NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gov. Bill Lee announced he will be lifting temporary restrictions on school sporting events in Tennessee.
The restrictions on who can attend and who can participate in school sporting events from kindergarten through 12th grade will be suspended on Monday, February 1.
Just days before Christmas, the governor signed executive order 70, which limited certain public gatherings, including indoor school sporting events. At the time, Tennessee was having the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country as active cases were at an all-time high.
In Executive order 70, Lee allowed indoor high school athletics to continue but placed restrictions on who could attend the events. Those who were allowed included game, school and facility administrators, athletics officials, coaching and team personnel, as well as, parents, guardians or other immediate household members of the athletes. He later signed executive order 74 extending these restrictions.
Lee said the decision to suspend the order weeks before it expired was due to the rapid improvements in the outbreak across the state. As of Wednesday, there were 38,469 active cases across the state, which is down considerably from the record high of 85,406 active cases on December 21.
Read his full statement below:
"Tennessee's COVID-19 numbers continue to rapidly improve with almost a 60% decline in cases and nearly a 40% decline in hospitalizations because of the efforts of Tennesseans to wear masks, wash hands and limit gatherings. When case counts were at their highest, we placed temporary, targeted restrictions on indoor school sporting events. The data now reflects rapidly falling numbers and because of that data, we are ending the recent additional restrictions around who can participate in or attend indoor school sporting events. The guidance and rules of local education agencies and the TSSAA remain in place, but Executive Order 74 will be suspended effective Monday, February 1. I encourage Tennesseans to keep up their responsible personal choices as we work towards a COVID-free Tennessee."