Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson announced Friday the county’s mask mandate will expire Saturday, Feb. 27, at 11:59 p.m.
The face covering requirement first went into effect on July 8, 2020. Just a few days earlier, on July 3, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 54, which gave county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local mask mandates in public places to help slow the spread of COVID-19. That order has been extended several times, including on Friday when Lee signed Executive Order 77.
Anderson’s office issued a statement Friday explaining the reasons behind letting the mask mandate expire.
“In light of the significant progress in reduction of COVID cases in recent weeks, and the positive impact on hospital capacity, the Williamson County face covering order will be allowed to expire on Feb. 27, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.,” the statement read, in part. “However, Mayor Anderson continues to encourage Williamson Countians voluntarily to wear face coverings when in public places where social distancing is not achievable.”
Face coverings will continue to be required in all county-owned buildings and where court is conducted, in accordance with Tennessee Supreme Court orders. Businesses also have the authority to decide to require masks within their walls.
The rules implemented by the school systems within Williamson County also were not affected by the mandate expiration. Rules for students, faculty and staff will continue to be made by the boards of education and school superintendents.
“Continuing to wear a face covering voluntarily can help to keep our schools and businesses open, and Mayor Anderson encourages all citizens to continue to wear face coverings to slow the spread and show respect and concern for their neighbors,” the statement concluded. “In addition, citizens are encouraged to support businesses who protect their employees and customers by requiring face coverings.”