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Greene County mayor issues order requiring masks to be worn in public

The mandate is expected to take effect Wednesday morning.

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. — Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison issued an executive order requiring masks to be worn in public beginning Wednesday.

Employees and customers will be required to wear facial coverings in most businesses, including retail stores and restaurants.

Children under the age of 2 as well as people who have trouble breathing are exempt from the order. Places of worship are also exempt from the order.

The order is scheduled to expire August 14.

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Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison says that "after careful consideration and receiving very alarming and troubling statistics from Ballad Health Systems on the near tripling of hospitalization cases in our area just this week, along with the fact that our school officials are working diligently to open schools on time and as safely as possible; and as we look to keep businesses open and our economy from closing once again; it is necessary to enact a mask mandate or facial covering mandate for Greene County to assist in curbing the dramatic rise in cases across our community."

Morrison urges all citizens to wear masks in open public settings where there are many gathered, and where social distancing is not possible, to help gain control of this dramatic rise in cases before our health care system is overwhelmed. This is "a plea to do the right thing to protect those we love and those most vulnerable."

The mandate is expected to take effect Wednesday morning. v

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Greene County's announcement comes just a few days after Sullivan County, and Washington County, TN announced mask mandates. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order on May 26th, requiring masks for all of Virginia, effective May 29th.

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