Sevier County, home of Dollywood, chooses to mandate face masks

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Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (WDEF) – Take a mask if you are headed to Dollywood or Pigeon Forge in the coming weeks.

Sevier County today joined the ranks of governments requiring people to wear masks in public spaces.

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It was a tough decision for the East Tennessee county that relies on tourism.

But their Covid-19 numbers have shot up in the last few weeks, probably because of that tourism.

Counties across Tennessee are deciding this week whether to mandate masks after Governor Lee gave them the option. (Here are local county decisions)

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters made his announcement today in front of the Dolly Parton statue, which was sporting a mask for the event.

WATCH: Officials hold a news conference regarding a mask mandate in Sevier Co. https://bit.ly/3f8juhl

Posted by WVLT on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Sevier County order does NOT require masks outdoors, for kids under 12, people with medical issues, or while eating in restaurants.

But you will have to wear them in stores and inside attractions that cannot socially distance.

Here is a look at the decisions made so far by other counties in Tennessee.

REQUIRING MASKS

Davidson (Nashville)

Shelby (Memphis)

Knox (Knoxville)

Hamilton (Chattanooga)

Sevier (Pigeon Forge)

Sumner

Williamson

REQUIRING SOME MASKS

Montgomery (employees working with the public)

Jackson/Madison (businesses must require masks of customers)

NOT REQUIRING MASKS

Loudon (Loudon)

Maury (Columbia)

Rutherford (Murfressboro, Nashville area)

Cheatham (Ashland City, Nashville area)

Dickson (Charlotte, west Nashville)

Anderson (Oak Ridge)

Cambell (Jacksboro, northeast TN)

Fentress (Jamestown)

Monroe (Sweetwater)

Morgan (Wartburg-Knoxville area)

Several counties have not announced their decision yet.