The state of Tennessee has closed all of its railway services for a period of two weeks as a precaution.
The shutdown follows the deaths of at least 14 people at a train station in Chattanooga and at least 13 at a railway station in Nashville.
Bill Haslam told reporters on Monday that the shutdown will be in effect until a new plan is developed.
A total of 1,500 Tennessee rail workers will be furloughed from their jobs and will not be able to take time off to care for their families, according to Haslam.
Haslam said the move was in response to “a pandemic.”
In addition to the train shutdown, Haslam also ordered the suspension of the Mississippi River Delta Bridge.
The suspension, which has been in place for more than a month, will allow authorities to close the bridge and “ensure that public safety remains the top priority.”
Haslam called the suspension a “critical step to ensure the safety of all Tennesseans and visitors to the state.”
The Tennessee Department of Transportation announced in a statement on Monday the closure of its Tennessee Railroad Transit Authority service in the Delta.
It is not clear how many Tennessees are affected.
The transit agency will operate on a limited schedule and will also not be offering service to the general public.
“The Delta Bridge is critical to the Tennessee economy and the quality of life for thousands of Tennessean families and visitors,” the statement read.
A passenger trains near the entrance to the Chattanooga International Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S. September 28, 2018.
A passenger trains in front of the entrance of the Chattanooga Airport, Tennessee September 28 of 2018.
Haslam also called on Congress to pass a federal bill that would create a “one-stop shop” to assist those affected by the pandemic.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, but its fate is uncertain.
President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called for an end to the pandemics, also called the Tennessee shutdown a “great day for the American people.”
“We’re going to be doing all of our best to get it done,” Trump told reporters in Nashville, according the Associated Press.
“Tennessee is going to do a great job.
It’s a good day for us.
I want to thank the governor.
He did a great thing.”