How local businesses and others are responding to COVID-19

Mar 19, 2020 at 10:15 am by Michelle Willard

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

According to a report from WalletHub, Tennessee has fallen behind other states in its response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

To identify which states are taking the largest actions to combat coronavirus, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 35 key metrics. The data set ranges from tested cases of COVID-19 per capita and state legislation on the pandemic to the uninsured population and share of the workforce in affected industries.

You shouldn't be surprised that we did not fair well.

WalletHub found that Tennessee is:

45th – State and Local Public Health Laboratories per Capita

40th – Tested Cases of COVID-19 per Capita

35th – Public Hospital System Quality

43rd – Share of Workers with Access to Paid Sick Leave

41st – Total Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Funding Per Capita

21st – Public Healthcare Spending per Capita

No. 1 is the best. This means that there's only one area (Public Healthcare Spending per Capita) where we are above average.

"One of the most aggressive actions that states have taken thus far is to institute a curfew for residents. New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have done that so far, but other states are contemplating the move, as well," said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. "Another drastic measure has been to call in the national guard, which at least 18 states have done."

The lack of leadership from the state and even county level has left a proper response up to local businesses, utilities and others. To help keep track of the responses, I've compiled the ones I've received into the slideshow above. I'll update it as more come in. 

If your business has a response plan, email me at

COVID-19 Reported Cases in Tennessee

As of 3:45 p.m. Thursday, March 19:


Confirmed cases








Rutherford County



There is at least one case in each state, according to the CDC. A majority of Tennessee's cases are in Davidson and Williamson counties. No deaths directly related to the virus have been reported in Tennessee.

More info

If you want more information about COVID-19, visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website to get the most up-to-date information. The Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line (1-877-857-2945) is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CT) daily.

And remember wash your hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand rub) for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue. Clean and disinfect objects (e.g. cell phone, computer) and high-touch surfaces regularly.

Also keep your germs to yourself and stay at home when you are sick.

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