House to Vote on Bill Prohibiting Emergency Regulations, Closures on Churches, Religious Institutions

In Tennessee, houses of worship may never have to worry about blanket policies shutting them down during a state of emergency. Specifically, a proposed bill would limit state, political subdivisions, or public officials from imposing restrictions or outright prohibiting churches or religious organizations from operating. 

The bill would also limit the authority of county health officers to mandate quarantines. It wouldn’t extend its protections to those places of worship where an outbreak has occurred.

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Bill Proposes Protections for Private Businesses Against Repercussions for Violating Executive Orders

A new bill would prohibit governors or mayors from using law enforcement to force closure of private businesses under executive orders. Additionally, the bill would bar these government officials from using law enforcement to restrict the right to peaceably assemble or freely travel.

The legislation noted that curfews issued by executive order would still be enforceable, as well as the ability for state and local agencies and departments to maintain their health inspection standards.

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Ohio’s Biggest Teachers Union Calls for Immediate Closure with Four-Phase Position Statement

On December 3 the Board of Directors of the Ohio Education Association (OEA), Ohio’s largest labor union for educators, voted unanimously to adopt the position to immediately suspend all in-person learning in the state until January 11.

The OEA released the statement on December 7.

The position statement calls for state leaders and educational institutions to “reset”, “restart”, “re-prioritize” and “resource” in order to “ensure that the needs of Ohio’s students, educators and communities are met,” according to the union’s statement.

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CDC Report Indicates Masks May Increase Chance of Infection with COVID or Other Respiratory Illnesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report last month in which the nearly 71 percent of individuals infected with COVID-19 reported “always” wearing their mask. This opposed to the 4 percent of infected individuals who “never” wore masks.
The number of individuals infected with COVID-19 positively correlated with the consistency of mask-wearing. The report didn’t address the possible correlation between face mask hygiene and COVID-19 infection, such as proper handling and disposal of masks. It also didn’t differentiate the respondents’ mask types.

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