Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday issued a safer at home order for the state, urging people to stay home and closing certain businesses, which are listed at the end of this story.

Safer at home is similar to safe at home and less strict than shelter in place; people are “urged” to stay home as “non-essential” businesses are closed.

“Because staying at home as much as possible for a temporary period of time will protect the health and safety of Tennesseans by limiting the spread of COVID-19 and preserving health care resources, all persons in Tennessee are urged to stay at home, except for when engaging in Essential Activity or Essential Services as defined in this Order,” Lee’s executive order says.

A reporter Monday asked Lee “what makes you think Tennesseans are listening to you” after he has been asking people to stay home when possible, but many people ventured out during the nice weather this past weekend. Lee said his order “changes activities in which people can participate” by closing non-essential businesses in every county,” which would take away people’s reason to travel.

A reporter asked why the state is not reporting deaths by county, especially when many other states, and even some Tennessee counties, are reporting that. Lee said his administration is committed to transparency. There is a “unique legal issue” of reporting deaths by county, but the state is exploring that issue and he believes it can be worked through.

Dr. Lisa Piercey of the Tennessee Department of Health spoke about the outbreak at Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing. The state is investigating and hopes to have some residents return in 48 to 72 hours after the building has been decontaminated.

More details on the safer at home order:

For purposes of this Order, Essential Activity means:

“a. Engaging in activities essential to a person's health and safety or the health and safety of family or household members, persons who are unable or should not leave their home, or pets, including, but not limited to, seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or assistance, obtaining medication, obtaining non-elective medical care or treatment or other similar vital services,or visiting a health care professional;

b. Obtaining necessary services or supplies for persons and their family or household members, persons who are unable or should not leave their home, or pets or delivering those services or supplies to others, including, but not limited to, groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies required to work from home, automobile supplies (including dealers, parts, supplies, repair, and maintenance), and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

c. Providing, facilitating, or receiving delivery or curbside carry-out delivery of online or telephone orders from businesses or organizations that do not perform or are not necessary for the performance of Essential Activity;

d. Engaging in outdoor activity, provided that persons the Health Guidelines to the greatest extent practicable, including, but not limited to, driving or riding in a vehicle, walking, hiking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, golf, tennis, or other sports or recreational activities that can be performed while maintaining the aforementioned precautions or utilizing public parks and

outdoor recreation areas; provided, however, that congregating or playing on playgrounds presents a unique risk for the spread of COVID-19 and is therefore not covered as an Essential Activity;

e. Caring for or visiting a family member, friend, or pet in another household, or transporting or traveling with family members, friends, or pets as allowed by this Order; provided, that the Health Guidelines are followed to the greatest extent practicable;

f. Visiting a place of worship or attending a wedding or funeral; provided, that the Health Guidelines are followed to the greatest extent practicable. However, it is strongly encouraged that the public celebration component of weddings and funerals be postponed or attended only by close family members; or

Essential Travel means:

a. Travel related to Essential Activity or otherwise permitted by this Order;

b. Travel related to performing Essential Services;

c. Travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;

d. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.

e. Travel to and from outside of the State of Tennessee; or

f. Travel required by law, law enforcement, or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.”


Businesses or organizations that perform close-contact personal services shall not

be open to members or the public. Such businesses or organizations include, but

are not limited to:

1. Barber shops;

11. Hair salons;

111. Waxing salons;

1v. Threading salons;

v. Nail salons or spas;

v1. Spas providing body treatments;

vu. Body-art facilities or tattoo services;

v111. Tanning salons; or

IX. Massage-therapy establishments or massage services.

h. Entertainment and recreational gathering venues shall not be open to members or the public. Such venues include, but are not limited to:

1. Night clubs;

11. Bowling alleys;

111. Arcades;

IV. Concert venues;

v. Theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers, or similar facilities;

v1. Racetracks;

v11. Indoor children's play areas;

v111. Adult entertainment venues;

IX. Amusement parks; or

x. Roller or iceskating rinks.

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