Tennessee Gov. Lee, state officials focus on mask-wearing, vaccines, Thanksgiving in COVID-19 briefing

Gov. Bill Lee gives briefing on COVID-19 in Tennessee (Nov. 24)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - In Governor Bill Lee’s weekly COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, there were three takeaways: Mask-wearing, vaccines and Thanksgiving.

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said the state is completely ready to receive the first doses of the vaccine and immediately distribute them.

Piercey said they are expecting the first round of vaccines to come around mid-December. These will go to health care officials and first responders. But she is unsure when the next shipment of vaccines will come.

She stressed the importance of being careful during the holiday season, noting TDH is seeing the spread of the virus, particularly within households. With Thanksgiving gatherings coming up, health officials are concerned with case numbers spiking.

The latest news around the state is county leaders calling for Lee to issue a statewide mask mandate. He has left the decision up to county health departments and mayors to issue the mandates but continues to encourage the use of masks.

Lee is asking Tennesseans to take personal responsibility to wear a mask while in public places and in spaces where social distancing is not possible and reiterated this sentiment during his briefing Tuesday afternoon.

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