Williamson County’s face mask mandate order expires

Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson allowed the order mandating face coverings across the county to expire as of Saturday. His decision followed “lengthy deliberation and consideration of extensive input,” according to a statement released by his office.

That means businesses are free to decide whether to require masks for the protection of their employees and customers. However, face covering are still required for anyone entering county-owned buildings.  The expiring order also does not change the policies adopted by Williamson County Schools in regards to students, teachers and administrators.

Mayor Anderson has tried to strike a balance between public health objectives and the ability of individuals to make personal decisions. 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.”

Since the initial effective date of the face covering requirement, the mayor’s office reports there has been a significant decrease of new and active cases in Williamson County.

Mayor Anderson also believes 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.

The county mandate order went into effect on July 8, following Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 54 on July 3, granting 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. Due to the escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases in Williamson County at that time, Mayor Anderson implemented the face covering requirement.

While the Williamson County order requiring face coverings expired on August 29, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., residents are strongly encouraged to voluntarily continue to wear face coverings when in public places where social distancing is not achievable.

The Williamson Health Department continues to provide free, drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Williamson Ag Center, located at 4215 Long Lane, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You do not have to be a Williamson County resident or have insurance to be tested.

As of August 30, the total COVID-19 case count for Tennessee was 153,115 including 1,747 deaths, 6,840 hospitalizations and 114,769 recovered. Williamson County’s total number of cases was 4,334 with 1,104 active cases, 3,202 recovered and 28 deaths.

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