Governor Bill Lee is calling on the National Guard to aid stressed healthcare providers to deal with a growing number of COVID-19 patients.
Under the governor's order, National Guard members can:
- perform authorized diagnostic testing for COVID-19 in health care settings, including but not to limited to hospitals, emergency departments, and alternate care sites (collectively, "Facilities")
- perform authorized nursing and other functions in Facilities
- operate public or privately owned, permitted ambulance service vehicles with a licensed service.
Here is the executive order:
AN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE CONTINUED RESPONSE TO COVID-19 BY INCREASING HEALTH CARE RESOURCES AND CAPACITY
WHEREAS, ongoing, targeted regulatory flexibility is required to address continuing effects, risks, and persistent negative economic conditions and to assist Tennessee's citizens, health care systems, industries, small businesses, local and state governments, and religious and non-profit institutions to combat and recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the other powers granted by law, Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 58-2-107, provides, among other things, that during a state of emergency, the Governor is authorized to suspend laws and rules if necessary to cope with an emergency, utilize all available state and local resources needed to combat an emergency, and take measures concerning the conduct of civilians; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the other powers granted by law and any applicable federal orders, Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 58-1-106, provides that during an emergency, the Governor is authorized to order into the active service of the state, for such period, to such extent and in such manner as the Governor may deem necessary, all or any part of the national guard or the Tennessee state guard; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to this authority and the general emergency management powers of the Governor under law, such measures, including the measures contained herein, are necessary to facilitate the response to the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Bill Lee, Governor of the State of Tennessee, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Tennessee Constitution and other applicable law, do hereby declare a continuing state of emergency and major disaster in order to facilitate a targeted response to specific, persistent effects of COVID-19, and accordingly order the following, effective nunc pro tune to 12:01 a.m., Central Standard Time, on December 1, 2020: