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Special Legislative Session on COVID-19

 
The Tennessee General Assembly concluded a special legislative session on COVID-19. Read on to learn more about the topics covered and how those affect health centers: 
 
Last week, the Tennessee General Assembly reconvened in Nashville for a special legislative session on COVID-19. The General Assembly was called into session following a 2/3 majority in each chamber.  
 
More than 80 bills were filed during the legislative session, which ran from October 27 through the early morning hours of October 30. Ultimately, the legislature passed on omnibus bill, HB9077/SB9014 which contained several different provisions. Governor Lee has yet to sign the legislation into law, and has 10 days to take action on the bill. The governor can veto the legislation, sign it into law, or allow it to take effect without his signature at the end of 10 days. 
 
What provisions were contained in the omnibus bill? 
The bill tackled topics such as masking, proof of vaccination, mandatory vaccinations, and quarantining in schools, business, and government settings. Among other provisions, the bill: 
  • Places restrictions on mask mandates  
  • Prohibits most vaccine mandates 
  • Prohibits requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination in most cases 
  • Allows those who quit their jobs because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates to collect unemployment benefits 
 
Community health centers, as healthcare facilities, were not included in the many sections of the bill. Specific provisions in the bill that do apply to health centers include: 
  • Prohibition of any health care provider from administering the COVID-19 vaccine to a child without parental consent 
  • Allowance of a physician to prescribe the monoclonal antibodies treatment for any patient they believe needs it 
 
TPCA continues to review the finer points of the legislation and will provide additional updates as they become available. 
 

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