Mask Mandate in Hamilton County

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- Hamilton County has accounted for almost three thousand positive cases of Covid-19.

38 were added Monday, July 6th.

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35 county residents have died from the virus.

Mayor Jim Coppinger announced a mask mandate to slow down the growing rate of positive cases, “This afternoon after much thought and consideration and consultation, I’ve asked doctor Paul Hendricks our Health Officer of the Hamilton Cunty Health Department to mandate wearing a facial covering or mask”

The mask requirement will officially begin on Friday, July 10th at 12:01 A.M.

Regional Director of the Hamilton County Health Department Becky Barnes says public events with poor social distancing practices and masks have sped up the rate of positive cases, “These events include graduations, weddings and the workplace.”

Violating the mask mandate could lead to a class C misdemeanor equal to a 50 dollar fine or up to 30 days in jail whether you’re an individual or a business.

“For example if you have a place of business and two people in their that didn’t have their mask on, the business owner could be fined for those two -two people” said Mayor Coppinger. Those two people could be fined as well.”

There are numerous exemptions to the mask mandate rule such as churches, businesses that serve food, kids 12 years old and under, and certain medical disabilities.

Here is the full list of exceptions:

Face coverings are not required for:

  1. Children under 12 years of age
  2. Anyone with documented medical contraindications to facial covers such as active asthma or COPD
  3. Anyone who is acutely short of breath or incapacitated such that they would be unable to remove the covering on their own.
  4. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing – or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired if they rely on lip reading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear face covering. If a clear face covering is not available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a cloth face covering that blocks your lips.
  5. Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions or other sensory sensitivities, who may have challenges wearing a cloth face covering. Those persons are encouraged to consult with their healthcare provider for advice about wearing cloth face coverings.
  6. Persons in a house of worship unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged.
  7. Persons who are outdoors unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household. Facial coverings should, however, be kept accessible in the event of encountering a larger group.
  8. Persons in cars, trucks, or other private or commercial vehicles either alone or with household members. However, all occupants in vehicles transporting more than one coworker, carpooling or carrying other non-household passengers, shall wear facial coverings.
  9. Persons working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household can be maintained. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event that others enter the area.
  10. Office workers and any other employee working alone in an area (such as a private office) where the public or other workers are not present or do not usually enter. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event others enter that area.
  11. Persons who are exercising, such as jogging, bicycling, or swimming, etc, either alone or in small groups where physical distancing of 6 feet or greater can be maintained. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event of encountering a larger group.
  12. Private residences are exempt, but hallways, elevators and other common areas of apartment buildings, condominiums and other medium or high density residential structures are not exempt.
  13. Persons seated for the purpose of dining in any restaurant or business that provides food and/or drink for on premises consumption.