CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett has issued Emergency Executive Order #11 requiring all Clarksville-Montgomery County residents and visitors to wear face coverings in public to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The latest order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 20 and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on July 27. It requires wearing of cloth or other face coverings that cover the nose and mouth of a person to impede the spread of the virus during speaking, coughing, sneezing or other action.
Such coverings must be worn within all publicly accessible areas of commercial business establishments; public outdoor areas where social distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained; and within publicly-accessible areas of business offices where there is direct interaction with the public and social distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained.
The local order includes several specific exceptions outlined in Gov. Bill Lee’s previous Executive Order #54, which allows most county mayors in the state to order face coverings.
Mayor Durrett met Friday with City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, Clarksville Police Chief Crockarell, and Director of Medical Services Jimmie Edwards to review the mandate. Mayor Durrett also spoke to Millard House, Director of Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, and APSU President Alisa White.
The order also requires businesses to post signage requesting that patrons wear masks. Suggested wording for the signage can be found at mcgtn.org.
The latest order expands Durrett’s earlier order that mandated employees of business that serve the public to wear face coverings.
“I realize there are varying opinions about wearing a face-covering, but the use of face coverings is a preferred alternative to the closing of businesses and preventing schools from re-opening, which could become necessary if some action is not taken,” Mayor Durrett said. “This is the best defense against coronavirus we have at this time. The great thing is that we can all play a role in stopping the spread of the virus.”
Mayor Pitts said he fully supports the expansion of the order to mandate all residents and visitors wear face-coverings in public.
“As always, I appreciate Mayor Durrett bringing the City to the table and asking for our input,” Mayor Pitts said. “We know we are in this together, and I also agree that we need to do what we can to slow the spread of this virus to have the best outcome for our citizens.”
Sheriff Fuson and Chief Crockarell agreed that most people have been following the rules during this outbreak and they are committed to having their officers work first to educate and encourage the public to wear face coverings before giving citations.
Many national retailers, such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens and Kroger, also have announced they will require shoppers to wear masks in their stores.
Local leaders and health officials will continue to review COVID-19 data to determine whether the order will be extended. For more information about Montgomery County Services and COVID-19 information, visit mcgtn.org or call 931-648-5787.