Gov. Lee, health commissioner, and Ballad plea for people to adhere to COVID guidelines after peak in cases

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Heading into the holiday weekend after the state saw the biggest one day jump in confirmed cases, Gov. Bill Lee, Commissioner of Health Dr. Lisa Piercey, and Ballad Health are all warning that now is not the time to back down on Covid-19 guidelines and warnings.

“We cannot let our guards down, instead we must double down on our efforts to re-flatten the curve. If you don’t have to go out, stay at home,” Dr. Piercey said during Wednesday’s press conference. “This is not the time to get back to normal, we’re all experiencing what we call ‘quarantine fatigue,’ but, I can guarantee you this virus is not getting tired.”

The record number of cases comes the day after Gov. Lee extended the state of emergency for Tennessee throughout the month of August to keep certain rules in place to allow for social distancing guidelines and to encourage people to stay home.

“Happy hour with friends doesn’t have to mean that you pack into a bar. You can support local establishments with to-go, dine out orders, to-go drink orders. This recent executive order continues to allow that to happen,” Lee said.

This also comes after Ballad Health’s Director of Infection Prevention said the region is seeing a bump in numbers due to travel.

“What we’re seeing overwhelmingly is that our cases are related to travel and so it’s either people that have traveled or people that have come back and been exposed in the community to someone who traveled,” said Jamie Swift. “That means the age ranges of our cases most recently have really went down to between the 20-50 age range.”

If you are traveling this weekend, Swift advises that you take a look at your destination to see if there are any COVID hot-spots or restrictions for out-of-town visitors.

Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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