NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday his administration has launched a public-service announcement campaign featuring dozens of Tennessee sports and entertainment figures urging millions of state residents to adopt preventive health measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The "Do your part, stay apart" campaign features Lee and first lady Maria Lee as well as Tennessee musician Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Others include University of Memphis basketball coach Penny Hardaway, former NFL Titan Eddie George and Taj George, University of Tennessee athletics director Phil Fulmer and Vicky Fulmer.
Others among the dozens of celebrities participating include Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith and Cece Winans.
The "Do your part, stay apart" campaign is starting on social media but Lee officials say it will soon expand to television and billboards.
"COVID-19 is a serious threat to the health and livelihood of our state that must be treated seriously by Tennesseans so that we can slow the spread of this virus, keep our people healthy and get our lives back to normal as soon as possible," Lee said in a statement.
The governor said, "involving influential Tennesseans will help us reach more of our citizens to drive home the message that the only way to beat the virus is to stop it from spreading. Maria and I are deeply grateful to the individuals in this campaign who are utilizing their tremendous public influence and reach to protect the health of their fellow Tennesseans."
Partipants are recording messages from their homes to emphasize that Tennesseans should stay home as much as possible, avoid gathering with friends, at church or in any non-essential activity — and outside the home to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
The messaging also encourages Tennesseans to watch out for neighbors, especially those who may be vulnerable to illness: "Right now, the best way for us to care for one another is to keep our distance — and take care of our neighbors. Give them a call or video chat. We're all in this together. Please do your part, by staying apart."
While launching initially on social media, the "Do your part, stay apart" campaign will quickly be supported by Charter Communications (Spectrum) and Comcast, as well as Outdoor Advertising Association Tennessee who donated poster and digital billboards across the state.
Social media handles are #TNStayApart @GovBillLee @TNDeptofHealth.