WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Williamson County officials announced Thursday the county will reinstate its mask mandate.
The mandate will go into effect Saturday at midnight and county officials expect to extend it through the end of 2020.
The previous mandate expired on Aug. 29.
County mayor Rogers Anderson allowed the order to be lifted because several residents have said they will continue to take responsibility and wear one voluntarily in public places.
Mayor Anderson determined it is appropriate to require cloth or other face coverings in certain circumstances in Williamson County to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to a release.
County officials noted in the release that in the past thirty days, numbers have again significantly increased in Williamson County, putting the continued operation of businesses, schools and governmental services in jeopardy.
“No one likes the fact that it is necessary to reinstitute a mask mandate in our county. Unfortunately, the numbers can’t be ignored,” Anderson said.
Mayor Anderson said, “I appreciate the Governor giving us the tools to address this issue without forcing a one-size-fits-all state-wide order. I believe local government is best positioned to make these decisions, even when they are difficult. At the end of the day, I believe this order is in the best interest of our community.”
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Tennessee was reported in Williamson County on March 5.
Governor Bill Lee has left mask mandates up to individual Tennessee counties.
Also on Thursday, Wilson and Sumner counties announced they will also be reinstating county-wide mask mandates.
The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed additional cases and deaths related to COVID-19 across the state on Wednesday, October 21.
Governor Bill Lee’s Unified Command Group announced plans to open drive-through COVID-19 testing sites in three counties Saturday, October 24 to address rising case rates in the state’s rural areas. All three are free to those who want to receive a test.
On Tuesday, TDH announced the launch of a new website for statewide COVID-19 data, additional health information, and more. The site offers dashboards and daily reports with state and county-level information including case counts, hospitalizations, and tests conducted.
The White House quietly told Tennessee last week that “a statewide mask mandate must be implemented” to curb its growing spread of COVID-19, strong instructions that the White House and governor did not discuss publicly before the report emerged in a records request.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.