Tennessee Coronavirus Update- 4/19/2020

Written by Cassidy Stephenson

As of April 19, 2020, Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee announced that he refuses to extend the “safer-at-home” order past April 30. Some businesses like restaurants are re-opening this week and state parks opened on Friday. This is after Tennessee had received a D- grade on social distancing (according to Unacast). Montgomery County has a population of 200,000 but only 2,000 people have been tested. This may sound like a good thing, meaning that COVID-19 hasn’t spread, but it can also indicate a bad thing, that they may have a shortage of tests. According to the Tennessean, Lee commented on the issue, “For the good of our state, social distancing must continue, but our economic shutdown cannot,” (The Courier) Lee also has reported that a safer-at-home order attacks our personal liberties (The Tennessean). It is left up to the local government for Tennessee counties with a larger population and higher number of COVID-19 cases.

Local health officials weigh in on Governor Lee’s decision including Dr. Aaron Milstone, a critical care physician at Williamson Medical Center. Milstone comments, “Rolling back health protections like the stay-at-home order without first the ability to quickly identify new cases, break chains of transmission, and protect first responders and healthcare workers from infection only jeopardizes lives and the economy,” (Fox17 Nashville). This decision is after multiple protests have occurred outside of the Tennessee Capitol, demanding that Lee lift the restrictions. Protestors did this by waving flags and yelling in Nashville. They were a group of about 100.