Gov. Bill Lee discusses COVID-19 in Tennessee, encourages citizens to continue wearing masks in public

Tennessee coronavirus update -- July 14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - During Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s weekly COVID-19 briefing Tuesday at the state Capitol he stressed the importance of wearing masks, noting the political talk surrounding them.

“This mask right here is not Conservative. It’s not Liberal. Shaming someone for wearing a mask or shaming someone for not wearing a mask -- it’s just not something that Tennesseans ought to be in the business of doing,” said Lee. “It’s a simple personal decision that just might save an elderly person’s life in this state, it just might be the difference in being able to keep a business open in Tennessee...”

With elections coming up, Lee hopes voters will masks to the polls as well.

Dr. Lisa Piercey, a commissioner with the Tennessee Department of Health, says the consistent wearing of facial coverings combined with hand-washing and social distancing all contribute to reducing the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported more than 1,500 new cases Tuesday and another 18 deaths. So far, 767 Tennesseans have died as a result of the virus.

Piercey says Monday’s increase of over 3,300 new cases is the result of a testing backlog rather than a direct depiction of a day to day case increase. She says case counts tend to be front-loaded after the weekend.

There are also 870 current COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide.

Lee says as August approaches and discussion of school reopenings continue, in-person learning still remains the goal for all children in the state. He says more information regarding schools should be expected to come sometime next week.

Watch the video above for the full briefing.

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