Chattanooga area joins trend of mandating face masks


CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has been advocating for a face mask requirement for a few weeks now.

“This is something that we’re going to have to be dealing with until there is a vaccine.”

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So he applauded the decision Monday by Hamilton County to require them.

Chattanooga had been the largest city in the state NOT to have a mandate until today.

On Monday, Williamson County (Franklin) and Sumner County (Gallatin) also decided on face mask mandates.

Sevier County, home to the tourist attractions in Pigeon Forge and the scene of major Covid-19 spikes last week, pushed back their decision until Tuesday.

Grundy County’s executive in our area says he will NOT require masks at this time.

City Hall in Dalton, Georgia has been shut down for cleanup after a staff member tested positive.  City council members say wearing masks is a good idea, but members tell the Dalton Daily Citizen that there isn’t enough support building yet for the city to make them mandatory.

In his Facebook live briefing on Monday, Mayor Berke said it was good for people to be debating the mask issue, but this is his opinion on the matter:

“While we can debate whether there is a mask, the pandemic is real.  It’s global.  It has been confirmed by every expert.  It is serious and it causes terrible harm to people and families.”

In Hamilton County today, the number of Covid-19 deaths remains at 35, after growing by 5 over the long holiday weekend.

The number of new positive tests were just 38, much better than the record 118 from last Thursday.  But the health department and testing sites were shut down for the holiday weekend.

The number of hospital cases in Hamilton County continues to steadily climb to 55 on Monday.

And the ICU number was 17.

Here is the entire mask declaration issued today in Hamilton County

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