Metro Council sends mask mandate proposal to final vote

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An ordinance to issue an indoor mask mandate for Nashville will move to a final vote in October. 

On Tuesday, Metro Council voted 21 in favor, 12 against, and 4 absent for the measure to move onto a second reading.  

The vote comes after Metro Council requested the Metro Public Health to implement a mask mandate, which the department declined to do. 

The ordinance would require individuals over 2-years-old to wear masks while inside public spaces, businesses, or facilitates open to the public.  

The proposal calls for a $50 fine for those in violation, a measure that would be enforced by the Metro Nashville Police Department.  

“I think we continue to see we are trending in the wrong direction, I understand that there are concerns about overreach in our department of health and it’s clear that our department of public health is focused on politics and not public safety,” co-sponsor Joy Styles said.  

Councilmember Colby Sledge said he was in support of the mask mandate, adding health officials had reached out to various council members requesting an indoor mask mandate. 

Council members Freddie O’Connell and Ginny Welsh cited concerns about Metro’s previous mask mandate, saying they would not classify it as a success. O’Connell pointed to issues with enforcement of the mandate, citing a homeless man of color who was arrested for not wearing a mask last year. 

The bill requires one more reading before Metro Council before it could take effect. The next council meeting is on October 5.  

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