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Williamson County mayor releases addendum to order requiring masks, clarifies enforcement

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Rogers Anderson (copy)

Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson

Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson released an addendum to his executive order on Thursday requiring people in Williamson County to wear face coverings while in public.

"Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson issued an emergency declaration requiring that citizens wear a cloth or other face covering in certain circumstances in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and thus allow our businesses to remain open, and our schools to reopen in the fall," the statement reads.

"The mayor's declaration included several exceptions to the face covering requirement. As implementation began, it became clear that clarification and/or corrections to two of the exceptions is needed, and the mayor has issued an addendum to the declaration for that purpose.

"First, the addendum clarifies that the exception for children applies to children 12 and under, rather than children under 12. Second, the addendum clarifies that the exception for houses of worship also applies to religious ceremonies (including such ceremonies as weddings and funerals) and activities attendant thereto that occur at locations other than churches.

"We appreciate the support and cooperation of our citizens as we continue with the measures in order to protect the health and safety of our citizens and allow our economy to remain open. The addendum will expire at the same time as the original order, which is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 3, 2020."

Anderson said while violation of the order is a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment of “not greater than 11 months, 29 days," according to the Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA), writing a citation will be a last resort, and he hopes that it doesn't come to that.

"I know it's an inconvenience," Anderson said. "We've heard both pro and con of people's opinion on the order, but at the end of the decision-making process, it was strictly trying to help with the containment of the virus with the individual in the mask, and there are 13, 14 different exclusions on that."

He shared that while the order does call on businesses to help enforce the order within their establishments, this can be done on a volunteer basis like any other establishment rules.

Read the full executive order from the county with the recent addendum below. For more information, visit williamsoncounty-tn.gov.

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