Tennessee Governor Bill Lee rejected White House advisor Dr. Deborah Birx’s recommendation that bars should close and restaurants should reduce dining capacity to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state, which officials warn is on the precipice of a crisis.

Meanwhile, Phase 3 clinical trials began this week for both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines. Each trial aims to enroll 30,000 adults to determine whether the vaccines are safe and effective.

Here’s a rundown of other developments and stories related to the coronavirus:
  • White House and Congressional negotiators remain far apart over the next coronavirus relief package, with many protections like unemployment benefits expiring at the end of this week.
  • The pharmaceutical industry is pushing to make the FDA’s flexibility as a result of the pandemic permanent.
  • Nashville-based company Hytch and Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU) Data Science Institute partnered for a study showing the Hytch Rewards could be used as a contract tracing app.