What are essential activities? Here's the official list

Other community news, announcements regarding response to COVID-19

While we’re generally supposed to stay at home, there are exceptions.

But guess what? You aren’t actually required to stay home under Gov. Bill Lee’s Thursday Executive Order No. 23 if what you’re out doing is on the list of essential activities.

Here is that list, which even allows us to go riding in our cars, even for sightseeing (just don’t get out and mingle):

Essential Activity. For purposes of this Order, Essential Activity means:

a. Engaging in activities essential to a person's health and safety or the health and safety of family or household members, persons who are unable or should not leave their home, or pets, including, but not limited to, seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or assistance, obtaining medication, obtaining non-elective medical care or treatment or other similar vital services, or visiting a health care professional;

b. Obtaining necessary services or supplies for persons and their family or household members, persons who are unable or should not leave their home, or pets or delivering those services or supplies to others, including, but not limited to, groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies required to work from home, automobile supplies (including dealers, parts, supplies, repair, and maintenance), and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

c. Providing, facilitating, or receiving delivery or curbside carry-out delivery of online or telephone orders from businesses or organizations that do not perform or are not necessary for the performance of Essential Activity;

d. Engaging in outdoor activity, provided that persons the Health Guidelines to the greatest extent practicable, including, but not limited to, driving or riding in a vehicle, walking, hiking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, golf, tennis, or other sports or recreational activities that can be performed while maintaining the aforementioned precautions or utilizing public parks and outdoor recreation areas; provided, however, that congregating or playing on playgrounds presents a unique risk for the spread of COVID-19 and is therefore not covered as an Essential Activity;

e. Caring for or visiting a family member, friend, or pet in another household, or transporting or traveling with family members, friends, or pets as allowed by this Order; provided, that the Health Guidelines are followed to the greatest extent practicable;

f. Visiting a place of worship or attending a wedding or funeral; provided, that the Health Guidelines are followed to the greatest extent practicable. However, it is strongly encouraged that the public celebration component of weddings and funerals be postponed or attended only by close family members; or 4

g. Engaging in Essential Travel, as defined below.

Essential Travel. For purposes of this Order, Essential Travel means:

a. Travel related to Essential Activity or otherwise permitted by this Order;

b. Travel related to performing Essential Services;

c. Travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;

d. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.

e. Travel to and from outside of the State of Tennessee; or f. Travel required by law, law enforcement, or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.

From Anderson County Sheriff Russell Barker, April 2:

“By now, most of you have read the news regarding Governor Lee’s Executive Order to stay at home unless engaging in essential activity or essential services. Go to https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/essential-services.html to find what the state of Tennessee deems essential.

“Our office continues to monitor the situation and will work with our partners to ensure our County remains safe while taking every precaution when engaging with the public.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a trying time for so many. Following the guidance of the President’s Task Force and our state and local health officials is vitally important to defeating this virus. Together we can and we will get through this.

“I pray that God protects you and your family. He is in control and will carry us through.”

From the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, April 3:

“Covid-19 has created an enormous amount of questions surrounding our ability to hunt and fish in Tennessee during this crazy time. The Governor, the Tennessee Wildlife Commission, and your TWRA believe that the outdoors plays an integral role in the health of all Tennesseans. Below are some answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions that we have received over the past few weeks. In the event these answers change, we will update this list.

“Are we concerned about the Covid-19 virus?

“Yes, this disease is an imminent threat to Tennesseans and should not be taken lightly. We encourage all hunters, anglers, and boaters to follow the Governor’s Executive orders and practice social distancing while enjoying Tennessee’s outdoors. Enjoy the outdoors, but do it in a safe manner. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has established guidelines for individuals to protect themselves and limit the spread of Covid-19.

“Can I still hunt and fish in Tennessee?

“Yes, hunting and fishing in Tennessee has not been cancelled. All fish and game seasons and bag limits remain unchanged.

“Can I still hunt Tennessee public land?

“Yes, public lands controlled by the TWRA are open for business. This means that you can get out to your favorite Wildlife Management Area. If going to any location to boat or fish, be sure to check with the managing authority to make sure that place is open for recreation. There are several localities and counties that have closed some parks and boat ramps.

“Can I still go fishing or cruising on my favorite lake?

“Yes, Tennessee lakes and rivers and the access areas controlled by TWRA remain open to anglers and recreational boaters. In addition, Tennessee unmanned shooting ranges remain open for your safe enjoyment. This includes TWRA family fishing lakes, WMAs and TWRA managed boat ramps.

“The TVA has ordered some boat ramps that they manage closed, doesn’t that mean the TWRA has closed the boat ramp?

“The TVA and TWRA are different entities. The TVA is a Federal Agency. The TWRA is a Tennessee State Agency. We do work with one another on occasion, however, we are not the same agency. The TVA manages boat ramps and, likewise, the TWRA has boat ramps it manages. The TVA cannot close boat ramps that we manage. At present, no boat ramp managed by TWRA is closed.

From Dollar General Stores, April 2:

“Dollar General is committed to serving our communities and plans to remain open to provide customers with household essentials. Medical personnel, activated National Guardsmen and first responders receive 10% off storewide, every day. We are dedicating the first hour each day to our senior and at-risk customers. We are also closing stores an hour earlier to clean and restock. Thank you for shopping with us. http://ms.spr.ly/6182TeT9j.

Clinch River Community School Greenhouse (April 1):

The Clinch River Community School Greenhouse officially opened for spring plant sales on Thursday. Due to school closures the following are in effect:

“We have relocated our plants to ACCTC's greenhouse closest to the highway (at Anderson County High School).

“We will be operating on a modified schedule and will only be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

“Unfortunately, no students are allowed to help with the sales. We ask that you pay by check made out to CRCS or by cash with small bills, as we will not make change.”