NASHVILLE, TENN. (WSMV) - Governor Bill Lee has signed an executive order granting limited COVID-19 liability protection to healthcare providers.

Executive order No. 53 protects hospitals, nursing homes and health care workers from coronavirus-related lawsuits. The protection does not extend to cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

The Tennessee Hospital Association praised the order in a statement.

“Tennessee’s hospitals are grateful to Governor Lee for his latest executive action that recognizes the immense pressures faced by healthcare providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement says.

"As a result of the changing guidance in the midst of the pandemic, it is vitally important to protect healthcare providers from baseless or opportunistic litigation."

The order only applies to healthcare workers and facilities.

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