Wilson County Mayor declares State of Emergency, strongly recommends face masks

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LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — The mayor of Wilson County has declared a State of Emergency effective Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

Mayor Randall Hutto said this comes after tracking COVID-19 data to see how the virus is spreading there. On June 1, the 14-day average daily number of new cases was 6.9. On June 23, the average was 11.4 and has gone up seven days in a row. There were a total of 8 deaths from COVID-19 in Wilson County from May 12-June 5 and from June 9-23, that increased to 15 people.

Hutto said this increase is cause for concern and this is the reason he declared the State of Emergency.

“We want people to stay safe as they resume activities,” said Mayor Hutto. “We are requiring
people to wear masks when out in public. We ask all our businesses to take this very seriously to
keep their customers and staff safe by reconsidering the number of people in the business area
and by requiring masks in stores and businesses.”

The mayor told News 2 that while his office would like to enforce a mandate to wear face masks in public, his office does not have the power to do so. Rather, this is a recommendation from his office in an effort to protect citizens in Wilson County.

“We would love to say it’s a mandate from our office, but in actuality, we don’t have that authority, only health departments do. Just from the mayor’s office we are seeing this rise, so we’re doing everything we can do to protect the citizens of the county. So, that’s what we would ask the businesses and the citizens of the county join together to keep citizens safe.”

“Many people believe that the mayor is in charge and the mayor can make these calls. And we really can’t make the calls. All we can do is just ask for persuasion, to ask people to do the best that they can. So, that’s what we’re doing.”

The mayor’s office clarified the use of the word ‘required’ in a press released Wednesday afternoon:

We have received many calls about the word “required” in our press release earlier today. We do not have the authority to require anybody to wear a mask nor will anybody be arrested for not wearing a mask. We strongly encourage people to wear masks because of the increase in number of COVID-19 cases and rise in deaths in Wilson County.

Wilson County Mayor’s Office

The mayor said masks are available at the Wilson County Health Department located at 927 East Baddour Parkway in Lebanon.

The Health Department can be reached at (615) 444-5325 and they are open Monday-Friday from 9:00a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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

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