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COVID-19 UPDATE (3/30/20): Gov. Lee orders non-essential businesses closed statewide


EDITOR'S NOTE: This report is no longer current. State health officials are updating the COVID-19 infection numbers daily at 2 p.m. Central Time. Please look for the latest report at WMOT.org/news. 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  -- Gov. Bill Lee on Monday ordered additional restrictions statewide in an attempt to slow the growth of coronavirus infections in Tennessee.

The order comes on the same day that health officials reported 13 Tennesseans have now died due to COVID-19 complications, and nearly 300 new infections were confirmed in the previous 24 hours.

Gov. Lee is ordering all non-essential businesses closed statewide, but did not issue mandatory shelter-at-home orders for Tennessee residents. The new restrictions will take effect Tuesday and continue for 14 days.

Lee declined to order more stringent restrictions on the movements of individual citizens, saying during Monday’s press briefing that personal liberty “remains deeply important to me."

State Health officials report there are now 1,834 coronavirus infections across the state, up 297 infections in the 24 hours ending Monday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Metro Nashville health officials reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours ending Monday morning, and also have confirmed the third coronavirus related death of a Nashville resident.

Metro currently has 434 confirmed coronavirus infections. Fourteen individuals are hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications. Eighty city residents have now recovered from the illness. The latest coronavirus victim is said to be a 59-year-old man.

Nashville opened two of its long-anticipated, drive-through, coronavirus assessment and testing centers this morning. One site is located in the Nissan Stadium parking lot. The other is located at Meharry Medical College. A third site is scheduled to open in Antioch on Wednesday.

Health officials stressed that Nashvillians must be pre-screened before arriving at the free drive-through test sites. Anyone believing they may have contracted COVID-19 should call the screening hotline at 615-862-7777. That number again is 615-862-7777.

Hotline assessments are available in Spanish. Assessments are available to everyone regardless of immigraiton status.