Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Thursday he would sign Executive Order 23 requiring that Tennesseans "not carrying out essential activities" must stay at home as data shows an increase in citizen movement across the state.
Until now, the Governor had resisted mounting pressure to issue such an order, having previously contented himself with "urging" Tennesseans to stay close to home.
In his statement Thursday, Lee said, “Over the last few weeks, we have seen decreases in movement around the state as Tennesseans socially distance and stay at home. However, in recent days we have seen data indicating that movement may be increasing and we must get these numbers trending back down. I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities.”
The press release containing the new order cited data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation regarding traffic patterns for March 2020. "While safer at home measures and further restrictions on businesses showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement from March 13-29, data beginning on March 30 indicates travel is trending upwards, again."
Analysis of cell phone mobility and other "movement trends" in the population, "trending toward pre-COVID-19 levels," figured into his reasoning, Lee said.
The new executive order will remain in effect until April 14, 2020 at midnight.