Testing, school closings and temperatures dominate governor’s COVID-19 briefing

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Word of daily COVID-19 updates right from the top, new testing locations statewide, and temperatures taken of the media-dominated an afternoon briefing by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

The governor also indicated his administration is also “working around the clock” to present a state budget to lawmakers by Wednesday.

This year’s nearly $41-billion Tennessee government budget is the only thing the state constitution actually requires lawmakers to pass.

In a joint statement earlier in the afternoon, Governor Lee along with House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Senate Speaker Lt. Governor Randy McNally said: “In the best interests of public health, we have jointly decided to limit all remaining legislative business to fulfilling our constitutional requirement of passing a balanced budget, and any associated actions that will ensure Tennessee can keep its doors open.”

In the briefing with the governor, Tennessee Health Department Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said eleven new testing stations for COVID-19 were up and running statewide with four more opening soon.

Most testing stations are in the state’s urban area because that is primarily where the virus has been detected.

Up to 15-testing stations, for now, are planned that include the 11-now up and running.

Earlier in the day, the governor “urged” K-12 public schools to close down by Friday for at least two weeks.

Lee indicated in his briefing that he believed all of the state’s 130-plus school districts would comply.

Prior to the briefing, state health department staffers checked each media member for their temperature using a “scanning thermometer.”

No one was denied admittance because of a fever.

The governor said he will now have daily briefings on the COVID-19 crisis.

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