Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Friday signed Executive Order No. 55, allowing the resumption of contact sports and extending local authority to require masks.
Lee said athletics is an “important part of our way of life and provides many benefits for our student-athletes, but common-sense precautions must be taken to combat COVID-19.”
“We have worked directly with the TSSAA to coordinate a framework so that football season and soccer season can begin while keeping student athletes, staff and fans safe,” Lee said. “This order will also continue to give local governments the authority to determine mask requirements for their respective constituencies. Adopting mask requirements at the local level has helped achieve greater community buy-in as Tennesseans adopt a new habit to protect lives and livelihoods.”
Executive Order No. 55 directs the following:
• Extends through Aug. 29 Executive Order No. 54, which provides local government authority concerning face coverings.
• Strongly encourages schools to adopt a policy requiring face coverings for staff and students of appropriate age and makes clear that students, teachers, school employees or contractors and school visitors may voluntarily wear face coverings, except as necessary to ensure school safety and security.
• Extends for 30 days (as permitted by statute) Executive Order No. 53 providing limited COVID-19-related liability protection for health care providers and hospitals.
• Aligns the treatment of contact and non-contact sports so that no sports are prohibited by the state, provided that participants follow safety guidelines from their governing bodies or Tennessee Pledge guidelines, as applicable.
• Reinstates or adds certain regulatory flexibility to cope with COVID-19, including 1) incorporating recently issued federal waivers regarding commercial driver licenses; 2) waiving Alcoholic Beverage Commission fees for outdoor expansion of restaurant premises due to COVID-19; 3) directing TennCare and the Department of Health to establish and reimburse certain COVID-specific skilled nursing facilities; and 4) allowing licensed alcohol- and drug-abuse counselors to practice telemedicine to the same extent as other licensed health care providers during this emergency.
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee as of Saturday was 108,184, including 1,067 deaths, 4,724 hospitalizations and 67,651 recoveries.
In Bradley County, as of Saturday 1,681 individuals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, up 30 cases since Friday, since the first local case was first reported on March 20, resulting in 1,120 recoveries, 551 active cases and 10 deaths.
Confirmed case totals for Bradley County neighbors include:
• Grundy: 98 cases, 67 recoveries and 2 deaths;
• Hamilton: 5,549 cases, 3,847 recoveries and 47 deaths;
• Marion: 199 cases, 111 recoveries and 4 deaths;
• McMinn: 472 cases, 313 recoveries and 20 deaths;
• Meigs: 96 cases, 44 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Monroe: 352 cases, 165 recoveries and 9 deaths;
• Polk: 157 cases, 64 recoveries and 1 death;
• Rhea: 491 cases, 355 recoveries and 1 deaths; and
• Sequatchie: 94 cases, 60 recoveries and 0 deaths.
Counties with Tennessee's highest numbers of cases include:
• Bedford: 851 cases, 615 recoveries and 10 deaths;
• Bledsoe: 661 cases, 635 recoveries and 1 death;
• Davidson: 19,176 cases, 14.423 recoveries and 198 deaths;
• Hamblen: 1,208 cases, 683 recoveries and 13 deaths;
• Knox: 3,848 cases, 1,911 recoveries and 31 deaths;
• Montgomery: 1,677 cases, 720 recoveries and 11 deaths;
• Putnam: 1,543 cases, 1,111 recoveries and 13 deaths;
• Robertson: 1,417 cases, 836 recoveries and 16 deaths;
• Rutherford: 5,999 cases, 3,181 recoveries and 51 deaths;
• Shelby: 21,021 cases, 15,709 recoveries and 284 deaths;
• Sumner: 3,136 cases, 1,653 recoveries and 69 deaths;
• Trousdale: 1,572 cases, 1,493 recoveries and 6 deaths;
• Williamson: 3,193 cases, 1,852 recoveries and 22 deaths; and
• Wilson: 2,041 cases, 1,203 recoveries and 20 deaths.
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of Saturday afternoon, more than 4.5 million individuals in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19, with 153,642 deaths and more than 1.4 million recoveries.
Globally, more than 17.6 million individuals have tested positive, resulting in 680,575 deaths and more than 10.3 million recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins.