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Sevier County mayor extends mask mandate through April 15

The county said it wants to give people more time to get the vaccine.

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — UPDATE (Feb. 27): Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters has extended the county's mask mandate. It will stay in effect through April 15. 

Waters said the number of COVID-19 cases has been decreasing, but he wants to give people more time to get the vaccine. He said the order will expire after April 15 unless there is a significant increase in cases.

Sevier County ranks in the bottom 10% of counties in the state when it comes to the number of people who have received at least one dose, Waters said. He will continue to address this with state officials. 

“We will continue to express our concern that the vaccine supply to Sevier County is not enough to keep up with the demand,” Waters said. “Our overall rank among counties within the state is troubling, and our hope is the state will address this soon.”

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UPDATE (Dec. 29): Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters has once again extended the mask mandate, this time through February 27. 

The extension comes as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge to new highs, with December having eclipsed all other prior months to become the deadliest for the virus by a wide margin.

To read the executive order click here: www.seviercountytn.org.

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UPDATE (Nov. 18): Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters has extended the mask mandate through December 29. 

The extension of the mask mandate stems from a rising number of COVID-19 cases in Sevier County and other areas in the region.

To read the executive order click here: www.seviercountytn.org.

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UPDATE (Oct. 30): Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters announced Friday that the mask mandate has been extended through November 30.

He said that the mandate is meant to help slow the spread of COVID-19, reduce the number of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus and protect the health of residents, employees and visitors.

Waters signed Executive Order 44 on Friday. The order says that the Tennessee Department of Health has urged local leaders to continue face mask requirements since they tend to reduce the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sevier County.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters signed Executive Order 39 on Wednesday, extending a face-covering mandate through Oct. 30. 

“The mandate appears to have been effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Sevier County,” Waters in a statement released on Wednesday night. “Therefore, I am extending the executive order through Oct. 30. Barring a significant increase in cases between now and then, I intend to allow the order to expire on Oct. 30." 

The mayor said the decision was made in part due to the increase in tourism October tends to bring Sevier County.

The mayor previously made another mask extension on August 4.