On Thursday, July 2, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 54 to grant county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local mask requirements in the event of a significant rise in COVID-19 cases. Monday, Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson issued an emergency proclamation requiring anyone entering a commercial or public building in Williamson County, including the City of Brentwood to wear a protective mask. The proclamation goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, and will expire on August 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner cancelled or extended.
“We are now facing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases over a short period of time,” said Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little. “In order to prevent the overrunning of our medical infrastructure it is vital that we all use every way possible to lower the daily new case numbers as rapidly as possible. For this reason, we are in support of Mayor Rogers Anderson’s order. This is imperative as we plan to reopen schools, businesses and enjoy other activities as we have in the past. Please protect your family and others,” Mayor Little added.
The emergency proclamation applies throughout Williamson County, including within its six cities and provides the following exemptions from wearing a mask:
- Within one’s residence or automobile, unless transporting others for hire;
- By a child twelve (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;
- Persons who are engaging in strenuous exercise and/or physical activity, provided, however, that such persons shall maintain 6-foot social distancing when not wearing a face covering;
- 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.
Health experts at the local, state and national levels have made it clear the Coronavirus is more likely to spread through close contact indoors, particularly with large gatherings in which people don’t practice social distancing or wear a mask or face covering.