Governor lifts restrictions starting Monday

Friday, January 29, 2021

With the decline in cases of COVID-19 across the state of Tennessee, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has announced Executive Order No. 74 will be suspended effective Monday, Feb. 1.

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Lee released the following statement in coordination with his video announcement:

“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. 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.” 

Last week, Lee issued Order No. 74 which changed the requirements for indoor sporting events and extended the deadline for those requirements to Feb. 27. The initial order, No. 70, was issued in December.

Under these restrictions, attendance to indoor sporting events were limited to:

1. Players’ parents or guardians and immediate household members;  Dyersburg City Schools will limit each player to a maximum of 4 tickets; 

2. Players’ grandparents;

3. School District teachers and staff (this does not include spouses)

4. First Responders;

5. Coaching and team personnel;

6. School, game, and facility administrators;

7. Athletics officials; and

8. Media and athletic scouting personnel attending the event in their professional capacity. 

Under the guidelines, bands, pep bands, cheerleaders and dance teams were not permitted to attend games.

Also on Thursday afternoon, with the Governor’s announcement, the TSSAA stated, via press release, the 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. “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.”

The TSSAA press release added member schools are encouraged to limit fan attendance to a number that will allow adequate social distancing (e.g., 1/4 to 1/3 of typical seating capacity, depending on the characteristics of the particular venue) and should mark/designate bleachers or seats in order to promote social distancing among spectators. Member schools must facilitate compliance with any applicable state or local order limiting gathering sizes for participation in public events. In consultation with local health providers, member schools in areas experiencing high virus transmission should consider further limitations on attendance (e.g., family members only, or no spectators). Limit informal gathering in areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.

On Thursday afternoon, Dyersburg City Schools released the following statement regarding the Governor’s announcement:

“With the decline in COVID-19 numbers across the state of Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee has lifted temporary restrictions on indoor school sporting events effective February 1, 2021. We do not have an official statement from TSSAA as of yet. Although we will still be at limited capacity, Dyersburg City Schools is excited to move toward a more inclusive, exciting environment inviting our students, cheerleaders, dancers, and community supporters back into our gymnasium! Thank you for continuing to wear your masks, wash your hands, and socially distance so that we can become COVID-FREE!!!! Schools will send out information regarding ticket sales.”

On Friday afternoon, Dyer County High School released the following statement on the governor's announcement:

"Dyer County High School will follow the TSSAA guidelines that were in place before Executive Order 70 and 74 were issued by Governor Lee. On Thursday, January 28 Governor Lee rolled back the sporting restrictions that were set in place by Executive Orders 70 and 74. Dyer County High School will still have limited capacity, require masks, temperature checks and social distancing. We are excited that cheerleaders and dancers will be allowed to attend games. Fans will need to purchase tickets to any upcoming game through the GoFan app. These tickets will be available for purchase on the GoFan app at 8:00am the day before the game. Fans with reserved seats or season passes will be allowed to attend games. Thank you for your cooperation during these times."

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