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Wearing masks not mandatory yet

By: James Clark -- Editor for the Southern Standard


Newman



Four communities in Tennessee now require wearing face masks – Knox County, Shelby County, Nashville and Memphis.

Will Warren County join the face mask club?

“At this time, hard clerical data does not mandate the wearing of masks across the county,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley during a Tuesday press conference. “If conditions worsen, I will take the appropriate measures to protect the safety and welfare of every man, woman, and child in our community.”

Warren County is up to 106 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

McMinnville Mayor Ben Newman says he’s read the governor’s order which gives local governments the ability to require face masks to be worn in public. Newman says that authority has been granted to county mayors, not city mayors, so the call is Haley’s to make.

Newman says he’s been talking to Haley about the decision.

“When you look at our numbers, we’ve been averaging 3.7 new cases per day over the last two-week period,” said Newman. “When you look at other communities, our cases per day are much lower. I don’t think we’re at the level yet where requiring face masks is going to happen.”

Newman has been providing his input on the face mask decision because if a face mask requirement is enacted McMinnville Police Department will have a role in enforcement efforts.

“How would our Police Department handle it?” asked Newman. “Would we push really hard, or not at all?”

Newman said all city employees were told last week to wear face masks any time they are out in public.

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