On Tuesday morning Gov. Bill Lee announced the end of statewide health mandates and regulations related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 is now a managed public health issue in Tennessee and no longer a statewide public health emergency,” said Lee. “As Tennesseans continue to get vaccinated, it’s time to lift remaining local restrictions, focus on economic recovery and get back to business in Tennessee.”
In Tipton County there are currently 69 known active cases.
Case increases have slowed, cases per capita are a low 10 per 100,000, and it’s been since March 12 that a COVID-related death has been recorded. The infection rate is .82 percent and the positivity rate is 4 percent.
There have been 22.8 percent of Tipton Countians who have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 16.1 percent are fully vaccinated.
There have been no reported cases in long-term care facilities since Feb. 4.
Statewide, cases are slowing, cases per capita are 15 per 100,000 and deaths are slowing as well. Cases per capita reached 134 per 100,000 on Dec. 18, making Tennessee the hot spot of the world for COVID infections at the time.
Nearly 34 percent of Tennesseans have received at least their first dose of the vaccine and 23.2 percent are fully vaccinated. The state ranks 50th of 60 U.S. states and territories for vaccinations.
The maintained decrease has led the governor to revoke authority for mask mandates and end business provisions while continuing access to federal funding and offering walk-up vaccination options.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased guidelines on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.
EO 80 contains the following provisions and is effective through May 31, 2021:
Removing Local Mask Authority
While Tennessee has never had a statewide mask mandate, EO 80 removes the local authority for county mayors in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to require face coverings throughout their jurisdictions.
Gov. Lee has requested counties with independent health departments – Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – that have remaining business restrictions or mask requirements to lift all measures no later than the end of May.
Extending Deregulatory Provisions
EO 80 extends helpful deregulatory provisions to enable individuals, businesses and other organizations time to adapt their operations in anticipation of ending said provisions.
Maintaining Federal Funding
EO 80 maintains Tennessee’s access to federal funding, including SNAP benefits and cost reimbursements for the Tennessee National Guard’s testing and vaccination efforts.
In addition to EO 80, the following provisions are effective immediately:
Offering Walk-Up Vaccine Option
While the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be available to Tennesseans aged 16 and older by appointment, local health departments will now offer a walk-up option.
Retiring Optional Business Guidance
The Tennessee Pledge business guidelines issued at the start of COVID-19 have been officially retired.