Dyer County Declaration For Mask Mandate



On July 3, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 54 to grant county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local requirements that citizens wear face coverings in public places in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 cases, which have significantly risen in recent weeks. Governor Lee encouraged every Tennessean across the state to use a face covering or mask, to socially distance and wash hands frequently.

After much consideration and after consultation with each of the mayors of the various municipalities in Dyer County, as well as the School Superintendents for the two School districts within the County, I find that there is a consensus that wearing a cloth or other face covering should be required in certain circumstances in Dyer County. I recognize that there are many varying opinions on this issue, but believe that asking Dyer Countians to wear a face covering in indoor public places, and in outdoor public places where distancing is not possible, is a necessary safety measure in order that our local businesses may remain open and our schools will be able to open in the fall. Allowing the current spike in cases to continue jeopardizes our businesses, government and court operations, schools, and way of life; and this simple measure can help to protect our citizens during this unprecedented time.

Keeping in mind that Dyer County and its residents are known for caring for one another and setting good examples, especially when it comes to the health and safety of our loved ones and our neighbors, the attached county-wide Executive Order, granted by the authority of the Governor of the State of Tennessee, is hereby enacted requiring citizens to wear masks or face coverings when in public places and social distancing is not possible, with an effective date of 12:01 a.m. on July 20, 2020 in Dyer County. Citizens should carefully read the order, as there are a number of exceptions based upon specific health or safety issues, as well as situations where individuals can safely distance and do not need to wear face coverings for their safety. This order is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on August 3, 2020


WHEREAS, the President of the United States, the Governor of the State of Tennessee, and the Mayors of a number of municipalities in the state of Tennessee have made emergency declarations related to the COVI D-19 pandemic, and have recognized it as a public health emergency; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention {CDC) and Tennessee Department of Health {TDH) advise the use of cloth or other types of face coverings to slow the spread of CO VI D-19; and

WHEREAS, immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities is necessary in order to be able to safely allow governmental operations to continue, businesses to remain open , and schools to reopen in the fall; and

WHEREAS, widespread use of face coverings is believed to be effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the chances of symptomatic and asymptomatic people transmitting the virus to others, especially when used together with other protocols including 6-foot social distancing and hand hygiene; and

WHEREAS, on July 3, 2020, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 54, strongly urging all persons to wear cloth face coverings or other similar coverings in public settings where being in close proximity to others is anticipated, and

WHEREAS, Governor Lee, through Executive Order 54, delegated authority to county mayors in the 89 counties that do not have a locally-run health department (including Dyer County) to issue orders requiring the wearing of face

coverings within their jurisdictions, subject to certain limitations, for the purposes of slowing the spread of CO VI D-19; and

WHEREAS, the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in Dyer County and surrounding counties have significantly increased in the last thirty days; and

WHEREAS, widespread use of face coverings is a preferred alternative to the continued closure of schools and the closure of businesses in our community, which closures would likely become necessary if action is not taken ; and

WHEREAS, after consultation with the Mayors of the various municipalities of Dyer County and the School

Superintendents for the two school districts within the County, the County Mayor finds that there is a consensus that the wearing of cloth or other face coverings should be required in certain circumstances, and that such a requirement should take effect as soon as possible;


GOVERNOR LEE’S RECOGNITION OF A CONTINUING STATE OF EMERGENCY AND MAJOR DISASTER RELATED TO COVID- 19, the Mayor of Dyer County, Tennessee, after consultation with the Mayors of the various municipalities within Dyer

County and the School Superintendents for the two school districts within the County, issues a Declaration of

Emergency related to the CO VI D-19 pandemic, and

IT IS ORDERED that cloth or other face coverings that cover the nose and mouth of a person to impede the spread of the virus during speaking, coughing, sneezing or other action, shall be required in Dyer County , Tennessee, within all publicly-accessible areas of commercial business establishments; in public outdoor areas where social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained; and within the publicly-accessible areas of business offices where there is direct interaction with the public and social distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained. A “commercial business establishment” means any establishment that sells goods or services, or a combination thereof, including but not limited to grocery stores, restaurants, lobbies and public spaces in hotels and other places of lodging, pharmacies, banks, bars, salons, retail stores, medical and dental offices, and entertainment and sports venues.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order does not apply to:

1. Any person who is under age 12;

2. Any person who cannot safely wear a face covering because he/she has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face covering;

3. Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a· face covering without assistance;

4. Persons in a private residence or private industry.

5. Persons who are outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate 6-foot social distancing from others outside of the person’s household;

6. Persons while eating or drinking;

7. Persons in a place of worship (unless a face covering is required by the place of worship), although persons in places of worship are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVI D-19;

8. Persons within private motor vehicles, unless such vehicle is being used for public transportation or a vehicle for hire;

9. Persons working under conditions where appropriate social distancing of at least six feet from others outside the person’s household is substantially maintained;

10. Persons present in schools, government facilities, or on government premises, which shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the governmental entity operating the facility or premises. Persons present in the public areas of all Dyer County government facilities will wear cloth or other face coverings, subject to the age and health restrictions outlined herein, and subject to number 11, below. Other local governmental entities may issue their own directives regarding their facilities;

11. Persons in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election; although such persons are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread ofCOVID-19;

12. Persons who are engaging in strenuous exercise and/or physical activity, provided, however, that such persons shall maintain 6-foot social distancing when not wearing a face covering;

13. Persons for whom wearing a face covering would pose a safety or security risk

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that businesses and facilities subject to this Order shall post signage at public entrances informing patrons of the requirement to wear a mask within the establishment, and shall enforce the requirement within the establishment.

This local order constitutes an order promulgated pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 58, Chapter 2, and Part 1.

While it is the hope and expectation that Dyer County citizens will comply with this Order out of a sense of civic duty and respect for their fellow citizens, and attempts at education and communication are the preferred methods of obtaining compliance, state law provides for enforcement of this Order if necessary. Pursuant to Executive Order 54 and Tennessee Code Annotated §58-2-120, violation of this Order shall constitute a Class A misdemeanor. This Order shall become effective at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 20,2020, and will expire on August 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner cancelled or unless extended.


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