Friday, 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.
“While our densely populated urban areas continue to have the highest COVID-19 case rates, our local governments expressed a need for greater flexibility in addressing a rise in cases and that includes setting stronger expectations around masks,” said Gov. Lee. “This targeted approach ensures we protect both lives and livelihoods and safely keep our economy open in Tennessee. We encourage every Tennessean across the state to use a face covering or mask, make sure to socially distance and wash hands frequently.”
The six counties with locally run health departments including Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison and Shelby counties retain the existing authority to issue mask requirements as needed.
The full text of the order can be read here.