Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 23 last week requiring that Tennesseans stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities as data shows an increase in citizen movement across the state.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen decreases in movement around the state as Tennesseans socially distance and stay at home,” said Gov. Lee. “However, in recent days we have seen data indicating that movement may be increasing and we must get these numbers trending back down.
“I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities.”
Data from Tennessee Department of Transportation analyzed traffic patterns for March 2020. While safer at home measures and further restrictions on businesses showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement from March 13-29, data beginning on March 30 indicated travel was trending upwards, again.
The administration also analyzed data from Unacast to understand cell phone mobility and determine movement trends among people. Unacast indicated the movement of Tennesseans was trending toward pre-COVID-19 levels.
“The month of April stands to be an extremely tough time for our state as we face the potential for a surge in COVID-19 cases,” Gov. Lee said. “Every Tennessean must take this seriously, remain at home and ensure we save lives.”
The executive order remains in effect until April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
On Friday, April 3, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced it would close all 56 Tennessee state parks and state-owned state natural areas to the public effective April 4 through April 14, in support of Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 23. This is a complete closure of facilities and access to all Tennessee State Parks and Designated State Natural Areas.
TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said, “We decided to close the parks in support of Governor Lee’s Executive Order 23. The health and safety of Tennessee citizens is all of our top priority right now.”
Tennessee State Parks officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information visit www.tnstateparks.com.