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Wilson County mask mandate to end Wednesday night

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Posted at 9:56 AM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 10:56:35-04

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto has announced that the county’s mask mandate will expire on Wednesday, but he’s still asking residents to wear them in public.

Hutto said Monday that he made the decision after “carefully reviewing the number of COVID-19 cases and trends.” The order is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

However, the order ending does not impact schools, businesses or long-term care facilities, who develop their own COVID-19 guidelines.

Hutto says he’s still requesting residents to help mitigate the spread by continuing to wear masks in public and following social distancing guidelines – without having a mandate in place.

“I will continue to watch the number of COVID-19 cases in our county and encourage others to practice frequent hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks in public places,” Hutto wrote.

Hutto said the county’s 14-day average was 40.1 back on July 31. On Sept. 25, the 14-day case average was 22.1.

Earlier this year, Gov. Bill Lee gave counties the power to issue their own mask mandates until September 30. Unless the governor extends his order, the mask mandates in Sumner and Robertson counties will also expire on Wednesday.

Rutherford County’s mandate was set to expire on Wednesday, but the mayor chose to end it early.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.