NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The governor of Tennessee will continue to give the authority to mayors across the state to determine if masks should be worn in the public in their respective counties.
In July, Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order that allows Tennessee's mayors the option to implement or end mask mandates in their respective counties.
On Monday, the governor's office announced he would extent that order until the end of the year.
A spokesperson says that the Governor will sign the extension before it expires but won't do that until October 30th. More details are expected to be discussed at a press briefing on Tuesday.
“The governor has strongly encouraged Tennesseans to make responsible decisions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, including wearing masks in public, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when sick. He has also been clear that he believes that statewide, one-size-fits-all government mandates are not the best way to achieve sustainable compliance from individuals, as they are more likely to trust local leaders and that local leaders know the needs of their communities best. The governor's view has not changed based upon non-binding recommendations from the federal government. Previous White House reports dating back to the summer have included similar recommendations, so the inclusion here is not novel. I’ll also remind you that Dr. Birx described Tennessee’s approach to achieving mask wearing through local decisions and public messaging as a “sound strategy” during her visit to Nashville.”
The order does not apply to Davidson County, one of Tennessee's five major metro counties with its own health department. A mask mandate is currently in effect in Davidson.
Tennessee counties with and without mask mandates
|County||Mask Mandate (yes, no)|
The governor's announcement comes after a White House report stated that Tennessee should issue a statewide mask mandate.