NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Friday afternoon, Governor Bill Lee announced Executive Order 83, authorizing more medical staff to work in Tennessee as the state sees more hospitalizations from COVID-19.  

According to the executive order, out-of-state health care providers, retired medical professionals, and practical nursing graduates may now work in Tennessee with certain provisions. In addition, there is now more flexibility in how hospitals utilize health care student staffing. National and State Guard members can also be used for emergency service operations. 

Ambulance services also now have more flexibility with drivers and how their vehicles can be used.

Hospitals are allowed to increase the number of licensed beds available for COVID-19 patients on a temporary basis, in addition to nursing homes.  

COVID-19 testing was also expanded with the executive order, allowing more medical laboratory facilities to offer testing. Medical laboratory personnel are also allowed to work remotely under the order. 

The order did not call for any changes when it comes to wearing masks in Tennessee, however, it did encourage eligible Tennesseans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  

“COVID-19 vaccines are widely available and effective, and widespread vaccination is the best tool to combat COVID-19 and ensure social, economic, and educational stability, and all eligible persons are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” Executive Order 83 stated.  

To read the full executive order click here.