NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – At a COVID-19 press briefing Thursday, a Nashville reporter asked Tennessee Governor Bill Lee questions about COVID-19 testing procedures and school reopening measures.
The reporter asked: “You say you are following the CDC guidelines, but the CDC guidelines say if someone in a classroom tests positive, then everyone in that classroom should be tested and quarantined. Your plan does not follow the CDC guidelines. You said last week it was because of a lack of testing capacity. If we do not have the capacity to follow CDC guidelines, how can we safely reopen schools?”
The Governor replied: “Well, we follow the guidelines to the extent we think that’s possible. The turnaround time in testing obviously creates a real challenge for congregate settings like schools, so we’re developing with the resources and the limitations that we have, we’re developing the best strategy to go forward, accepting and following the CDC guidelines to the degree that we can to make sure that we provide as much safety as possible when we provide in-person schooling.”
The reporter then again pressed Lee saying, “if you do not have the ability to follow CDC guidelines, how can you say you are safely reopening schools?”
“The CDC also says that’s the best way to learn and we should have in-person learning, it’s their guidance as well,” Lee said.
The reporter again pressed the Governor on testing capacity.
Lee simply answered: “As I said, they give a number of guidelines and as I said, we follow them to the degree that it’s at all possible.”
Tennessee Commissioner of Health Dr. Lisa Piercy also gave a statement on COVID-19 testing in schools: