NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Governor Bill Lee is reviewing options that could allow counties to issue their own mask mandates, similar to actions recently taken in Nashville. 

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee
 

Gov. Bill Lee has asked all state agencies to find ways to slash their budgets by 12% and submit their new proposals by the end of June. (file photo)

 

In Tennessee, 89 counties are under the governor’s control for the coronavirus. This means that local officials go to the state for guidance on dealing with the pandemic. 

Six Metro counties in Tennessee follow their own health guidelines, and do not need to go through the state. 

Nashville in Davidson Co. and Memphis in Shelby Co. have established their own mask mandates in recent weeks. 

Now Gov. Lee said his office is considering options that would allow individual counties to issue mask mandates of their own. 

The authorization could help counties like Sumner and Rutherford, where officials are pleading with people to wear masks to slow the reported uptick in COVID-19 cases. 

“There have been requests by localities about whether the authority exists about the mask mandate and we’re researching that right now,” the governor said. “Our approach is targeted where there are requests and challenges.”

Lee is scheduled to hold another press conference Thursday afternoon.

Knoxville will join Nashville and Memphis on Friday as the third Tennessee city to implement a mask mandate.

 
 

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A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twiiter @EthanIllers_TV!

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