Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Group on Thursday issued new guidances for non-contact sports, summer camps and higher education under the Tennessee Pledge, the statewide plan to reopen the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcements took place as the state posted 21,679 confirmed cases since the pandemic reached Tennessee in late March. Since then, there have been 356 deaths, as well as 14,632 recoveries, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. In all, 415,989 individuals have been tested for the virus.
According to Lee, since the state began its phased reopening in late April, “nearly every industry is now able to resume business in some capacity with specific recommendations to preserve and protect the health and safety of all Tennesseans.”
“We’re able to continue reopening our state thanks to the sustained efforts by Tennesseans to social distance and mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Lee said. “It’s important we continue to take personal responsibility for our health and the health of our neighbors, while recognizing and honoring the need for Tennesseans to get back to work and support their families.”
Under Executive Order No. 38, which was issued on May 22, non-contact sports may resume under certain precautions, while maintaining social distancing, wearing masks when feasible and adding sanitization measures.
Sports that may return under the current guidelines include baseball, softball, volleyball, golf, disc golf, tennis and racket sports, cycling, track and field, and other running events and equestrian.
“Contact sports such as football, wrestling and hockey are not permitted except for practicing in a manner that does not involve close physical contact with other persons,” according to the ERC.
Previously released summer camp guidance has been expanded to address the safe reopening of overnight camps.
“The Economic Recovery Group recommends additional protective measures for residential camps, including thorough pre-screening measures, limited mixing of campers and staff and modified sleeping arrangements, among a number of additional efforts to protect campers and staff,” the statement said.
Newly released guidelines for higher education recommend a number of safety precautions to protect staff and students. Recommendations to Tennessee colleges and universities include establishing policies for on-campus housing, how to isolate and care for sick students and staff, limiting number of attendees for in-person classes and other measures, according to the ERC.
Full guidelines can be found on TNpledge.com
for non-contact sports, summer camps, and higher education.
The ERC said that six counties — Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan — may continue to follow individual, county-specific reopening plans created in consultation with state and local health departments, Lee said.
rise to 108
On Thursday, the TDH reported that 108 individuals in Bradley County had tested positive for COVID-19, since the first case was announced on March 20. Since then, there have been 84 recoveries and one death.
Confirmed case totals for Bradley County neighbors include:
• Grundy: 32 cases, 27 recoveries and 1 death;
• Hamilton: 719 cases, 241 recoveries and 15 deaths;
• Marion: 38 cases, 27 recoveries and 1 death;
• McMinn: 136 cases, 96 recoveries and 14 deaths;
• Meigs: 26 cases, 21 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Monroe: 61 cases, 44 recoveries and 2 deaths;
• Polk: 15 cases, 13 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Rhea: 198 cases, 15 recoveries and 0 deaths; and
• Sequatchie: 15 cases, 11 recoveries and 0 deaths;
Counties with Tennessee's highest numbers of cases include:
• Bedford: 274 cases, 228 recoveries and 4 deaths;
• Bledsoe: 608 cases, 603 recoveries and 1 death;
• Davidson: 4,894 cases, 3,259 recoveries and 60 deaths;
• Knox: 357 cases, 305 recoveries and 5 deaths;
• Lake: 413 cases, 402 recoveries and 0 deaths;
• Madison: 175 cases, 154 recoveries and 2 deaths;
• Montgomery: 258 cases, 115 recoveries and 3 deaths;
• Putnam: 461 cases, 222 recoveries and 5 deaths;
• Rutherford: 1,116 cases, 475 recoveries and 22 deaths;
• Shelby: 4,718 cases, 3,263 recoveries and 107 deaths;
• Sumner: 852 cases, 373 recoveries and 45 deaths;
• Trousdale: 1,393 cases, 1,339 recoveries and 4 deaths;
• Williamson: 533 cases, 350 recoveries and 10 deaths; and
• Wilson: 387 cases, 236 recoveries and 8 deaths.
As of Friday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported 101,621 individuals had died as a result of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in the United States earlier this year. The total confirmed number of cases was 1,721,926, with 399,991 recoveries.
Globally, more than 5.8 million individuals have tested positive for the virus, resulting in 360,918 deaths and 2,430,343 recoveries.