Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said today in a press conference to community newspapers that he has not “taken anything off the table” as far as instituting a mandatory lockdown statewide.

“Those decisions are really, really difficult,” he said. “I haven’t ruled out anything.”

The governor’s comments come as several municipalities across the state, including Knoxville, have issued “Safer at Home” orders for their communities, asking residents to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

State records show there are currently 784 positive cases in Tennessee, up from 615 yesterday.

Lee said he is trying to gauge the economic impact such a decision would have, along with the health concerns. But, he said he has issued several orders with social distancing measures, such as closing bars and schools.

Lee stressed in the press conference that it is every Tennesseans role to follow social distancing guidelines and to follow the advice of medical professionals.

“We need every Tennessean to know this is serious,” he said.

The governor launched a campaign today called “Do your part, stay apart.” The marketing campaign includes the governor, his wife, Maria and several celebrities including Country music star Brad Paisley, University of Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardaway, former NFL Titan Eddie George and former University of Tennessee head coach and current Athletic Director Phil Fulmer.

The public service announcement campaign is hope to reach Tennesseans and educate them about proper social distancing.

See tomorrow’s paper for more news about the governor’s press conference.