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Gov. Lee signs executive orders extending State of Emergency, more

Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order (E.O. 59) on Friday that extends certain provisions of previous E.O.s through Sept. 30, 2020, to facilitate the continued treatment and containment of COVID-19.

Gov. Lee also signed Executive Order Nos. 60 and 61, which extend through Sept. 30 provisions that allow for electronic government meetings subject to transparency safeguards and remote notarization and witnessing of documents, allowing for implementation of best practices developed during COVID-19 for providing live broadcasts of electronic meetings and safely conducting in-person transactions, respectively, beginning Oct. 1.

Executive Order No. 59 extends previous provisions that: urge persons to wear a cloth face covering in places where in close proximity to others, while facilitating local decision-making concerning face covering requirements; urge social distancing and limit social and recreational gatherings of 50 or more persons, unless adequate social distancing can be maintained; limit nursing home and long-term-care facility visitation, while providing a framework for safe, limited visitation, and continue the closure of senior centers; provide that employers and businesses are expected to comply with the Governor’s Economic Recovery Group Guidelines for operating safely, and that bars may only serve customers seated at appropriately spaced tables (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments have authority to issue different directives); continue access take-out alcohol sales to encourage carryout and delivery orders; allow broad access to telehealth services; increase opportunities for people to easily join the healthcare workforce; facilitate increased testing and health care capacity; extend deadlines and suspend certain in-person continuing education, gathering, or inspection requirements to avoid unnecessary person-to-person contact; and increase opportunities to work remotely where appropriate.

Executive Order No. 60, as previously extended by Executive Order No. 51, allows governing bodies to meet electronically regarding essential business as long as they provide electronic access to the public and meet the safeguards established in that order to ensure openness and transparency.
The order ensures that governmental entities are able to carry out essential business in a safe, transparent way without creating large gatherings in a confined space, while requiring that governing bodies transition toward adopting best practices developed during the pandemic, like providing real-time, live public access to electronic meetings, beginning Oct. 1.

Executive Order No. 61, as previously extended by Executive Order No. 52, allows for remote notarization and remote witnessing of documents, subject to compliance with certain procedures.

The order ensures that persons, and particularly populations especially vulnerable to COVID-19, can continue to engage in commerce and execute legal documents without requiring in-person contact while also making preparations to implement best practices for a safe return to in-person transactions beginning Oct. 1.

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