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WILLIAMSON COUNTY FACE COVERING ORDER EXPIRES
On July 3, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 54 to grant county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local requirements that citizens wear face coverings in public places to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Lee encouraged every Tennessean across the state to use a face covering, to socially distance and wash hands frequently. Because of the escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases in Williamson County at that time, Mayor Anderson implemented a face covering requirement which has been in effect since July 8, 2020. The Williamson County order requiring face coverings will expire on August 29, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. However, Williamson Countians are strongly encouraged to voluntarily continue to wear face coverings when in public places where social distancing is not achievable.
Mayor Anderson has tried to strike a balance between public health objectives and the ability of individuals to make personal decisions for themselves and their families. However, the decisions of individuals have an impact on others with whom they come into contact, and for this reason, as numbers escalated, the face covering mandate was necessary for a period of time due to the health emergency.
After lengthy deliberation and consideration of extensive input, Mayor Anderson will allow expiration of the order mandating face coverings late tonight. As our numbers of new COVID-19 cases have decreased, many citizens have stated that they will take responsibility to wear a face covering voluntarily if the mandate is lifted. Mayor Anderson believes that wearing a face covering in public places, especially indoors when one must be in close proximity with others, is an important way to slow the spread of COVID-19, and is urging Williamson County residents to continue to voluntarily wear a facial covering when in public spaces where physical distancing is not possible.
Wearing of a face covering will continue to be required in all County-owned buildings, and the Tennessee Supreme Court’s orders will continue to apply to wearing of face coverings in buildings where court is conducted. In addition, businesses remain free to decide to require masks within their walls for the protection of their employees and customers and are encouraged to do so.
Citizens should also remember that the expiration of the Mayor’s order does not affect the policies adopted by the school systems within Williamson County, and the rules applicable to children in schools will continue to be governed by the Boards of Education and School Superintendents for the school districts.
Since the initial effective date of the face covering requirement, there has been a significant decrease of new and active cases in Williamson County. Continuing to wear a face covering voluntarily can help to keep our schools and businesses open, and Mayor Anderson encourages all citizens to continue to wear face coverings to slow the spread and show respect and concern for their neighbors. In addition, citizens are encouraged to support businesses who protect their employees and customers by requiring face coverings.
Diane Giddens, Chief of Staff
Williamson County Mayor’s Office