Mayor Coppinger considering making masks in public mandatory

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Coronavirus cases continue to rise with over 43,000 in the state of Tennessee and over 2,400 in Hamilton County. 

Many states are now making masks mandatory in public due to the rise in cases, will Tennessee do the same?

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Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger says he is now considering the mandate for the county.

“It’s going to be around for a long time. We have to learn to coexist with the virus and as a result of that one of the things we know that helps is masks. That’s why consideration is being given right now to mandating the use of masks,” says Mayor Coppinger.

Mayor Andy Berke says even though Governor Bill Lee took away the city’s power to mandate a mask law, he knows something needs to be done since voluntary mask wearing isn’t working. 

An Environmental Health and Safety Lawyer says wearing a mask is one of the easiest ways you can save lives.

“It’s such a non intrusive simple thing to do. It doesn’t hurt. You don’t have to get poked or probed,” says Michael Mallen, Environmental Health and Safety Lawyer.

City Officials say whatever the decision is on the mandating of masks , it’s not about politics it’s strictly about the safety of others. 

“It’s about what can we do to minimize the spread in our community and is it the right decision and when will it be the right decision? One of the things I truly believe in is that people fought and died for us to have those liberties that we have. I am totally one hundred percent supportive of people being able to make their own choices. However, we’re looking at another situation where your behavior can impact somebody else negatively. It can even cost them their life,” says Mayor Coppinger.

Go to News 12 Now facebook page to vote whether or not you think Mayor Coppinger should make wearing masks in public mandatory.