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Mayor Bill Ketron announced Monday afternoon that the Rutherford County Face Covering Order will be reinstated effective Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.
“This is not a decision that I make lightly,” said Ketron. “Our cases in this county hit a record spike over the weekend, with the data indicating a higher transmission rate than that we experienced in late July.”
Local data shows that current cases are 2.8 times the level in early September, with the 7-day average positive rate also doubling since that time.
“These figures are too significant to overlook,” said Ketron. “Hospital officials are beginning to see the number of cases in-house similar to the height of the first wave. We have to act NOW!”
Governor Lee’s Executive Order 63 authorizing County Mayors to require face coverings within their jurisdictions expires on October 30 at 11:59 p.m.; however, Gov. Lee’s office has announced anticipation of the order being extended through the end of the calendar year. Therefore, the Rutherford County Face Covering Order will be in effect until further notice.
“We will continue to monitor our local data daily, assess trends, and consult experts to determine the duration of the order,” said Ketron. “We must do everything we possibly can to keep our schools and our businesses open and our hospitals functioning at normal capacity.”
Ketron reminds citizens that face coverings are not the only protective health measures that should be practiced regularly to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. “We need to be vigilant about washing our hands frequently, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting high contact surfaces, and staying at home when sick. It takes all of these measures together to cut our risks of getting or spreading the virus.”
“While I understand that there are conflicting opinions on face coverings, there is overwhelming evidence supporting that masking, in combination with other preventative actions, is the key to slowing the spread.”