Announcing “the data is encouraging,” Gov. Bill Lee further elaborated on positive signs during his weekly coronavirus pandemic conference call with Tennessee Press Association’s non-daily newspaper editors early Thursday afternoon, April 9.
“It is showing we are accomplishing our goal of slowing the spread of COVID-19 by a multitude of efforts that are being made across the state,” he said, adding Tennesseans should continue following the basic coronavirus-fighting measures including social distancing (at least 6 feet apart).
“The individual efforts of Tennesseans are paying off. We are seeing the numbers, with regard to new cases, active cases, hospitalization, recoveries — all of those numbers are beginning to move in a direction that is very encouraging,” Lee added.
“Obviously, we’ve taken some very important actions as a people to get those results.”
Specifically, “We have put a big push on testing, and we have testing facilities from the state lab at every health department in every county,” he said. “… Our best understanding is that no one today is being turned down for a test that qualifies.
“… Our goal, in the very short future, is to expand that so that anyone who wants to get a test can get one, and doesn’t have to have all of the pre-existing requirements,” Lee added.
Overall about testing, “We’re doing well relative to other states on that,” the governor said, “But we want to do even better.”
However, “We can’t let up; we know we have to stay committed to the guidelines that are in place today,” Lee said.
“In fact, it’s time to double down to make sure we reach the points that we want to reach in the quickest time frame possible,” he added.
As the world approaches Good Friday and Easter Sunday, “Especially during this week when millions of Tennesseans are celebrating Holy Week, I want Tennesseans to have hope in the midst of a crisis. …,” Lee said.
“In this week that celebrates the most hopeful event in all of mankind, I think we can continue to work together.”