Governor Bill Lee issued a two-week statewide order on Monday, closing non-essential businesses and telling Tennesseans to stay home in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The “safer at home” order, filed Monday afternoon, enacts similar restrictions put in place by mayors in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and governors in at least 30 other states. In recent days, some smaller cities in Tennessee have also implemented such orders.
“This is not a mandated ‘shelter in place’ order, because it remains deeply important to me to protect personal liberties,” Lee said at a Monday afternoon news briefing.
The order took effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, and lasts through Saturday, April 14, during which time only essential businesses are to continue operating and residents are to stay home “as much as possible,” per Executive Order 22, which was filed Monday with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office.
Executive Order 21 was also filed Monday, which specifically orders the temporary closure of salons, spas, concert venues, theaters and other indoor recreational facilities.
Lee previously held off on shutting down Tennessee for more than a week, insisting statewide orders are difficult to enforce and that he preferred to advise social distancing instead of mandating it. The governor cited Tennesseans’ willingness to do the right thing.
As of Monday, state health officials had tallied 1,834 cases and 13 deaths in Tennessee as a result of the coronavirus, with some of the largest clusters in Nashville, Memphis and Williamson County. At least 148 people are hospitalized. Wayne County Executive Jim Mangubat also announced on Monday that the first case of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Wayne County.
According to the Executive Order, essential businesses that will stay open include:
-Federal and state offices and services, including post offices and airports
-Essential local government functions, such as law enforcement, transport, and businesses that provide government programs and services
-Food and beverage: grocery and beverage stores, farmers markets, food banks, catering, convenience stores selling food, agriculture, food processing, feed mills, and other businesses supporting the food supply
-Health care, mental and behavioral health, and biomedical research and businesses that support the healthcare industry, including health information technology
-Sanitation and waste removal businesses and services
-Energy, water, and sewage businesses and services
-Pharmacies and medical supply businesses, other businesses that directly support the drug and medical supply pipeline
-Vehicle fuel, support, service stations and businesses
-Banks, savings and loans, insurance companies and other businesses that directly support the financial sector
-Legal and judicial services
and business repair, hardware supply
-Warehousing and storage
-Daycare and childcare business will remain open but will prioritize children of parents working in essential services
-Hotels and commercial lodges will remain open but will end entertainment or dining services in restaurants or group setting
-Housing and rental services may continue, but agents should practice social distancing, hold no open houses or gather in groups larger than 10
Non-essential businesses include:
appearance businesses (hair salons, eyelash salons, barbershop, tattoo shop,
body piercing shop, day spas)
-Retail with no exclusive delivery or curbside pick-up
-Entertainment and recreation facilities (bowling alleys, trampoline parks)
-Indoor rock climbing
-Gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities
-Sporting event venues
-Private Clubs (except for the provision of food for take-out)