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Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s COVID-19 Bulletin #7

Tennessee State GovernmentNashville, TN – Today, Thursday, March 26th, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding coronavirus COVID-19 relief.

Governor Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live each day this week at 3:00pm CT here. Governor Lee has also established a website specific to coronavirus COVID-19 updates which can be found here.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee


Key Updates

COVID-19 Unified Command

On March 23rd, 2020 Tennessee Governor Bill Lee established the COVID-19 Unified Command, a joint effort to be led by Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, to streamline coordination across the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Department of Military. This group launched a website today which includes helpful resources, FAQs, and local and global data related to COVID-19.

Public Service Announcement Campaign

Today, the State of Tennessee launched a public service announcement campaign that urges all Tennesseans to adopt preventive health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. “Do your part, stay apart” features Governor Bill Lee, First Lady Maria Lee and dozens of music artists, athletes and sports organizations who collectively reach millions of Tennesseans. View Governor and First Lady’s video here. Additional information can be found here

Administration Actions


Tennessee is experiencing an unprecedented number of unemployment claims through the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Since last week, Tennessee has received 39,096 claims and counting compared to 2,702 the week prior, a 1,300% spike in unemployment.

The state is spearheading a public-private partnership with the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, Tennessee Retail Association, and Hospitality TN to create the Tennessee Talent Exchange powered by Jobs4TN.gov.

The goal of the exchange is to quickly match Tennesseans who are out of work due to coronavirus (COVID-19) with companies currently experiencing a surge in business and making immediate hires. The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development has modified the state’s workforce development website to quickly post job openings and match job seekers with employers. Additional information can be found here.



Executive Order 20

Today, Governor Lee signed Executive Order 20 to ensure Tennessee can further mobilize health care workers to fight coronavirus (COVID-19).

The executive order accomplishes the below actions, among others:

  • Loosens restrictions around retired medical professionals to help get qualified individuals back in the workforce.
  • Temporarily suspends continuing education requirements so professionals can continue working through the pandemic. 
  • Calls for the availability of phone assessments for individuals with mental illness or emotional disturbances.
  • Expands telemedicine efforts so that all licensed providers may utilize telemedicine during coronavirus (COVID-19) as long as they are practicing within their normal scope of practice.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 3/26)

Laboratory Type Positive Test Negative Tests Total
State PH Lab 111 1,111 1,222
Non-State PH Lab 846 12,841 13,687
Total 957 13,952 14,909


For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.


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