessments for individuals with mental illness or emotional disturbances.

●Expands telemedicine efforts so that all licensed providers may utilize telemedicine during COVID-19 as long as they are practicing within their normal scope of practice.

   As always, I am truly humbled and honored to be your voice on Capitol Hill. If there is ever any issue I can assist with, please reach out to my office by calling 615-741-2190 or emailing me at I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and suggestions during the second half of the 111th General Assembly.