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Growing local backlash to health department directives

The Knox Co. Health Department said it is standing by its personal health recommendations to protect our community.

The Knox Co. Health Department said Wednesday it was standing by recommendations aimed at keeping Knox Co. safe, despite backlash and non-compliance from members of the public. 

"During COVID-19, during a pandemic, our personal choices now more than ever. They impact everyone else," department director Dr. Martha Buchanan said. 

The Health Department says the risks taken by one group of people could hurt us all and could halt fully re-opening. They continue to recommend everyone wear masks in public, gather in groups of fewer than ten and stay 6 feet apart. 

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"People who are unhappy that we're not moving fast enough in reopening need to abide by the guidelines so that we can continue to move forward and not move backward," Buchanan said. 

To those who say wearing a mask infringes on Constitutional rights, Buchanan pointed to other regulations designed to keep the public safe and healthy. 

"There are lots of government and even local regulations like speed limits on county roads that tell people how to be safe and how to protect others and protect themselves just like a face-covering." 

Buchanan said people who do not follow guidelines risk spreading the virus in our community which could lead re-opening measures to be rolled back. 

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