Business As Usual in Tennessee Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Written By Cassidy Stephenson

A recent article published in the “Chattanooga Times Free Press” states that Tennessee ranks among bottom 10 states in an aggressive response to coronavirus, specifically, number 9. The least aggressive state being Wyoming because many businesses and some schools remain open. As of March 27, 2020, Tennessee has 1203 cases of COVID-19, resulting in 6 deaths. Out of 1203, Davidson County has 312, the highest number of cases out of every county in Tennessee. Davidson County includes metropolitan Nashville. This is merely weeks after much of East Nashville was destroyed by a deadly tornado.

Many are disappointed with how Governor Lee has handled the coronavirus pandemic because he hasn’t taken it seriously. It took until March 22, 2020, for Lee to issue all restaurants and bars to do take-out and delivery only. There is still no mandated stay at home order for Tennessee residents. He is also not requiring any businesses to close, just that restaurants do take-out and delivery orders only. As for churches, the majority have switched to an online service format. With an exception of Grace Lutheran in Clarksville, TN, still remains open, attempting to accommodate people for eight services a week in two separate rooms of the church to meet the less than 10 people in a gathering CDC requirement. The Montgomery County School System is closed until May 4, while the statewide mandated closure of schools is until April 23, as issued by Governor Lee. Some schools are even going to try to still have prom and their senior trips.

When you drive through Clarksville, it is as if there isn’t a pandemic going on. The streets are as crowded with cars as usual. Montgomery County, which includes Clarksville, TN, currently has nine cases. It is reported that it has taken a week for those who were tested to receive their results. Although, according to the “Leaf-Chronicle,” 93% of those who have been tested at the Tennessee Department of Health has been negative. The Montgomery County Department of Health tested 61 out of the 150 people that were in line for testing on an undisclosed day during the week of March 27 because they matched the symptoms of coronavirus.