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Governor relaxes restrictions to allow groups of 50
Dale Humphrey.jpg
Saint Thomas River Park CEO Dale Humphrey says the state’s projected death total from COVID-19 continues to trend downward.

Gov. Bill Lee has announced gatherings are no longer limited to groups of 10 or less.

On Friday, the governor signed Executive Order No. 38, which allows groups of up to 50 people to participate in social and recreational activities.

Gov. Lee said the more relaxed restrictions will give Tennesseans increased freedom with respect to picnics, small festivals, summer camps, parades and other activities.

The looser guidelines come as Tennessee is among one of the national leaders in COVID-19 testing. The state is currently testing, on average, close to 8,700 people per day and was listed by the Harvard Global Health Institute as one of seven states to reach a benchmark for COVID-19 testing.

Gov. Lee’s office says Tennessee has tested 2.5% of the state’s population and is on track to reach 3% by the end of May.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the state had conducted 368,170 tests as of 2 p.m. Friday. There were 19,394 confirmed cases with 12,566 patients classified as recovered.

The state has 315 fatalities due to coronavirus.

Saint Thomas River Park CEO Dale Humphrey says Tennessee’s projected death total from COVID-19 continues to trend downward.

The state was projected to have 563 deaths by Aug. 4, but that figure has been revised to 489 deaths.

Humphrey said River Park is reopening much like the rest of the state. He said the hospital had 64 surgeries scheduled last week and a total of 219 surgeries scheduled for May.

“Don’t delay because it can be detrimental to your health to delay treatment,” said Humphrey during the county’s weekly coronavirus press conference.

He added, “We have no COVID-19 positive patients in our hospital and we’re looking at relaxing some of our visitation restrictions.”