NASHVILLE, TN (WLAF) – Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19. Gov. Lee’s daily press conferences can be viewed live Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT here. Visit for up-to-date administrative action.

NOTE: Governor Lee will hold an additional media briefing on Friday, May 1 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Watch live here.

Key Updates

White House Press Briefing: Protecting America’s Seniors

Today, Governor Lee joined President Trump for a White House Briefing on protecting America’s seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch Governor Lee’s remarks here and watch the full White House briefing here. Governor Lee’s remarks prepared for delivery are available here.

The Tennessee Pledge: Close Contact Business Guidance

Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group released guidance for close contact services today, enabling over 38,000 workers to resume business at limited capacity in 89 of the state’s 95 counties on Wednesday, May 6.

This guidance applies to personal services including barbershops, hair salons, waxing salons, nail spas, massage therapy services and substantially similar businesses that require prolonged close contact with customers.

The full guidelines are posted online at and include:

Business Process Adaptations

  • Limit the number of customers to 50% of fire code capacity, and practice strict social distancing between customers
  • Services will be offered by appointment only; no walk-ins
  • Make appropriate physical modifications to accommodate social distancing. Workstations should be at least 6 feet apart, with additional measures taken as necessary to ensure that all people stay 6 feet apart at all times except for the staff providing a service to their client; physical barriers to be used where necessary
  • Prohibit use of waiting areas (e.g., could adopt such practices as notifying customers by call or text message) or serenity lounges; limit use of other common areas by multiple people at one time (e.g., elevators, breakrooms, etc.)
  • Ensure thorough workstation and equipment disinfection after each customer (i.e. sanitize all equipment, instruments, capes, smocks, linens, chairs and work area); alternatively, utilize single-use or disposable items
  • Implement enhanced sanitization of commonly touched surfaces and equipment (i.e., at least every two hours and when visibly soiled), using CDC recommended sanitizers and disinfecting protocols
  • Discard any single-use tools (e.g., files, buffers, neck strips) immediately after use
  • Daily deep cleaning and sanitization to be completed for high-touch areas (tanning beds, massage tables, salon chairs, etc.)
  • Use appropriate temperatures for washers and dryers to ensure thorough sanitization of towels, linens, etc.
  • Do not allow non-customer companions to accompany customer during a service
  • Do not allow group or communal settings for close contact personal services (e.g., couples’ massages, salt rooms, saunas, pools)

Consumer Protection

  • Services that require removing face coverings (e.g., beard shaving/trimming, facials, etc.) are not permitted in Phase 1
  • Do not offer any self-serve food or beverages. Temporarily close water fountains. Encourage users to provide their own water
  • Prohibit congregating in break rooms, check-in counters
  • Customers should wear a cloth face covering at all times while in the premises (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and as recommended by the CDC and executive order of the governor. Use other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC
  • For massage, prone positions could be uncomfortable or dangerous for clients who are wearing face coverings. Accordingly, massage professionals may consider other appropriate precautions such as draping a client’s head and face cradle cover with a thin cotton pillowcase. Otherwise, a face covering should be worn during portions of treatment in which the client is not prone or facedown
  • Screen customers for illness upon their entry into the premises

Employee Protection

  • Screen and temperature-check all employees reporting to work for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Employees should increase hygiene practices—wash hands more frequently, avoid touching face, practice good respiratory etiquette when coughing or sneezing. Change any protective garments on a regular basis and sanitize reusable garments such as aprons or smocks at least once per day.
  • Employees should wear a cloth face covering (not N-95 or medical masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers) and other personal protection items as recommended by the CDC; if masks become wet or visibly dirty, the mask should be replaced
  • All employees should wash hands between serving each customer, and more frequently as necessary. If appropriate for the service provided, gloves are recommended and should be discarded after each customer. The use of gloves should not be considered a replacement for frequent handwashing
  • Perform regular disinfection of high-touch surface areas (e.g., door handles, counter space, light switches, tools and instruments) at least every two hours and when visibly dirty

Access up-to-date guidance from Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group:  

  • Universal Guidance for Tennessee Businesses can be accessed here.
  • Restaurant Industry Guidance can be accessed here.
  • Retail Industry Guidance can be accessed here.
  • Exercise Facility Guidance can be accessed here.
  • Close Contact Guidance can be accessed here.

Additional information on Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group is available here.

Elective Procedures Resume May 1

The Lee Administration has been working directly with the Tennessee Medical Association on the expiration of Executive Order No. 25, which assisted efforts to gain critical PPE for our front-line health care workers by halting non-essential medical procedures. The order expired on April 30, allowing elective and non-urgent procedures to resume safely starting May 1.

More information from the Tennessee Medical Association is available here.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 4 p.m. 4/30)

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 – 04/30/2020-7PM)