Governor also establishes group to focus on ‘phased reboot of the state’s economy’
On Monday, April 13, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee extended the state’s “Stay at Home” Order” through April 30.
The “Stay at Home Order” was due to expire April 14.
In cooperation with guidance from the White House, Tennessee’s Stay at Home Order is extended through April 30.
The executive order No. 27 reads:
“WHEREAS, Tennesseans, businesses, places of worship, and governmental and nongovernmental entities and organizations of all types deserve tremendous credit for making sacrifices and doing their part in recent weeks by staying at home to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect those in their community, and the numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Tennessee are not increasing as fast as previously feared; and
“WHEREAS, Executive Order Nos. 17, 21, 22, and 23 currently expire on April 14, 2020, and continued vigilance is required to cement the positive trends occurring in Tennessee …”
The Unified Command Group established by the governor at the outset of the pandemic will continue to consult with experts, analyze all available data, and monitor CDC recommendations for the remainder of this month. Beginning in May, a phased reboot of the economy in planned.
Lee announced the development of the Economic Recovery Group to focus on a phased reboot of the state economy.
The group will be led by Tourism Commissioner Mark Ezell and will work in coordination with legislative leadership, local mayors, health-care professionals, and representatives of impacted industries. The Economic Recovery Group will issue industry-specific guidance so that businesses can be prepared to operate safely and protect their employees and customers.
By formalizing an economic-recovery-specific group, this will ensure the Unified Command Group will continue to focus its efforts on disease management, improving hospital and testing capacity, and increasing our PPE supply chain. The Unified Command Group will also be making recommendations to the governor about when and how to begin the phased-in reopening of the economy.
Tennessee has numerous resources for citizens to help during the COVID-19 emergency.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Emergency Cash Assistance is open for Tennessee families to apply. These funds are available in addition to unemployment benefits and may provide up to $1,000 per month, for two months. To be eligible for assistance, families must have been employed as of March 11, 2020, but have since lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income due to COVID-19. Families must include a child under 18 or a pregnant woman. You also must have a valid Social Security Number to apply.
Apply here: tdhs.service-now.com
Statewide Crisis Line established
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is sharing public-service announcements to increase awareness of its statewide Crisis Line.
Anyone experiencing a mental health emergency is urged to call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) or text “TN” to 741-741.
The crisis line is a tool to connect Tennesseans who are experiencing mental health emergencies with the help they need. Calls to the crisis line are answered by local crisis services providers.
“We are so blessed to have a statewide network of community-based crisis services providers who offer mobile crisis assessments, crisis walk-in centers, crisis stabilization units, and more.
“For people struggling with mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is help and there is hope,” said department Commissioner Marie Williams.
For those affected: Treatment Coverage: (As of April 6, 2020)
The state has also released guidelines of insurance companies’ responses to COVID-19.
BlueCross/BlueShield of Tennessee: Members diagnosed with COVID-19 will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment administered through in-network providers, including at a doctor’s office, urgent care facility, or emergency room, as well as related inpatient hospital stays, through May 31, 2020.
Cigna: Will waive consumer costs associated with COVID-19 treatment through May 31, 2020. This policy applies to customers in the United States who are covered under Cigna’s employer/union sponsored insured group health plans, self-insured group health plans, insured plans for U.S. based globally mobile individuals, Medicare Advantage, and Individual and Family Plans. Cigna will also administer the waiver.
Humana: Will waive consumer costs related to treatment and any FDA-approved medications or vaccines when they become available for COVID-19. This applies to enrollees of Medicare Advantage plans, fully insured commercial members, Medicare Supplement, and Medicaid. There is no current end. date.
Aetna/CVS Health company: Will waive member cost-sharing for inpatient admissions for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19. This policy applies to all Aetna-insured commercial plan sponsors and is effective immediately for any such admission through June 1, 2020.