Tipton County schools, residents ready for mask mandate

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TIPTON COUNTY, Tenn. — COVID-19 cases jumped past the 1,000 mark in Tipton County, where Monday morning the county executive issued a mask mandate starting Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.

The latest figures show 1,009 nine coronavirus cases in Tipton County, and nine deaths. The spike comes just two weeks before the county’s schools are scheduled to reopen.

Monday afternoon at Brighton High School, workers were getting school buses road ready,

In Covington, teachers are starting two weeks of in-service training as Tipton County schools prepare to reopen.

Students attending face-to-face instruction will be required to wear face coverings.

It’s all part of the new normal, said 11-year-old Kate Wheeler, who is in favor of wearing facial coverings. 

“I’ve seen TV shows where they have to wear masks, like surgical masks, but I never thought in real life you would have to wear masks around when you’re going shopping or anything like that,” she said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Tipton County, officials there believe this is best time to put a mask mandate in effect for everyone, not just students.

“Given that and given the fact that in a couple of weeks in Tipton County we’re going to be reopening schools, it just seemed to me like anything I could do that would maybe drive the spread of this virus down in front of school opening and try to get these numbers to dip some, both the number of deaths and positivity rate was something that I had to do,” Tipton County executive Jeff Huffman said.

Huffman says CEOs from two prominent Memphis healthcare organizations encouraged some sort of mask mandate.

“As you know, in Tipton County, most of our folks go to use the healthcare facilities in Memphis and Shelby County so I considered that,” he said.

Jose Reyes owns Jose’s Mexican Street Food, a restaurant in Covington. He’s still trying to get business back to normal but says he fully supports the mask mandate.

“Also with me having kids, I think it’s very important that we take care, not only of the rest of the people, but if you can do it yourself at least you’re protecting yourself and you’re protecting somebody else,” Reyes said.

Read: Tipton County mask mandate

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