Today, Monday, December 28, 2020, Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum is issuing Executive Order 5, which extends the face covering mandate. After consultation with healthcare professionals, local and regional hospital representatives, the Tennessee Department of Health, Governor Lee and members of his administration, and a study of data as local active cases continue to climb; Mayor Jake Bynum has determined that it is appropriate to continue to require cloth or other face coverings in certain circumstances in Weakley County to slow the spread of COVID-19. After Governor Lee authorized County Mayors to require face coverings within their jurisdictions, Mayor Bynum issued a face coving requirement on August 11 due to escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases in Weakley County at that time. Weakley County was successful in reopening businesses, opening schools for inperson learning, and providing government services while for a time reducing the spread of COVID-19 through this and other health and safety measures. However, in the last 30 days, numbers have again significantly increased by over 750 new cases, putting the continued operation of businesses, schools, and public health in jeopardy. “No one likes the fact that it is crucial to reissue a mask mandate in our county. Unfortunately, the numbers can’t be ignored,” Bynum stated.
The Mayor’s declaration containing the mandate, which is attached, will be effective Monday, December 28, 2020, at 12:01 AM through 11:59 PM on February 21, 2021, when Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 73 expires. Mayor Bynum said, “I appreciate the Governor granting us tools to address this issue. As an elected official, I swore an oath to protect the public welfare. In utilizing every resource to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Weakley Countians can take an active role in halting the current spike in cases including this measure, as well as practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and avoiding gatherings with those outside their household.” Mayor Bynum recognizes that there are many varying opinions on this issue. Still, he believes this mandate is a necessary safety measure for our local businesses and school to remain open in the coming months. For more information, visit weakleycountytn.gov.
EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THE MAYOR OF WEAKLEY COUNTY NO.5
AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO EXTEND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1, A DECLARATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY IN WEAKLEY COUNTY, TENNESSEE REQUIREMENT TO WEAR MASKS TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
WHEREAS, the President of the United States, the Governor of the State of Tennessee, and the Mayors of the numerous county and municipal governments throughout Tennessee have made emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic and have recognized it as a public health emergency; and
WHEREAS, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) advise the use of cloth or other types of face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community will facilitate safer operation of governmental entities, healthcare facilities, businesses, and educational institutions, and
WHEREAS, widespread use of face coverings is believed to be effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the chances of symptomatic and asymptomatic people transmitting the virus to others, especially when used together with other protocols including 6-foot social distancing and hand hygiene; and
WHEREAS, on December 22, 2020, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 73, declaring that a state of emergency continues to exist in Tennessee, and continues to strongly urge all persons to wear cloth face coverings or other similar coverings in public settings where being in close proximity to others is anticipated, and through Executive Order 73, extends the delegated authority to county mayors in the 89 counties that do not have a locally-run health department (including Weakley County) to issues requiring the wearing of face coverings within their jurisdictions, subject to certain limitations, for the purpose of slowing the spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, Tennessee law, including, but not limited to Tennessee Code Annotated 58-8-104 and 58-2-110, empowers the County Mayor to declare a local state of emergency and to take whatever action is prudent and necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community; and
WHEREAS, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Weakley County and surrounding counties have significantly increased in the last 14 days; and
WHEREAS, after consultation with healthcare professionals with West Tennessee Healthcare, the Tennessee Department of Health, local city mayors, and other state and local community leaders, the County Mayor finds that there is a consensus that the wearing of cloth or other face coverings should be required in certain circumstances, and that such a requirement should take effect as soon as possible for the health and well-being of the public;
NOW, THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY DELEGATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 67; GOVERNOR LEE’S RECOGNITION OF A CONTINUING STATE OF EMERGENCY AND MAJOR DISASTER RELATED TO COVID-19; and Tennessee Code Annotated 58-8-104 and 58-2-110, I, Jake Bynum, Mayor of Weakley County, Tennessee, hereby declare a local State of Emergency in Weakley County, Tennessee, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and further direct and order as follows:
- 1.Wearing of Facemasks Required. Subject to the exceptions herein, all persons in Weakley County
(including those within the corporate limits of municipalities located in Weakley County) shall wear
a cloth or other face covering over such person’s nose and mouth to impede the spread of the virus during speaking, coughing, sneezing, or other actions in public and publicly accessible areas of commercial business establishments and within publicly accessible areas of business offices where there is direct interaction with the public and social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained. A “commercial business establishment” means any establishment that sells goods and services, or a combination thereof, including but not limited to grocery stores, restaurants, lobbies and public spaces in hotels and other lodging, pharmacies, banks, bars, salons, retail stores, medical and dental offices, and entertainment and sports venues.
- 2.Exceptions. The requirement to wear masks does not apply:
Within a residence or automobile, unless transporting others for hire;
To any child twelve (12) years of age or younger;
To any person who has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face covering;
To anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
While eating or drinking, or while seated in a restaurant;
While outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate 6-foot social distancing from others outside of the person’s household;
While working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household is substantially maintained;
In situations in which wearing a face covering poses a safety or security risk;
While in a house of worship unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face covering in such location is strongly encouraged;
While in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged;
- 3.Signage Required at Public Entrances. Persons or entities in control of premises subject to the
masking requirement of this Order shall post signage at public entrances informing of the requirement to wear a mask within the premises.
- 4.Term. This Order shall become effective at 12:00 AM on December 28, 2020, and shall remain in
effect until 11:59 PM on February 27, 2021, unless rescinded, continued, or renewed.
It is so ORDERED, Mayor Jake Bynum, Weakley County, Tennessee, this 28th day of December 2020.