Citing that the use of masks is the best defense available against the spread of coronavirus, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore said he hope to help build awareness about the importance of wearing a mask.
"I am in total support of Mayor Anderson’s executive order mandating the use of masks in our county," Moore said in a statement. "As a doctor and mayor of Franklin, I’ve urged everyone to wear a mask when in public spaces. A mask is the best defense to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Let's keep Franklin a safe place for folks to live, work and play.”
Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little said given the increases in coronavirus cases in Williamson County and statewide, it is important to lower the number of new case numbers in order to prevent overwhelming health care facilities.
“We are now facing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases over a short period of time,” Little said in a release. “In order to prevent the overrunning of our medical infrastructure it is vital that we all use every way possible to lower the daily new case numbers as rapidly as possible. For this reason, we are in support of Mayor Rogers Anderson’s order. This is imperative as we plan to reopen schools, businesses and enjoy other activities as we have in the past. Please protect your family and others.”
Beginning July 7, several Williamson County organizations, including the Williamson County Health Department, the Downtown Franklin Association, Franklin Tomorrow and Williamson Inc., will launch the #wearamask campaign, during which community leaders will be sharing photos of themselves wearing a face mask and asking others to do the same.
In addition to government officials, industry leaders are also calling on residents to follow the order as a means to help preserve business in the area.
“I applaud Mayor Anderson for requiring masks in the county," Visit Franklin President and CEO Ellie Westman Chin said in a release. "I wear a mask because visitors are choosing to go where they have a sense of safety from the virus. A key to tourism having a major economic impact here again quickly is providing that level of confidence to visitors that our community is taking this virus seriously as we reopen.”
Westman Chin said a survey of more than 2,400 Williamson County residents showed only about 30% or less of residents felt comfortable inside a store or restaurant without a mask. Additionally, that same survey showed more than 70% of respondents believe wearing a mask can help flatten the COVID-19 curve.
National research from the U.S. Travel Association also showed that travelers were more likely to support businesses that showed a clear hygiene plan and had control on social distancing.
To help encourage more residents to wear masks, the city of Franklin is partnering with Visit Franklin to hand out 1,500 face masks at the Visitor Center in downtown Franklin while supplies last. The center will also hand out a portion of the WCHD's mask supply from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon-4 p.m. on Sundays.