Mayors in Carter, Unicoi and Washington Counties Replace Face Covering Requirement with Face Covering Request
After careful consideration, local mayors will lift the current face covering requirement at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
Why we’re making the move from a requirement to a request
• Our citizens have demonstrated that they can and will protect their neighbors by wearing face coverings where physical distancing is not possible.
• Vaccination rates are rising in Northeast Tennessee as we expand into other age groups and phases.
• Hospitalization rates are falling.
What stays in place
• Businesses can still request that face coverings be worn.
• This does not impact any safety measures currently in place in any of our school systems, colleges or universities in regards to in-person learning.
• Tennessee Supreme Court’s orders will continue to apply to wearing of face coverings in buildings where court is conducted.
• Rules in place regarding limiting spectators or requiring face coverings at high school and college sporting events are not impacted.
What we are asking our citizens to do to prevent returning to a face covering requirement
• Prevent community spread by physical distancing and avoiding large groups.
• Voluntarily face coverings when physical distancing is not possible, such as when going to the grocery store or attending church services.
• Businesses and individuals continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and Tennessee Pledge recommendations.
The first executive order regarding face coverings began in July 2020.
The Mayors tried to strike a balance between public health objectives and the ability of individuals to make personal decisions for themselves and their families. Decisions made by individuals have an impact on others with whom they come in contact, so as the numbers escalated the face covering requirement proved necessary during the early stages of the pandemic.
Continuing to wear a face covering voluntarily will help keep our schools and businesses open. Getting vaccinated is also instrumental into stopping the spread of COVID-19. We need to continue to work together, support and protect each other as we move forward.