NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Businesses in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties will no longer have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Gov. Bill Lee announced Tuesday, even though cases of COVID-19 in the state have been persistently high.
The Republican governor said he would lift all virus-related limits on businesses and social gatherings for most of the state. The action, which takes effect Thursday, notably does not apply to Tennessee’s six populous counties with locally run health departments: Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison and Shelby counties. They can continue implementing their own restrictions.
According to data kept by The Associated Press, there were about 287 new cases per 100,000 people in Tennessee over the past two weeks, which ranks 13th in the country for new cases per capita. The state has seen at least 2,389 virus-released deaths.
Lee on Tuesday also announced he would again extend the state’s emergency