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COVID-19 Bulletin #31 - May 5, 2020

Tuesday, May 05, 2020 | 05:15pm

Today, Governor Bill Lee provided an update on Tennessee’s efforts regarding COVID-19. Gov. Lee’s press briefings can be viewed live here. Visit for up-to-date administrative action.

Key Updates

Strategic Partnerships for Essential Supplies and Services

Today, Unified-Command announced two strategic partnerships with Renfro, Corp. and Battelle to aid in Tennessee’s COVID-19 re-opening efforts and to ensure Tennessee households and health care workers have access to critical personal protective equipment.

Renfro, Corp, a global sock brand company, headquartered in Mount Airy, N.C., with a manufacturing and distribution operation in Cleveland, Tenn., will work with the Unified-Command Group to make free reusable cloth face masks available to as many Tennesseans as possible. Unified-Command is supplying the first 300,000 Renfro masks, based on population, to all 95 of Tennessee’s county and municipal health departments this week. The local county health departments will serve as a convenient pickup location for local residents in need of a mask. A full list of local health departments is available here.

Battelle, a global research and development company in Columbus, Ohio, will work with Unified-Command to provide a free N95 mask decontamination service to Tennessee’s front-line health care workers. Battelle will locate one of 60 nationally deployed decontamination systems in Jackson, Tenn., as part of an effort to bring down the costs, and increase the availability of, N95 masks for health care providers.

More information about the Battelle decontamination system is available here, and more information on Unified-Command’s new strategic partnerships is available here.

Touchless Thermometers

As businesses in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties prepare to implement guidelines for safe reopen and operation, the Economic Recovery Group has secured special pricing on Touchless Thermometers for the state’s restaurant, retail, and close contact businesses.

Starting today, Tennessee-based business owners will have the ability to order this critical piece of equipment through Friday at 4 p.m. CT (or until supplies last). More information on how to secure no-touch infrared thermometers is available here.

Tennessee Pledge: Next Steps for Small Group Recreation

Tomorrow, the Economic Recovery Group will issue guidance for Tennessee’s small group recreation businesses to begin a safe reopening starting Friday, May 8. The group will also issue guidance for businesses that have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as offices, manufacturing, and construction industries that require critical supplies to safely operate.

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

Executive Order No. 33

Today, Governor Lee issued Executive Order No. 33, amending Executive Order No. 30 to allow the safe reopening of close contact services.

The full text of the order is available here.

Unified-Command Group’s Total Expanded Testing Efforts Exceed 23,000

This week, Governor Lee announced that 23,000+ Tennesseans have received a free COVID-19 test at 67 drive-through sites over the past three weekends, as part of Unified-Command Group’s efforts to reduce barriers and widen access to testing for all Tennesseans regardless of traditional symptoms.

In addition to weekend testing events, all local county health departments in Tennessee offer free COVID-19 testing five days a week. A full list of sites is available here.

A full weekend snapshot of Unified-Command’s expanded testing is available here.

Dental Procedures Resume

The State of Tennessee has worked directly with the Tennessee Board of Dentistry and consulted guidelines set by the American Dental Association to allow dental procedures to safely resume on Wednesday, May 6.

Small and Rural Hospital Grants

In April, Governor Lee announced the State of Tennessee will allocate $10 million in Small and Rural Hospital Readiness Grants to support hospitals that are facing financial strain due to the ongoing response to COVID-19.

The following hospitals will receive funding:

  • Macon County Hospital
  • Rhea County Hospital
  • Wayne Medical Center 
  • Henry County Medical Center
  • Houston County Community Hospital

More information on Small and Rural Hospital Readiness Grants is available here.

Current Department of Health Testing Results (as of 2 p.m. 5/5)

Confirmed Cases




Total Tested






For more information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website here.