Sevier County’s mask mandate to expire April 15

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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Sevier County’s mask mandate will expire Thursday, but with some exceptions, county officials said Tuesday.

The mandate will end at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Businesses can still have regulations regarding face coverings, the county said. Other counties have allowed their mandates to expire, as well.

“Based on our decreasing positivity rate and the increase in vaccine availability, I feel it is an appropriate time to allow the executive order to expire,” said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. “However, people do have to make responsible decisions to keep themselves and others as safe as possible. I encourage everyone to continue wearing face coverings when social distancing is not possible.”

The release referenced this with the Tennessee Supreme Court’s order to wear face coverings in certain government buildings will continue to apply, including public areas in the Sevier County Courthouse.

Public areas of Sevier County government buildings, including the Sheriff’s office, libraries, and public works, will continue to have a face-covering requirement.

“While the mandate appears to have had a positive impact on COVID-19 in Sevier County, I said from the beginning this was a temporary order,” Waters said. “We urge our citizens and visitors to follow the Tennessee Pledge and CDC guidelines to keep our COVID-19 numbers low.”

“I appreciate the business community, our employees, citizens, and visitors for following the mandate. There are no further restrictions or closures on our local businesses from the state, and Sevier County continues to see excellent tourism numbers.”

The release also stated the intent of the original mandate, Sevier County Executive Order 23, was to increase the wearing of face coverings to protect the health of residents, visitors, and employees and to ensure the state did not take further measures to disrupt local businesses and the economy.  

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