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County extends mask mandate to Sept. 30

From STAFF REPORTS

Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy is extending the requirement of face coverings for all residents, visitors and businesses in Washington County through Sept. 30.

“Our regional health officials predicted that following CDC guidelines, including face coverings, would slow the increase in positive cases,” Grandy said. “We are now 46 days into our local face covering requirement and trends show that prediction was correct. Masks, physical distancing, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces disinfected are proven measures. By extending the mandate the hope is to keep us on a downward trajectory with regards to cases.” 

 Mayor Grandy’s County Executive Order No. 4 states that masks must be worn by people in public places beginning at 11:59 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29. Unless extended or repealed, Washington County will remain under this order until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. This extension falls under Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order No. 59, which extends the ability of local county mayors to require face coverings. 

The Mayor’s face covering order includes the following:

• A face covering over the nose and mouth shall be worn by employees and visitors inside businesses, organizations or venues in use by members of the public.

• Children age 12 and under are not required to wear a face covering.

• Persons who have trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or those who have another bona fide medical or health-related reason are not required to wear a face covering.

• Face coverings are not required in situations in which wearing one poses a safety or security risk.

The new order is available on Washington County’s web site (washingtoncountytn.org) under COVID-19 Updates.

Governor Lee signed Executive Order 54 on July 3, granting county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local mask requirements in the event of a significant rise in COVID-19 cases. 

On July 8, Mayor Grandy issued an order requiring masks be worn inside public areas of all government buildings in Washington County. The following day, Chief Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins issued a state-wide order requiring masks be worn in all courts and court clerks’ offices, except administrative courts within the Executive Branch, federal courts and federal court clerks’ offices in Tennessee. On July 13, the Mayor issued the first mask mandate for Washington County.