Gov. Bill Lee issues guidance for non-contact sports, summer camps, higher education institutions in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee gives COVID-19 briefing in Tennessee -- May 28

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Governor Bill Lee’s Tennessee Economic Recovery Group has issued guidance for non-contact sports, overnight camps, and Tennessee’s higher education institutions.

Executive Order No. 38 was issued on May 22, allowing non-contact sports to resume under certain precautions. Those precautions include maintaining social distancing, wearing masks when feasible and adding sanitization measures.

Sports that may return under the current guidelines include, but are not limited to -- baseball, softball, volleyball, golf, disc golf, tennis and racket sports, cycling, track and field and other running events, and equestrian.

Contact sports like football, wrestling, and hockey are not permitted except for practicing in a manner that does not involve close physical contact with other persons.

Previously released summer camp guidance has been expanded to address the safe reopening of overnight camps. The Economic Recovery Group recommends additional protective measures for residential camps, including thorough pre-screening measures, limited mixing of campers and staff and modified sleeping arrangements, among a number of additional efforts to protect campers and staff.

Newly released guidelines for higher education recommend a many safety precautions to protect staff and students. Tennessee colleges and universities should establish policies for on-campus housing, how to isolate and care for sick students and staff, limit the number of attendees for in-person classes, and other measures. This guidance was created by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission in partnership with state colleges and universities and related associations and the Unified Command.

Governor Lee, along with other state officials, held a news conference Thursday afternoon in Nashville.

Commissioner Marie Williams announced an emotional support line created for frontline workers facing mental health challenges as a result of their work.

Frontline workers can call 888-642-7886 everyday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The support line is made possible by a public private partnership.

Local community behavioral health centers are also manning crisis lines across the state. Text 741741 for crisis intervention.

Commissioner Jeff McCord addressed unemployment in Tennessee, which is currently at 14.7 percent. He said all 95 counties saw unemployment go up in April and only three counties had less than 10 percent.

Doctor Lisa Piercey gave a health report, saying the state’s COVID-19 numbers continue to flatten.

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