Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson has renewed the county-wide mandate requiring citizens to wear masks or cloth face coverings in public to last until at least Aug. 29.
The mandate renewal comes after Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order 55, which extends Order 54 that allows 89 mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local requirements that citizens wear face coverings in public places in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In a Aug. 3 press release from the county government, officials said the county mayor believes the continued wearing of masks will continue to help active cases of coronavirus drop and is needed to help keep businesses and schools open during the fall.
"Mayor Anderson recognizes that there are many varying opinions on this issue, but believes that asking Williamson Countians to wear a face covering in indoor places and in outdoor places where distancing is not possible is a necessary safety measure in order that our local businesses may remain open and our schools will be able to open in the fall,” the release said. “Mayor Anderson believes continuing this requirement will help insure the continued decline in cases; and this simple measure can help protect our citizens during this unprecedented time.”
According to the release, violation of the mask mandate will result in a Class A misdemeanor, but the order will not apply to:
- Any person age 12 or younger
- Any person who cannot wear a mask due to an underlying health condition
- Any person who is incapacitated or unable to remove a face covering without assistance
- Any person in a private residence
- Person who are outdoors, unless they cannot maintain a social distance of at least six feet from others outside of the person’s household
- Persons while eating or drinking
- Person at a place of worship or other religious ceremony like a wedding or funeral, although they are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings anyway
- Persons within private motor vehicles
- Persons present on government property, at which point they will be subject to the rules of that government
- Persons at a voting site, although they are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings anyway
- Persons engaging in strenuous work or exercise provided that they maintain social distance of at least six feet from others
- Persons for whom wearing a face covering would pose a safety or security risk
Active cases of the coronavirus in Williamson County rose by over 1,000 in less than a month from June 30 to July 19. After the initial mask mandate was given by the county mayor on June 7, active cases slowly began to decrease after July 19, going from 1,545 to 1,322 as of Aug. 2, according to the latest update from the Tennessee Department of Health.