Gov. Lee signs executive order allowing contact sports during COVID-19


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee removes his mask as he begins a news conference Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gov. Bill Lee officially signed Executive Order No. 55 on Friday, allowing contact sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Athletics is an important part of our way of life and provides many benefits for our student-athletes, but common-sense precautions must be taken to combat COVID-19. We have worked directly with the TSSAA to coordinate a framework so that football season and soccer seasons can begin while keeping student-athletes, staff, and fans safe. This order will also continue to give local governments the authority to determine mask requirements for their respective constituencies. Adopting mask requirements at the local level has helped achieve greater community buy-in as Tennesseans adopt a new habit to protect lives and livelihoods.”

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee

Executive Order No. 55 also extends local authority to require masks through Aug. 29, and makes other provisions including strongly encouraging schools to adopt policies regarding face coverings, and extends limited COVID-19 related liability protection to health care providers and hospitals for another 30 days.

In regards to sports, Executive Order 55 aligns contact and noncontact sports so that no sports are prohibited by the state as long as safety guidelines are followed by governing bodies or TN Pledge guidelines.

This comes as Tennessee marked 3,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday for the third time this month. Friday’s additional cases ranks as the state’s third-highest, single-day increase. July 13 is the current highest with 3,314 reported cases, followed by July 26 which added 3,140 new cases.

Read more about Executive Order 55 below. App Users, click here.


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