NASHVILLE, TN (WLAF) -Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19 relief. Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live this week Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT here. Gov. Lee has also established a website specific to COVID-19 updates which can be found here.

NOTE: Governor Lee will hold an additional COVID-19 media briefing on Friday, April 23 at 11:00 a.m. ET alongside Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group. Stream here.

Key Updates

Expanded Testing Continues This Weekend

Tennessee’s expanded COVID-19 testing continues this weekend, with the Department of Health opening 17 drive-through sites across the state (April 25-26). We encourage every Tennessean who isn’t feeling well or has been in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19, to visit a free testing site in their community.

Tennessee Department of Health nurses and Tennessee National Guard medics will perform tests at these drive-through sites and results are projected to be delivered to participants within 72 hours of testing. In addition to drive-through testing sites, Tennesseans can get a test free of charge, five days a week at every rural county health department in the state.

Drive-through testing sites will also be available during the weekend of May 2-3. A full list of sites is available here, and additional information is available here.

Economic Recovery Guidance

Gov. Lee is working to safely open as many Tennessee businesses as possible in 89 of our 95 counties next week. We continue to engage directly with larger communities in the remaining 6 counties as we support their unique re-open plans (Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan counties)

Gov. Bill Lee previewed two industry reopens that will be covered in-depth tomorrow.

  • Restaurants operating at 50% capacity and following the guidance will be allowed to open on Monday, April 27.
  • Retail outfits operating at 50% capacity and following the guidance will be allowed to open next Wednesday, April 29.

Additional details will be announced at Friday’s press briefing with Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group and full guidance will be posted here.

Do Your Part, Stay Apart Public Service Announcement

At the end of March, the State of Tennessee launched the “Do your part, stay apart” PSA campaign, which tallied over 20 million impressions in less than 30 days, and included Tennesseans from all across the state.

As we look ahead to the re-opening of our state and getting Tennesseans safely back to work, we welcome Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood to our efforts. As Trisha and Garth tell us – every Tennessean has played a role in slowing the spread of the virus by staying home and saving lives.

Additional information and metrics on the “Do your part, Stay apart” public service campaign can be found here and Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s PSA can be viewed here.

 Department Updates

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Today, Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner McCord gave an update on department actions to support Tennesseans during this pandemic, including system upgrades and benefit distribution.

More information from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development can be found here.

Tennessee Department of Education

Department of Education Commissioner Schwinn joined today’s briefing to give an update on new guidance for superintendents, CARES Act funding, and the COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force.

More information from the Department of Education can be found here.

Tennessee State Parks
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Salyers provided the following update on state parks closures: 

Most state parks to reopen for day-use only Friday, April 24, with the exception of Cummins Falls State Park, Seven Islands State Birding Park and Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park, which will remain closed to the public.

More information from the Department of Environment and Conservation can be found here.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 4/23)

Confirmed Cases




Total Tests






For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/23/2020-6:30PM)