Multiple Counties Across Tennessee Extend Mask Mandates


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 Bill Lee signed Executive Order 54 on July 3, which grants local leaders the authority to order masks and other face coverings when out in public.

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.

Unicoi County Mayor Garland “Bubba” Evely told WJHL that Unicoi County officials wanted to look at the mandates “on a two-week level.”

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

– – –

Sam Medley is a journalist at the Tennessee Star and Star News Network. You can follow Sam at Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]




Related posts

4 Thoughts to “Multiple Counties Across Tennessee Extend Mask Mandates”

  1. JG2284

    And Fox 17 news says this…

    30,000 Tennessee doctors, teachers, pharmacists demand statewide mask mandate

    If masks actually did anything we would see a decrease in cases….

  2. 83ragtop50

    A lot of this appears to be a power grab by elected officials who are not up for re-election. But I sure as heck will not forget this. Who says that the governor has the authority to pass along authority to the county “kings”. An authority for which possibly the governor does not have.

  3. Ralph

    What is the source of the exception noted – is it in the Executive Order cited?

    And who’s to say that undue anxiety and stress is not an underlying medical condition? Or, if you read the science on why and how masks don’t work, and agree with that, are you not participating in a deception by wearing one? Therefore, are you not doing the devil’s work by engaging in that deception? Again, who’s to say that refusing to wear a mask on religious grounds does not qualify? If so, the Americans with Disabilities Act also provides relief.

    In a settlement between the United States of America and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee (DJ # 202-71-130) the background of that settlement includes the following text:

    “6. Under Title III of the ADA, no person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation may discriminate against an individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a); 28 C.F.R. § 36.201. “

    “7. Discrimination includes a public accommodation’s failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to afford its goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to an individual with a disability, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(2) (A)(ii); 28 C.F.R. § 36.302.”

    “8. It is also discriminatory to deny an individual the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of the public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(b)(1)(A); 28 C.F.R. § 36.202.”

    I have prepared a civil rights complaint on this basis against the local affiliate of a nationwide franchise, and plan to file that complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Millions of others should do likewise.

  4. Julie

    If these masks worked we wouldn’t see the surge in cases in almost every county being reported by the local media. The numbers cannot be trusted anyway. Car accidents can be counted as COVID deaths if the person tested positive and the hospitals are testing everyone who comes through the door since the CARES Act provides a higher reimbursement rate for COVID positives. Thomas Friedman of the NY Times was interviewed on CNN Monday night, here is what he had to say when asked if he saw an end in sight for this COVID stuff:
    FRIEDMAN: Oh, I do see an end in sight. It’s in November. I will walk. I will crawl. I will slither. I will bike. I will hike. But I will be going to the polls to vote for Joe Biden because until, unless we replace this president and this administration, we’re gonna be having the same conversation every day. All right? That is what this is about. It’s about removing this man who has no business being president.