Gov. Lee declares state of emergency as coronavirus spreads


In this July 9, 2019, file photo Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new soccer club stadium in East Ridge, Tenn. Tennessee would become the first state in the nation to receive its Medicaid funding in a lump sum under a proposal seeking to drastically overhaul the program that provides […]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee declared a state of emergency as the coronavirus continues to spread across the state.

During a news conference on Thursday, Lee said he signed Executive Order 14, which “will move us into position to bring in additional funds from FEMA and relax certain laws which will make it easier to respond to this disease.”

He said while this is not a time to panic, everyone should be doing their part to keep the coronavirus from spreading. He specifically pointed to the elderly population and those who are especially vulnerable to the virus, saying we should all take this seriously.

He encouraged everyone to wash their hands, stay at home when sick and avoid all nonessential visits to nursing homes and hospitals. For those most vulnerable, he urged them to stay at home and avoid large crowds.

As of Thursday morning, there have been nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Tennessee. One was in Shelby County, one in Sullivan County, two in Davidson County and five in Williamson County.

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