Columbia mayor pushes for state-wide mask mandate as Maury County COVID-19 cases increase

Coronavirus

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — As COVID-19 cases trend upwards in Maury County, Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder says the public health response needs to improve.

“What we’ve been seeing here in Columbia and Maury County is an increase in new cases, our hospitalizations are on the rise, our average positivity rate over the last seven days has exceeded the state average,” Molder said.

According to data from the Tennessee Department of Health, Maury County’s seven-day average is sitting at roughly 90 new cases a day over the last week.

On Wednesday, 20% of all Maury County COVID-19 tests came back positive.

At Maury Regional Medical Center, 64 people are being treated for COVID-19. Hospital officials also say their 30-bed intensive care unit is full, almost all with patients that have coronavirus.

“Our hospital services approximately 250,000 people. So with the hospitalization rate where it is today, that’s very concerning,” Molder said.

To help get things under control, Molder would like to see Governor Bill Lee impose a state-wide mask mandate. Something the Maury County Mayor, Andy Ogles, recently told News 2 he opposes.

“I’m a firm believer the mask mandate as it’s currently written is unconstitutional. If you want a mask mandated in the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee legislature needs to convene and address that,” Ogles said.

Last week during a COVID-19 press briefing, Metro Coronavirus Task Force Chair Dr. Alex Jahangir said counties like Davidson, Williamson, and Rutherford all saw improvements after re-instating mask mandates.

He also pointed out that Maury County ranks roughly fifth in the state for virus severity.

“At this point in the game where we are with this virus, if someone is telling us that knows medicine and knows science that the mask has the potential to work, why not give it a try? Because right now we’re running out of options,” Molder said.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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(This reflects what the TDH reports each day. )

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