NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gov. Bill Lee announced he is extended his "Stay-at-Home" order until April 30, with plans to reopen the economy in May.
Lee said Tennessee is on the right track with more than 10 days of single-digit progressive growth of COVID-19 cases and the state's hospitalization rate continues to be stable.
However, he said "until a treatment or vaccine is widely available...this virus will be a present reality for us to manage and consider whenever we're making decisions."
The state will continue to operate with the "Stay-at-Home" order in place. But the governor stressed the importance of restarting the Tennessee's economy in May, saying they will put a "phased reboot" in place at that time.
"We need Tennesseans to go back to work, but we also need everyone to recognized social distancing is needed."
Officials are formalizing and economic recovery group to help in this process.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Jeff Balser supported Lee’s extension. He released the following statement:
“We are seeing clear benefits of Governor Lee’s Stay at Home order and appreciate his decision to extend the order through the end of the month. The number of patients in our hospitals has remained steady and we are encouraged by these results. During these additional days of distancing measures we anticipate further reductions in COVID cases, with more lives saved."
Speaker Cameron Sexton released the following statement on the extension:
“Governor Lee’s decision to extend Tennessee’s Safer at Home Executive Order closely aligns with President Trump’s targeted approach for reopening parts of our national economy as soon as possible. The Governor’s mitigation efforts have flattened the curve and have saved lives in Tennessee. We will continue to work with the Governor during this unprecedented time. While we all want a healthy economy, that can only happen if we have healthy Tennesseans. We will continue to work together to achieve a swift and successful economic reopening, while also preserving the public’s health.”