Coronavirus in Tennessee: Governor issues guidance for gatherings, schools, employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Governor Bill Lee issued a set of guidelines regarding mass gatherings, schools, state employees as well as the state Capitol as additional coronavirus cases are confirmed across Tennessee.

The governor called COVID-19 “an evolving situation” and said with 26 confirmed cases in the state as of Friday, his office was issuing further guidance in order “to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

MORE: Coronavirus Information Page | WATE

Here’s the guidance:

  • Mass Gatherings

Heading into the weekend, many Tennesseans will be making decisions regarding faith gatherings and church attendance. Congregations and groups are urged to consider alternatives to traditional services by utilizing livestreams, pre-recorded messages and other electronic means.

While at this time, mass gatherings such as conferences or other large social events remain at the discretion of the organizer, we strongly discourage events of 250 people or more as an important step in limiting exposure to COVID-19.

  • Schools

At this time, school districts have been advised to exercise discretion when canceling school for K-12 students. The state will provide further support for districts pursuing this action but urge districts to consider the prevalence of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in their area. In partnership with districts, students who depend on school-provided meals will still receive this support, regardless of school closure.

  • State Employees, Business Travel

Effective immediately, state employees who have been trained and certified to work from home within the state’s Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS) program will work from home through March 31, 2020. Approximately 11,000 state employees are certified AWS employees and can begin work from home with no disruption to state business.

Effective immediately, state employees have been instructed to cease all non-essential business travel through March 31, 2020.

  • Tennessee State Capitol Closed to Visitors

The Tennessee State Capitol is closed to tours and visitors through March 31, 2020. Members of the media will continue to have access to the State Capitol building.

MORE: Coronavirus Timeline story | WATE

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