Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issues “safer-at-home” order

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued a “safer-at-home” order for the state that started on Tuesday, March 31, and will last for at least two weeks.

This will effectively close all nonessential businesses and urge residents to stay at home as much as possible. 

The order differs from a “shelter-in-place” order that some states have issued, like neighboring Georgia, which mandates, rather than asks, citizens to remain home except to run necessary errands to places such as grocery stores or to seek medical attention.

Tennessee’s new measures come after President Donald Trump extended the national social distancing protocols until at least April 30.

Local officials in Collegedale are following the state in their closures and their requests to residents, detailed in a statement released by city spokeswoman Bridgett Raper. The city will also continue its state of emergency.

According to its health department’s website, Hamilton County, as of April 1, has 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The first of the month also saw the county’s first reported pediatric death according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, bringing the toll to three deaths of county residents. So far, 788 test results have been returned, including 737 negative results.

In the entire state of Tennessee, the state’s Department of Health website reflects that as of April 1, 2,683 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and there have been 24 statewide deaths.

According to reports in the Times Free Press, local testing resources have been expanded to include drive-thru test centers and local lab processing done at the Baylor School.

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