Grainger County announces mask mandate in effect until Dec. 31

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GRAINGER COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — One East Tennessee community is looking at ways to help in the fight against COVID-19.

According to a post from the Town of Bean Station Facebook page, Grainger County Mayor Mike Byrd issued an executive order for a mask mandate to be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31.

The executive order went into effect on Friday.

Mayor Byrd said the county did not have a mandate prior to this executive order.

In a statement issued to WATE 6 On Your Side, Byrd said “After consultation with the County Leaders, Grainger County Health Department, Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Management Services and other local frontline employees, I found there is a consensus that the wearing of facial coverings or mask should be required in certain circumstances and should implement such a requirement as soon as possible … not everyone is convinced that wearing masks help prevent the spread of the virus, but a combination of mask, social distancing and washing/sanitizing hands frequently are the measures that many health experts recommend.”

Another portion of a news release sent to WATE 6 On Your Side went over the COVID-19 numbers in the Grainger County.

Grainger County Health Department, Director Garnet Southerland, said “We continue to see an
increase in cases over the last month with nearly hundred active cases as of 11/19. Over the last 14 days (11/06-11/19) we have averaged 8.4 new cases per day. Over the last 7 days we show a positivity rate of 16.8%, which places Grainger County in a red zone according to the White House Task Force Report.”

Claiborne County Mayor Joe Brooks recently announced a mask mandate will also remain in effect until Dec. 31.

Hamblen County also has a mask mandate in effect until the end of November.

Mayor Bill Brittain told WATE 6 On Your Side Sunday afternoon that a decision on whether or not to extend the mandate will be made closer to the expiration date of the current executive order.

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