Sheriff says enforcing mask mandate will be left to deputy’s discretion

mask mandate

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A violation of the new face mask mandate that goes into affect in Hamilton County on Wednesday is equivalent to most traffic violations, public intoxication or tresspassing.

Max $50 fine and 30 days.

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But will law enforcement actively enforce it?

Sheriff Jim Hammond issued this statement on Tuesday about enforcement.

“In light of the alarming increase of COVID-19 cases we are seeing in Hamilton County, I support the County Mayor’s efforts to slow the spread of this virus.  While the mask mandate may not be popular with all our citizens, the safety and wellbeing of our community is paramount as we attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 As a health department order, there are legal actions that can be taken against those who choose to violate this mandate. As a Class C misdemeanor, this includes a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail. However, it is neither my goal nor my objective to have my deputies actively seeking violators out. I am leaving the enforcement of this order to my deputies’ discretion to be reviewed on a case by case basis. It is my hope our citizens will understand the importance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 and comply with this order as directed.”