Williamson County officials announced Aug. 29 the county's mask mandate, which has been in effect for the past several weeks, will expire after 11:59 p.m. Aug. 29.

Residents are still encouraged to wear a mask in all public places where social distancing is not possible.

"After lengthy deliberation and consideration of extensive input, Mayor [Rogers] Anderson will allow expiration of the order mandating face coverings late tonight," an announcement from the county read. "As our numbers of new COVID-19 cases have decreased, many citizens have stated that they will take responsibility to wear a face covering voluntarily if the mandate is lifted. Mayor Anderson believes that wearing a face covering in public places, especially indoors when one must be in close proximity with others, is an important way to slow the spread of COVID-19, and is urging Williamson County residents to continue to voluntarily wear a facial covering when in public spaces where physical distancing is not possible."

Face coverings will still be required in county-owned buildings. Additionally, the mandate lift does not apply to Williamson County Schools, where students and staff will still be required to wear masks, according to the announcement.

"Since the initial effective date of the face covering requirement, there has been a significant decrease of new and active cases in Williamson County," officials said. "Continuing to wear a face covering voluntarily can help to keep our schools and businesses open, and Mayor Anderson encourages all citizens to continue to wear face coverings to slow the spread and show respect and concern for their neighbors. In addition, citizens are encouraged to support businesses who protect their employees and customers by requiring face coverings."