Three Middle Tennessee counties announced reinstated mask mandates Thursday as cases of the coronavirus — and hospitalizations — are again rising.
The latest figures ranked among some of the state’s worst during the pandemic. The state health department announced another 2,046 new cases, current hospitalizations at 1,300 and 41 additional deaths — which pushed the state death toll to 3,011.
Williamson County was first to announce its new mask mandate, which begins Saturday. Mayor Rogers Anderson says this new action follows a month-and-a-half rise in active COVID-19 cases.
“The numbers can’t be ignored,” he said, noting a potential capacity challenge for hospitals.
Anderson says he wants the rule in place until the end of the year, and that he expects the governor will extend his own order to empower local leaders to do just that.
Wilson County made a similar move. Mayor Randall Hutto noted the county’s rolling average of cases is now higher than in mid-July, when he first ordered that masks be worn in public. Law enforcement leaders say they won’t issue fines or citations.
Meanwhile in Sumner County, Mayor Anthony Holt noted increasing cases and the urging of health leaders.
“My purpose is to take action now to protect the health and well-being of our citizens and to preserve our economy,” he said.
Nashville has kept its mask mandate in place without interruption. Bordering counties Robertson and Rutherford previously had face covering rules in effect.