Bill Lee

Gov. Bill Lee speaks at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Dec. 17.

Shortly after Tennessee saw the single-highest COVID-19 case rate in the nation, Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday announced the extension of Tennessee's state of emergency that was first issued back in March.

Set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2021, the state of emergency allows for county mayors to institute mask mandates, government bodies to continue to hold meetings by electronic means, and for a variety of different exceptions to normal business and government procedures as to help curb the spread of the virus.

The state of emergency does not mandate mask wearing, but rather encourages Tennesseans to do so when in a public setting where proper social distancing isn't possible. The order also mandates people with COVID-19 or symptoms of the virus stay home except to receive medical care.

The extension of the state of emergency comes after Lee's Sunday night statewide address in which he announced indoor gatherings across the state would be limited to 10 people, a measure that would be mandated through executive order.

To read the extension of the state of emergency in its entirety, click here.