Mayors in multiple counties across Tennessee have extended their mask mandates. Many of these mandates, which were set to expire on August 3, will continue through most of August.
Governor Lee’s order was originally set to expire on August 3, but it was updated on July 28 to allow county mayors the ability to extend local mandates to August 29.
At press time, Davidson, Knox, Robertson, Rutherford, Sevier, Shelby, Sumner, Washington, Williamson, and Wilson counties have all extended their mandates, putting them in effect until August 29.
The leaders of these counties cited the uptick in COVID-19 cases as the catalyst for the extensions.
Speaking to Knox News, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said that “the majority of the people [the County has] spoken to are in favor of continuing the mandate,” referring to the “variety of opinions” from “city leaders, health providers, local businesses, and tourism officials” his office received.
Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson told the Williamson Herald that his office has “talked to the medical community, looked at the latest data, and the determination was to extend that mandate.” Anderson said it feels “like it’s making a difference.”
Some counties have taken a less sweeping approach to mask orders. Montgomery County’s mask mandate was extended to August 10, Greene County’s mandate is in effect until August 14, and Unicoi County’s mask orders were extended two weeks to August 17.
These extensions seem to simply add to the timeline of the existing mask mandates, leaving the details of the orders untouched. As such, all Tennesseans within these counties are required to face coverings, including medical masks, homemade masks, scarfs, bananas, or other face coverings when in public.
Tennesseans are not required to wear a mask in public if they:
- are under the age of 12;
- have underlying medical conditions that prevent them from safely wearing a mask;
- cannot remove a face covering without assistance;
- are in a situation in which a face covering would pose a safety or security risk;
- are in a house of worship (though masks are strongly encouraged);
- are voting in person; or
- are in a courtroom and the judge directs that face masks are not necessary or must be removed.
Here is a list of counties that have officially extended their face mask mandates as of the time of writing this article:
- Davidson County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Greene County: Extended to 8/14/2020
- Knox County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Montgomery County: Extended to 8/10/2020
- Robertson County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Rutherford County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Sevier County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Shelby County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Sumner County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Washington County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Williamson County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Wilson County: Extended to 8/29/2020
- Unicoi County: Extended to 8/17/2020
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