FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Although Williamson County no longer has a mask mandate in effect, City of Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore has issued a statement strongly advising residents and visitors to continue wearing facial coverings in public.
Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson put a mask mandate into place in early July and renewed it at the beginning of August; however, he did not extend its expiration on August 29.
"I respect County Mayor Anderson's position and the decision he made regarding the mask/face covering mandate," Dr. Moore said. "However, I urge the citizens of Franklin in the strongest possible terms to continue to wear masks/facial coverings in public and in any areas where appropriate physical distancing cannot be maintained."
As of Sunday, Williamson County as seen 4,334 cases of COVID-19 so far, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. In a chart on the city's website, Franklin officials say Williamson County has 1,104 active cases.
"The data clearly shows that we are making progress in combatting COVID-19, but we have more work to do in fighting this pandemic. I firmly believe that the widespread wearing of masks/face coverings has made a positive impact in our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community," Moore said.
Read his entire statement:
Effective at midnight on August 29th, Williamson County’s county-wide mask/facial covering mandate expired. This was a decision made by County Mayor Rogers Anderson under authority granted through Governor Lee’s Executive Order 59. In response, Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore is issuing the following advisory statement to the citizens of Franklin and those visiting our city:
As Mayor of Franklin, my first priority is to protect the well-being of our community. I respect County Mayor Anderson’s position and the decision he made regarding the mask/face covering mandate. However, I urge the citizens of Franklin in the strongest possible terms to continue to wear masks/facial coverings in public and in any area where appropriate physical distancing cannot be maintained. As your Mayor and as a Medical Doctor for more than 50 years, I am imploring Franklin citizens to continue to do their part to fight COVID-19.
Part of what makes Franklin a special place is the care our community exemplifies every day. Franklinites are always ready to help a neighbor or volunteer for a project. In the same spirit, I urge each and every one of our citizens and businesses to step up at this critical time when students are returning to school and we are continuing to fully reinvigorate our local economy.
Governor Bill Lee’s Tennessee Pledge continues with the goal to safely bolster our recovering state economy while keeping businesses open and citizens safe. Governor Lee’s mask campaign is also ongoing, calling on all Tennesseans to fight COVID-19 by wearing masks/facial coverings.
The data clearly shows that we are making progress in combatting COVID-19, but we have more work to do in fighting this pandemic. I firmly believe that the widespread wearing of masks/face coverings has made a positive impact in our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Since the active COVID-19 cases peaked on July 19th at 1,545 cases, the community has seen a consistent, steady decline. As of August 29th, the Williamson County community is at 1,129 active cases, a decrease of 26.9%. But keep in mind, this is still a higher active case count than when the initial mask order went into effect on July 8, 2020.
While this progress in encouraging, our community is certainly not “out of the woods” when it comes to beating COVID-19. The fact that there are still 1,129 active cases in the community paired with a current positive testing rate of 7.7% is of real concern.
Again, I urge all citizens and those visiting our community to do their part by wearing a mask/facial covering, keeping appropriate physical distancing, and washing hands frequently. These simple, commonsense actions will help keep you, your family, your friends, and the community safer during these challenging times.
-Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor of Franklin