Note This story was last updated at 7:45 p.m.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee continued to climb Monday, Governor Bill Lee issued a “safer at home” order that urged residents to stay home unless they are engaged in essential activities and it required non-essential businesses to close to the public, although curbside and delivery service will be allowed.
Critics immediately suggested the order wasn’t strong enough. Some would like a shelter in place order or stay at home order that does more than urge people to stay home.
The governor’s office said the new order, Executive Order 22, implements “safer at home” guidelines in every Tennessee county to further help slow the spread of COVID-19, a contagious respiratory illness that has no cure and can cause severe symptoms and lead to hospitalization and death. The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed 1,834 cases in the state on Monday, with 148 hospitalizations and 13 deaths. The number of cases has more than doubled in the past five days, Lee’s order said.
The governor’s order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Central time on Tuesday, March 31, and it will continue through 11:59 p.m. Central time on April 14.
“This is not a mandated shelter in place, but instead urges Tennesseans who are in non-essential roles to remain at home,” the governor’s office said.
The executive order restricts businesses that cannot safely operate during COVID-19 including businesses like barber shops, salons, and recreational and entertainment outfits, Lee’s office said. It also provides for the continuation of essential businesses throughout every county to protect the economy, the office said.[Read more…]