Gov. Bill Lee considering mask mandate for Tennessee


(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — Gov. Bill Lee says he is considering making wearing masks mandatory throughout the state.

In Tennessee, 89 counties are under the governor’s control for the coronavirus. This means that if a mask mandate would be issued for the state, the order will come from him.

Memphis City Council adopted a mask ordinance last week, requiring facial coverings in the city.

On Wednesday at his press conference, when asked about his thoughts on requiring all Tennesseans to wear masks, Governor Lee admitted he’s considering it, but is calling it a “targeted approach.”

The mandate could help counties like Sumner and Rutherford, where officials are pleading with people to wear masks to slow the reported uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“There have been requests by localities about whether the authority exists about the mask mandate and we’re researching that right now,” the governor said. “Our approach is targeted where there are requests and challenges.”

Gov. Bill Lee also said he plans to have a resolution in the coming days, and is scheduled to hold another press conference Thursday afternoon.

Right now, only two mask mandates exist in Tennessee – Nashville and Memphis.

Those two cities have their own health departments; Knoxville will be implementing a masks mandate on Friday.

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