Gov. Bill Lee traveled to Washington, D.C. on Thursday to discuss authorities' response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.

Trump praised the work Lee has done in Tennessee, where coronavirus cases have been confirmed in dozens of nursing facilities. The governor pledged to test every resident and staff member in 700 long-term care facilities around the state.

“It’s time for us to protect them,” he said.

Lee said the initiative would take “enormous effort” but that he would enlist the National Guard to help with testing if needed.

When the legislature returns next month, Lee said his previously announced legislative initiatives related to guns and abortion would not be a priority, but “it’s up to the legislature what they take up.”

The state is working with the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee to analyze the health of the state’s unemployment insurance funds, which have been tapped at record levels in recent weeks.

MTSU leaders want to return in August

Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney McPhee on Thursday said he and his leadership team will bring back on-campus and in-person classes for the university’s fall semester, which will start in August. In a letter published on MTSU’s website, McPhee said a group led by Provost Mark Byrnes “will act quickly, but carefully” to lay out plans for getting the campus safely back up and running while being ready to adjust to public health officials’ guidance.

“While we cannot predict the future, we can prepare for the possibilities that lie ahead,” McPhee wrote. “Will everything be just like it once was? Unlikely, but we will be prepared to adapt and evolve so that we remain efficient, effective, and even more relevant as our nation emerges from this crisis.”

Dollar General ramps up hiring

The HR department at Dollar General has been sprinting this spring, bringing on more than 43,000 new workers since March 15 to bring the retail giant close to its hiring goal of 50,000 people, mostly for temporary jobs.

The leaders of Goodlettsville-based Dollar General said in March they were doubling their typical seasonal hiring push for store, warehouse, fleet and corporate workers. On Thursday, they said they still have thousands of people going through the interviewing and hiring process. They also announced that they are pumping another $25 million — to go with $35 million announced six weeks ago — into bonuses for workers across the country.

This post originally appeared in our sister publication, the Nashville Post

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