Tennessee governor creates coronavirus task force

Published 9:01 am Friday, March 6, 2020

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday activated a task force to coordinate the state’s efforts to prevent and treat coronavirus.

The move comes after Tennessee’s top officials recently warned the state will likely soon see its cases of COVID-19 as the disease continues to spread. To date, no one in Tennessee has tested positive for coronavirus.

Lee’s office says the task force will oversee precautionary measures, resource allocation, and emergency response plans should the need arise.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Members include Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn and Nashville International Airport CEO Doug Kreulen.

Other members range from representatives from Amazon, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Hospital Association, AARP Tennessee and the Tennessee Farm Bureau.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized Tennessee to begin testing for coronavirus, but state health officials say testing supplies are low.

As of Wednesday, more than 120 cases have been reported in the U.S. and 11 people have died, 10 in Washington state and one in California. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 90,000 people and caused more than 3,100 deaths, most of them in China.