By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

The coronavirus scare continues to affect operations of schools, businesses and government operations across Tennessee.

Earlier this week, Vanderbilt University, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin, UT-Knoxville and Tennessee Tech announced the suspension of in-person classes and moved to online instruction.

Closer to home, Volunteer State Community College announced the cancellation of all classes from March 16-21, as well as the cancellation of all campus events. Vol State also said many classes would move to an online-only format beginning March 23.

Cumberland University in Lebanon also announced the indefinite postponement of all non-athletic events until March 31.

While some counties in Tennessee have closed schools, Trousdale County Director of Schools Clint Satterfield said there was no reason to do so here.

“We are monitoring the situation, but there are no cases in Trousdale County or in any county touching us so far,” he said.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency on Thursday.

On Friday, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order suspending all in-person judicial proceedings through the end of March.

The court’s order includes a substantial list of exceptions including: proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants, such as bond-related matters and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals; civil and criminal jury trials that are already in progress; proceedings relating to orders of protection; proceedings related to emergency child custody orders; Department of Children’s Services emergency matters related to child protection; proceedings related to petitions for temporary injunctive relief; proceedings related to emergency mental health orders; proceedings related to emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable persons; and proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Any permitted in-court proceedings will be limited to attorneys, parties, witnesses, security officers, and necessary persons as determined by the trial judge.

Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin has implemented a new visitor policy under which visitors will be screened and limited to one person per room at a time during visiting hours. Visitors under age 18 will not be permitted.

Some exceptions to that policy include the emergency room, pediatric unit and hospice.

The sports world has been affected with the NBA and NHL suspending their seasons until further notice. MLB has canceled spring training and delayed the start of its season and the NCAA has canceled all spring championships, including the NCAA basketball tournaments.

The TSSAA has also suspended the state basketball championships until further notice. So far, spring sports such as baseball and softball remain unaffected.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected] Contributing: Staff reports