NASHVILLE, TN — Gov. Bill Lee has again extended Tennessee's state of emergency in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee initially signed the state of emergency into effect on March 12. The governor first extended the order in May, then extended it for two more months in late June. With the state of emergency set to expire again on Aug. 29, Lee signed an executive order Friday to keep it in effect through Sept. 30. 

Lee also signed to other executive orders on Friday — one allowing local governments across the state continue holding their meetings electronically and another extending a provision that allows documents to be notarized and witnessed remotely. 

Executive Order 59, the order extending the state of emergency, urges Tennesseans to wear cloth face coverings in public places where they will be in close proximity to others, to practice social distancing and limit social gatherings of 50 or more people and to limit nursing home visits.

The order also says employers are expected to comply with the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group Guidelines, also known as the Tennessee Pledge, to operate safely during the pandemic. The order requires bars to only serve customers at appropriately spaced tables, and allows restaurants to continue take-out alcohol sales to encourage carryout and delivery orders.

Regarding health care, the order continues the call to allow widespread access to telehealth services, increased opportunities for people to easily join the health care workforce and the facilitation of increased COVID-19 testing and health care capacity.

Download the document below to read Executive Order 59 in full. To read Executive Order 60, which extends permission for local governments to meet electronically, click here. To read Executive Order 61, which extends remote notarization and witnessing, click here.