Tennessee - COVID-19 Covered


Total Cases: 20,895 (May 27)
Tests Administered: 403,504 (May 26)
Fatalities: 343 (May 27)
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee today announced its coverage of virtual visits with in-network providers will be permanent. (May 14) 
  • The Tennessee Health Department has made it prerogative to test every inmate in the Tennessee Department of Corrections after almost 2,000 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. (May 6)  
  • Governor Lee announced that more than 23,000 Tennesseans have received free tests at 67 drive-thru sites over the past three weekends. On May 2 and May 3, the Tennessee National Guard supported Tennessee Department of Health personnel at 16 sites across the state May 2 and 3 where 5,153 Tennesseans received a free COVID-19 test. (May 5) 


Essential Service Designations:

  • Tennessee has defined the following essential services as the following: Health care and public health operations, human services operations (including government or government funded human services, day care facilities, and group homes, among others), essential infrastructure operations, essential government functions, food and medicine stores, food and beverage production and agriculture, organizations that provide charitable and social services, religious and ceremonial functions, media, gas stations and businesses needed for transportation, financial institutions and insurance entities, hardware and supply stores, critical trades (including electricians, plumbers, exterminators, janitorial staff, security, operating engineers, and others), mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services, educational institutions, laundry services, restaurants for off-premises consumptions, supplies to work from home, supplies for essential businesses and operations, transportation, home-based care and services, residential facilities and shelters, professional Services, manufacturing, distribution and supply chain for critical industries, hotels and motels, funeral services, any business related to an essential activity. (March 30)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Remote notarization has been extended until June 30. (May 15) 
  • Governor Lee signed an executive order that authorized the remote notarization and witnessing of legal documents (April 9) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • The Tennessee Department of Education said the state is receiving $260 million from the USED federal care package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act. (May 20) 
  • Tennesse created the Stimulus Financial Accountability Group to ensure proper fiscal management of the $2.3 billion in funds received by the state through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. (April 16) 
  • Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is altering its benefits portal to accommodate the federal program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the new $600 weekly federal benefit. (April 8) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Bill Lee submitted a request to the Small Business Administration seeking opportunities for statewide relief for small businesses and non-profits. (March 19)


Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • Nashville Mayor John Copper announced that phase 2 for reopening the city will commence May 25. In phase 2, restaurants and retail businesses can open with 75% of full capacity. Live music can return in a phased format with no more than 25 people present, amusement, attractions and salons can reopen at 50% capacity. (May 22) 
  • The Tennessee Economic Recovery Group announced it will be lifting the 50% capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail stores effective May 22. (May 18) 
  • The Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee will reopen on May 17. (May 13) 
  • After a dissection of Tennessee GPS cellphone data, graphing company Unacast provided Tennessee with an “F” grade for its social distancing compliance. (May 12) 
  • Nashville will begin Phase One of reopening on May 11. Retail stores and restaurants will be allowed to operate at half capacity. Gatherings over 10 people are not permitted and music venues must remain closed. (May 8) 
  • The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will reopen May 9. (May 7) 
  • Lake campgrounds throughout the suburban Nashville area are closed through May 31. (May 7) 
  • Governor Lee has announced that dentists can resume non-emergency procedures (i.e. cleanings). (May 7) 
  • Beginning May 6, the Nashville Metro Public Health Department will give away free cloth masks at three health centers. The masks will be available at 8:00 AM and 4:30 AM (May 6) 
  • Nashville Mayor John Cooper has extended the city’s safer at home order until at least May 8. (April 30) 
  • Governor Lee declared that bars and “close contact businesses” will remain closed through the end of May but salons and barber shops can open on May 6 (April 29) 
  • Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced that there will be a “phased and gradual” reopening of the city in early May (April 21) 
  • Governor Lee will allow the “Safer-at-Home” order to expire on April 30, with most businesses allowed to re-open on May 1. (April 20)  
  • Governor Lee has extended the “Safer-at-Home” order, requiring all Tennesseans to stay at home except for when engaging in essential activities or essential services as defined by the order, until April 30. (April 13) 


  • The Marion County mayor has announced the implementation of a 2-week curfew from 8pm to 5am. (April 8) 

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • The Tennessee Titans will potentially open up a minicamp for preseason training on June 15. (May 26) 
  • The Tennessee Government ordered the postponement of elective medical and dental procedures until April 30. (April 8) 
  • Governor Lee ordered all non-essential businesses to close aside from delivery, take-out-and curbside pick-up. (March 30) 
  • Governor Lee has launched the “Do Your Part, Stay Apart” campaign to promote social distancing. (March 26) 
  • Governor Lee launched the “Tennessee Unified Command” initiative and website, which provides guidelines on hygiene and social distancing for the public. (March 26) 

Delivery Services:

  • Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke announced that restaurants would be allowed to reopen at half capacity on April 27 (April 26) 
  • Governor Lee issued an executive order effective April 27 that allows restaurants to reopen onsite dining provided that they operate in a safe manner and reduced capacity. (April 24) 
  • All bars and restaurants in Tennessee have been closed to dine-in service. Only takeout service, drive thru orders, and delivery is permitted. (March 22) 



  • Governor Lee has called on schools to stay closed through the end of the school year. (April 16) 

State Higher Education:

  • Director of Athletics Ron Pavan announced that Cumberland University has canceled all 16 in-person athletic camps this summer. (May 21) 
  • The state has not yet ordered public universities to end classes or move students off-campus, however, most universities are have already moved to online courses for the remainder of the spring semester or have announced plans to do so in the coming weeks. (TN Higher Education Commission)

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com