Governor Bill Lee is discouraging large gatherings across the state and is telling some 11,000 state employees to begin working from home through March 31.
The governor issued further guidance amid the COVID-19 outbreak for large gatherings, schools, state employees and the State Capitol Building as more confirmed cases of COVID-19 surface in the state.
The governor stopped short of outright banning large gatherings like some other states, but said he is 'strongly discouraging' events and gatherings of 250 people or more as a step to limit COVID-19 exposure.
"Heading into the weekend, many Tennesseans will be making decisions regarding faith gatherings and church attendance. Congregations and groups are urged to consider alternatives to traditional services by utilizing livestreams, pre-recorded messages and other electronic means," he said.
Schools in the state are advised to exerciser discretion when canceling school for K-12 students. The state will provide support for districts pursuing this action, but ask them to consider the prevalence of COVID-19 in their area.
Some 11,000 state employees who have been trained and certified to work from home are asked to do so through March 31. All employees have been told to cease any non-essential business travel through that time period.
The State Capitol has also been closed to visitors through March 31.
“COVID-19 is an evolving situation but we urge vulnerable populations, including those over age 60 and with chronic medical conditions to limit participation in mass gatherings and to take extra precautions for personal well-being like increased hand-washing,” said Governor Lee. “With 26 confirmed cases in our state, we have issued further guidance to help communities mitigate the spread of COVID-19."