Wayne County Executive announces new mask mandate as COVID-19 concerns continue


WAYNE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Wayne County has issued a new mask mandate, according to a release from County Executive Jaime T. Mangubat.

After consulting with the mayors of several municipalities within Wayne County, the School Superintendent and physicians, the Wayne County Executive of Tennessee issued a Declaration of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cloth or face coverings that cover the nose and mouth are now required in Wayne County within all publicly-accessible areas of commercial business establishments. This includes in public outdoor areas where six-feet of distance cannot be maintained.

A “commercial business establishment” means any establishment that sells goods or services, or a combination thereof, including but not limited to grocery stores, restaurants, lobbies and public spaces in hotels and other places of lodging, pharmacies, banks, salons, retail stores, medical and dental offices, and entertainment and sports venues.

Jaime T. Mangubat, County Executive, New Mask Mandate COVID-19

The release also stated this order does not apply to:

  • Any person who is age 12 or younger, provided, however, that this exception does not apply to students on school property or at school events who are subject to a face covering mandate imposed by a local board of education. In those instances, the local board of education’s mandate shall apply;
  • Any person who cannot safely wear a face covering because he/she has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for wearing a face covering;
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
  • Persons in a private residence;
  • Persons who are outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate 6-foot social distancing from others outside of the person’s household;
  • Persons while eating or drinking;
  • Persons in a place of worship or participating in activity attendant to worship (unless a face covering is required by the place of worship or other location where worship activity is occurring), although persons in places of worship or participating in activities attendant to worship are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19;
  • Persons within private motor vehicles, unless such vehicle is being used for public transportation or a vehicle for hire;
  • Persons working under conditions where appropriate social distancing of a at least six feet from others outside the person’s household is substantially maintained;
  • Persons present in government facilities or on government premises, who shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the governmental entity operating the facility or premises. Persons present in the public areas of all Wayne County government facilities will wear cloth or other face coverings, subject to the age and health restrictions outlined herein, and subject to number 11 below.  Other local governmental entities may issue their own directives regarding their facilities;
  • Persons in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election; although such persons are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19;
  • Persons who are engaging in strenuous exercise and/or physical activity, provided, however, that such persons shall maintain 6-foot social distancing when not wearing a face covering;
  • Persons for whom wearing a face covering would pose a safety or security risk.

Businesses or spaces included in this order need to post signage at entrances informing the public of the requirements to wear a mask inside the establishment.

While it is the hope and expectation that Wayne County Citizens will comply with this Order out of a sense of civic duty and respect for their fellow citizens, and attempts at education and communication are the preferred methods of obtaining compliance, state law provides for enforcement of this Order if necessary.  Pursuant to Executive Orders 54, 55, 63 and 67, and Tennessee Code Annotated S58-2-120, violation of this Order shall constitute a Class A misdemeanor.

Jaime T. Mangubat, County Executive, New Mask Mandate COVID-19

This is the first time Wayne County has issued a mask mandate. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on November 18, 2020. Currently, it is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on December 29, 2020, as required by Executive Order 67.

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


COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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