TN Gov. Bill Lee issues executive order limiting indoor gatherings to 10; state health officials update COVID hospitalization situation
TN Gov. Bill Lee has issued an executive order limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people.
“I’m asking you to not engage in indoor gatherings for the holidays that includes anyone outside of your household,” said Lee during a Sunday night COVID-19 address to the state. Lee’s remarks comes just a few days before Christmas as the state continues to break daily COVID-19 case records and hospitalizations are pushing systems to their breaking point.
Also included in Lee’s order is the limitation of attendance of indoor sporting events through coordination with the TSSAA. The Governor also requested that businesses owners let employees work from home for the next 30 days, while if that option isn’t available, those work places should ensure masks are worn at all times.
Lee did not issued a statewide mask mandate last night despite growing calls from local and state leaders to do so, saying this about the issue, “Many think a statewide mandate would improve mask wearing, many think it would have the opposite effect. This has been a heavily policitized issue, please do not get caught up in that,” Lee said.
Lee’s wife Maria tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, while the Governor received a negative coronavirus test.
Meanwhile, state health officials are further warning Tennesseans to change their behavior as the situation hospitals across the state face grows more dire.
“If we have another surge after Christmas, or after New Year like we did after Thanksgiving, it will completely break our hospitals,” said TN Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey.
Piercey addressed the media Sunday and outlined the severity of the COVID-19 situation, saying nearly 3,000 patients with the virus are hospitalized with 750 of those requiring ICU care, along with recent explosive growth of virus infection rates.
“Our new infections are over 40 percent higher than the national average, and our active case count has grown by more than two-thirds in the last week alone,” Piercey said.
Hospital staffing has been stretched to the limit, as Dr. Piercey explained, as they have sought any remaining options available, which includes deploying medically trained National Guard staff for testing to relieve local nurses to head to bedside care, while the state requested and received a 32 member Disaster Management Aid Team from FEMA, who have been deployed to two hospitals in our region.
Photo Courtesy: Gov. Bill Lee/Facebook