Metro Nashville Public Health Director Micahel Caldwell issued Public Health Order 8 on June 28, requiring all residents to wear masks or facial coverings in public beginning June 29.
“Face coverings help slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said in a release. “The health of our community requires every Nashvillian to do their part. While our testing capacity continues to grow, the coronavirus remains a largely invisible threat. So, it’s vital that all who live and work in Davidson County maintain healthy habits.”
According to the health order, masks or face coverings must be worn in both indoor and outdoor public spaces, but will not be required if one of the following conditions applies:
- If you are a child aged 12 or younger
- In outdoor spaces while at least six feet away from others who do not reside or are related to you
- If outdoors while engaging in recreation or work
- If you are unable to medically tolerate wearing a mask or face covering
- If you are within your motor vehicle
- If you are within an educational institution
- If you are working alone in an office space separate from others
- If you are in a place or situation where wearing a mask poses a safety or security risk
- While eating or drinking in a restaurant or other food or beverage establishment
- While in a place of worship
- While in a building leased or owned by the state or federal government
The health order comes after the Metro Nashville Board of Health voted to approve a mandate that requires citizens in Nashville to wear masks in public during a special session on June 26. The board expressed support for the mask mandate as an alternative to returning to previous phases of Nashville's Roadmap to Reopening, which allowed many businesses to reopen in recent weeks.
The approved mandate comes at a time when coronavirus cases increased by 2,100 over the past 48 hours, according to daily updates from the Tennessee Department of Health, and when active cases have seen a resurgence in states like Texas and Florida.