Sumner and Williamson Counties joined Davidson County on Monday issuing mandates requiring residents to wear masks in public. 

There are now eight Tennessee counties requiring the public wearing of face masks. The other counties include Shelby, Knox, Davidson, Madison and Hamilton counties. 

Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson announced county residents will be required wearing masks beginning Tuesday night.

Anderson signed the county-wide executive order on Monday after Gov. Bill Lee signed an order last week allowing individual counties to issue a mandate.

“After much consideration and after consultation with each of the mayors of the various municipalities in Williamson County, as well as the School Superintendents for the two school districts within the County, Mayor Rogers Anderson finds that there is a consensus that wearing a cloth or other face covering should be required in certain circumstances in Williamson County,” Anderson said in a statement on Monday. 

The order ends at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 3.

“Mayor Anderson recognizes that there are many varying opinions on this issue, but believes that asking Williamson Countians to wear a face covering in indoor public places, and in outdoor public places where distancing is not possible, is a necessary safety measure in order that our local businesses may remain open and our schools will be able to open in the fall. Allowing the current spike in cases to continue jeopardizes our businesses, government and court operations, schools, and way of life; and this simple measure can help to protect our citizens during this unprecedented time.”

Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt announced on Monday that he has issued an executive order effective midnight Tuesday that requires face mask coverings be worn.

On Monday, 1,636 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Sumner County along with 52 deaths.

Holt said it's one of the simplest ways to slow the spread of the virus.

In a county with nearly 300 new cases in the last week, they hope to keep businesses from shutting down again.

"With this order I am asking nicely I am pleading, but I am also using the power the governor conveyed on county mayors to require you wear a face mask this order will be enforced," Holt said.

Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett also signed Executive Order 9 to mandate face masks.

Durett made the decision after meeting with City Mayor Joe Pitts and his Chief of Staff, Montgomery County Health Department Director Joey Smith, and Director of Medical Services Jimmie Edwards.

“Based on the data we have seen our cases going up at a level that is uncomfortable. We know there is a “lag” in receiving testing data as more people are being testing. We must be proactive - so our first step is to require employees of businesses open to the public to wear face coverings. We are strongly encouraging all businesses to require patrons to wear a mask when visiting their business. We do not want to issue another stay at home order. Although some may feel this is encroaching on their freedoms, it is an effort to keep our local businesses open and our residents employed, while doing it in a safe manner. Like many of you, I want to see our kids back in school, I want to enjoy a high school football game, a soccer game or a volleyball game. I want to see little league baseball and college football again. I want our children to have proms and graduations, skating parties and birthday parties. It really boils down to the young adults and children of this community having the opportunity to grow and prosper as we did, and also protecting the population that is more vulnerable to this virus. If it takes wearing a mask for all of this to happen, then we should all sacrifice a little for the gain of many. We must all remember - it’s not about me, it’s about we!”
Sevier County, home of Gatlinburg, Dollywood and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is considering a mask mandate of their own. Rutherford County has not issued a mandate, but is "strongly encouraging" people to wear masks. 

Montgomery County is requiring all employees of local businesses to wear masks and are encouraging residents to wear masks when in public. 

Cheatham and Dickson Counties have both confirmed they will not issue mask mandates.

Related coverage

Rutherford County Mayor will not mandate masks in public
Williamson County issues mask mandate effective Tuesday
Metro Health Department issues Public Health Order 8, mandating masks in Nashville

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