'This is not the time to get back to normal.' Gov. Lee, health officials urge Tennesseans to wear face masks

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 23:41:07-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercy urged all Tennesseans to wear face masks and remain home when possible amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health reported the state's largest one-day increase of positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Since Tuesday, 1,806 people tested positive for the virus.

"We should be very concerned. When we have people dying as a result of this thing, we should be very concerned," said Governor Lee.

Lee explained the growth in positive cases is not limited to densely populated, urban areas. He expressed his concern over the growing numbers in counties like Sevier, Macon, Bradley and Rutherford.

"Covid-19 has not taken a vacation," said Lee.

Which is why he recently extended the State of Emergency, which he says allows helpful deregulations in things like telehealth. He explained the spike in virus numbers has also not stopped the state's efforts in getting students back to school in the fall.

The governor asked all Tennesseans to continue to wear face masks, social distance and remain home when possible.

"Don’t put our state two steps backward by refusing to wear a mask or social distance. Happy hour with friends doesn’t mean you have to pack into a bar. You can supply local businesses by making dine-out orders," Lee said. "Im asking every Tennessean to continue their efforts to get us back on track.”

Dr. Piercy reiterated Tennesseans should still be taking serious precautions against the virus.

"This is not the time to get back to normal...We’re all experiencing quarantine fatigue but this virus is not getting tired," said Piercy.


July 1 COVID-19 update: 45,315 total cases, 609 deaths in Tennessee