Gov. Bill Lee issues statewide ‘safer-at-home’ order closing all non-essential businesses

Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 10:09 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order Monday to close all non-essential businesses statewide as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases grows by the day.

Tennessee has nearly 2,000 confirmed cases as of Monday afternoon, including 13 deaths.

Governor Lee’s order comes after the Tennessee Medical Association wrote a letter to Tennessee mayors Friday regarding the spread of COVID-19. The Association’s president-elect, Dr. Kevin Smith says the purpose was to ask Tennessee mayors to do what’s in their power to push for stay-at-home orders statewide.

Lee’s order follows similar orders by a number of mayors across the Mid-South. The order restricts businesses that cannot safely operate during the outbreak.

“This is not a mandated Shelter in Place order,” said Lee. “This is deeply important to me that we remain a state that protects personal liberties. But it is a strong urging for Tennesseans to stay home when at all possible, because I also believe, that with personal liberty, comes personal responsibility.”

Executive Order 22 goes into effect Tuesday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m. and extends to April 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Under Lee’s order, the list of essential businesses that will stay open includes:

  • 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
  • Home and business repair, hardware supply
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Day care and child care 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 settings
  • 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:

  • Personal 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
  • Craft/art businesses
  • Gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities
  • Concert venues
  • Theaters
  • Movie theaters
  • Shopping malls
  • Golf courses
  • Sporting event venues
  • Skating rink
  • Dance Schools
  • Private Clubs (except for the provision of food for take-out)

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