CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett signed Emergency Executive Order 15 on Friday -- extending Emergency Orders 11, 12, 13 and 14 -- which requires all residents, businesses and visitors of Montgomery County to wear face-coverings in public to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Emergency Order 15 will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 17 and will expire on Aug. 24 at 12:01 a.m. unless canceled or extended in seven-day increments. 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.
In addition, the Order states that businesses and facilities must post signage at public entrances informing patrons of the requirement to wear a mask within the establishment and must enforce the requirement within the establishment.
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.
Exceptions under the emergency order are:
Any person who is of age 12 or under.
Persons who cannot safely wear a face covering because they have trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face covering.
Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a face-covering without assistance.
Persons in a private residence.
Persons who are outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate 6-foot social distancing from others outside of the person’s household.
Persons while eating or drinking.
Persons in a place of worship or participating in any type of religious ceremony or activity (unless a face-covering is required by the place of worship or other location where the religious ceremony is taking place), although persons in places of worship are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Persons within private motor vehicles, unless such vehicle is being used for public transportation or a vehicle for hire.
Persons working under conditions where appropriate social distancing of at least six feet from others outside the person’s household is substantially maintained.
Persons present in government facilities, or on government premises, who shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the governmental entity operating the facility or premises.
Persons present in the public areas of all Montgomery County government facilities will wear cloth or other face-coverings, subject to the age and health restrictions outlined herein, and subject to number.
Other local governmental entities may issue their own directives regarding their facilities.
Persons in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election; although such persons are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Persons who are engaging in strenuous exercise or physical activity, provided, however, that such persons shall maintain 6-foot social distancing when not wearing a face covering.
Persons for whom wearing a face-covering would pose a safety or security risk;
Durrett issued an order July 17 that expanded the mandate to wear face-coverings to all public places in Montgomery County. An earlier order only required face coverings to be worn by employees of businesses that serve the public.
Mayor Pitts continues to fully support the extension of the order to mandate all residents and visitors wear face-coverings in public. In July, the City Council passed a resolution supporting Durrett’s orders on face-coverings.
Local leaders and health officials will continue to review COVID-19 data to determine whether the latest order will be extended. For more about Montgomery County Services and COVID-19 information, visit mcgtn.org or call 931-648-5787.