Montgomery County reinstates mask mandate


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett has signed Emergency Order #21, once again requiring all county residents to wear masks due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The mandate will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28. It is set to expire at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, when Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order #63 ends; however, once the governor extends that order, Mayor Durrett said he intends to extend his county’s mandate through at least Nov. 19.

“Our trajectory is moving in the wrong direction. While I appreciate there are differing opinions about masks, our local data suggests they work to reduce the incidence of this virus. Based on my conversations with other community leaders, we feel the mask mandate is in the best health interest of our residents,” Mayor Durrett said in a statement released Tuesday morning.

Mayor Durrett tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

Williamson County reinstated its mask mandate last week after Mayor Rogers Anderson said face coverings could help slow the spread of the virus. The requirement went into effect just after midnight Saturday, as did mask mandates for Wilson County and Sumner County.

The Rutherford County Face Covering Order will be reinstated Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. According to county officials, local COVID-19 cases are 2.8 times higher than in September and the seven-day average positivity rate has also doubled since that time.

Exceptions for wearing face-coverings include the following as outlined in Governor Lee’s Executive Order 54:

  • Within one’s residence or automobile, unless transporting others for hire;
  • By a child twelve (12) years of age or younger;
  • By someone who has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face-covering;
  • By someone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance;
  • While eating or drinking;
  • While outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household;
  • While working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household is substantially maintained;
  • In situations in which wearing a face-covering poses a safety or security risk;
  • While in a house of worship unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged; or
  • While in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged.

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