CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett will allow the county's mask mandate to expire at midnight Friday.
“Although we are lifting the mask mandate throughout our community, masks will be required in all County and City government buildings to protect our employees to the maximum extent possible," Mayor Durrett said in a press release. "Our employees and visitors will also be required to wear masks when working with the public unless a partition is between the customer and employee. We have an occupational employment duty to protect our employees and ensure the continuity of County and City operations.”
Officials said the decision was "based on the latest data representing vaccination levels and COVID-19 testing results from local health officials."
Mask requirements in businesses will still be allowed and proper safety precautions will be encouraged.
“Private businesses have the right to require masks for people entering their businesses as well, and we highly encourage all people to wear masks when social distancing cannot be accomplished,” stated Mayor Durrett.
City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said he and Mayor Durrett and public and private health officials have conferred about the mask mandate and other issues throughout the pandemic.
“Mayor Durrett and I agree that we have a duty to protect our employees,” Mayor Pitts said in the release. “Therefore, we have decided that the wearing of face coverings in City buildings would still be required for employees and the public.”
County Director of Emergency Services Jimmie Edwards, said the local medical community is requesting that people continue to wear face-coverings in public when social distancing is not an option.
“Montgomery County COVID numbers and hospitalization rates are better in comparison to those counties that chose not to have a mask mandate. This is a strong indicator of the effectiveness of face-coverings,” Edwards said. “Remember, it has only been a little more than a week since the CDC suggested that small gatherings were safe among people who have been fully vaccinated.”