Out of concern for the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Wilson County, Mayor Randall Hutto announced Thursday that he is reissuing the mask mandate in Wilson County.
The mandate will be effective Saturday, Oct. 24 at 12:01 a.m. and will expire on Friday, Oct. 30 at 11:59 p.m. as required by Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order No. 63.
Wilson County’s first mask mandate was issued on July 17 when the 14-day case average was 40.4. By Sept. 25, the 14-day case average had decreased to 22.1 cases per day. The mask mandate was lifted on Sept. 30 in the hopes that the status quo would be maintained.
However, the 14-day case average climbed to 45.5 cases per day on Oct. 19. That day, Hutto joined in a virtual meeting with Lee and other Tennessee county mayors, where Lee announced that several Tennessee counties, including Wilson County, were listed as “hot spots.”
Accordingly, it was addressed in the meeting that hospitalizations in Tennessee had risen by 30% since Oct. 1. As a result, Lee highly encouraged mayors of any listed “hot spots” to issue mask mandates.
As of Wednesday, the state health department listed Wilson County (estimated population 145,000) with 5,186 positive virus test results, 449 active cases, 53 virus-related deaths and 3,953 recovered cases.
“Wilson County is made up of extraordinary individuals that put others before themselves in the most difficult of circumstances,” Hutto said in the news release. “By continuing to use preventative measures, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect one another.”
According to a new release, Hutto on Thursday contacted the three city mayors, Chambers of Commerce, school superintendents, Director of WEMA, the Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital and a group of Middle Tennessee county mayors, which the news release said were in concurrence with his decision.
The mandate allows for the exclusion of face masks to be worn in the following cases
Within one’s own residence or automobile, or other mode of private transportation, unless transporting others for hire;
By a child 12 years of age or younger;
By someone who has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face covering;
By someone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance;
While eating or drinking;
While outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household;
While working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household is substantially maintained;
In situations in which wearing a face covering poses a safety or security risk;
While in a house of worship unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged; or
While in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged.
While engaging in strenuous exercise and/or physical activity, provided however, that such persons shall maintain 6-feet of social distance when not wearing a face mask;
While attending any court proceedings or conducting business at the County Court Clerk’s office. Pursuant with the TN Supreme Court order, the courts of Tennessee remain open, consistent with the Judicial Branch’s obligation to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19.
Wilson County’s full data dashboard can be found at www.wilsoncountytn.gov.