Lee Issues Order "Urging" Statewide Shutdown, Stops Short of Mandating It


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Under increasing pressure from numerous quarters, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on Monday issued what he called “safer at home guidelines in every Tennessee county as a response to the coronavirus pandemic."

But the Governor stressed, “This is not a mandated shelter in place, but instead urges Tennesseans who are in non-essential roles to remain at home….The executive order restricts businesses that cannot safely operate during COVID-19 including businesses like barber shops, salons, recreational and
entertainment outfits. It also provides for the continuation of essential businesses throughout every county to protect the economy.”

The “order” will go into effect at midnight Monday and will extend for two weeks, until April 14 at midnight.

Typical of those asking for stronger action was 9th District Congessman Steve Cohen, who issued a letter this afternoon containing this statement:

“I write today to urgently request you issue a mandatory shelter in place order for Tennessee and prohibit gatherings of more than ten people. I am proud to represent the Ninth District of Tennessee that connects Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, but I fear that, without these preventative measures, it will become a hub of illness that will quickly overcome Memphis’s health care facilities. I commend your decision to urge Tennesseans to shelter in place, but this virus crosses state and county lines and it is already claiming Tennessee lives. Your order must become mandatory.”<

Meanehile, the entire Tennessee congressional delegation — Senatyors Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn and the nine members of the House — asked President Trump for additional disaster aid to the state, saying in part: "...On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we are writing to express our support for Governor Bill Lee’s request to declare a major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020....."

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