Gov. Bill Lee lifts restrictions on spectator sports

By Caleb Revill

Gov. Bill Lee issued a statement on “Executive Order No. 75” Thursday lifting restrictions on who can participate in or attend indoor school sporting events starting Feb. 1.

On Dec. 20, 2020, Lee signed “Executive Order No. 70” as Tennessee COVID-19 cases skyrocketed to record high numbers. The order limited high school indoor sports spectators to just immediate household family members. Cheerleaders were also not allowed to participate in games.

Lee signed “Executive Order No. 74” on Jan. 19, 2021 to extend the restrictions on spectator sports through Feb. 27, but the newest order will end these limitations starting Feb. 1.

Gov. Bill Lee

“Tennessee’s COVID-19 numbers continue to rapidly improve with almost a 60% decline in cases and nearly a 40% decline in hospitalizations because of the efforts of Tennesseans to wear masks, wash hands and limit gatherings,” Lee said in a press release. “When case counts were at their highest, we placed temporary, targeted restrictions on indoor school sporting events. The data now reflects rapidly falling numbers and because of that data, we are ending the recent additional restrictions around who can participate in or attend indoor school sporting events. The guidance and rules of local education agencies and the TSSAA remain in place, but Executive Order 74 will be suspended effective Monday, February 1. I encourage Tennesseans to keep up their responsible personal choices as we work towards a COVID-free Tennessee.”

In conjunction with the Governor’s announcement, the TSSAA stated in a press release that restrictions limiting cheerleaders and members of the general public from attending contests will be lifted on Monday, Feb. 1. The TSSAA rules regarding masks, temperature checks, social distancing and COVID-19 recommended venue capacities will remain in effect.

“We’re proud that our member schools have been taking steps to follow the Governor’s orders and limit the spread of the virus,” said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of TSSAA in a press release. “It is vitally important that we continue to be smart and safe in our activities, wear a mask, wash our hands and practice social distancing at every athletic contest.”

Milan High School’s Bulldogs basketball team will be playing their first home game with the lifted restrictions against Crockett on Feb. 9. They will also be playing two away games before then on Feb. 2 at Westview and Feb. 5 at Obion.

More information on the TSSAA rules and updates can be found at: http://tssaa.org

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