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More action Wednesday in debate over wearing face masks

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The pressure is mounting on Hamilton County about whether to require the wearing of face masks in public places.

Just about every elected official today from the President down to local leaders urged Americans to wear masks as Covid-19 cases climb.

More cities are moving to require them, while other government leaders resist.

North Carolina already requires them (even if the Sheriff in Murphy, NC refuses to enforce it.)

Memphis and Nashville require masks and today Knox County joined them.

The Knox County Board of Health passed a declaration making wearing of a face mask mandatory in public, beginning on Friday.

That leaves Chattanooga as the largest city of the state without a mandatory mask rule.

Mayor Jim Coppinger says we may have to do it here too, while Mayor Berke is actively asking for it.

Both Tennessee and Hamilton County set new record highs today for new Covid-19 positive tests.

Governor Bill Lee strongly urged Tennesseans to get serious about mask wearing.

But he is stopping short of mandating it, even though there are calls to do so.

In Georgia, the City of Savannah moved to require masks on Wednesday (the 4th GA city to do so).

But Governor Kemp today said he won’t require them.

“We shouldn’t need a mask mandate for people to do the right thing.”

But he has set out on a “Wear a Mask” tour across the state that will bring him to Dalton on Thursday.

His pitch today in Columbus is that our love of sports is on the line.

“If you want to have college football with fans in the stadium; if you want to go to a Braves game; if you want to go to your kids high school game and watch them on the field cheerleading or being in the band or watching a team, I would urge you to wear a mask over the next two or three weeks.

Previously, Gov. Kemp has issued executive orders forbidding local authorities from countermanding state guidelines on coronavirus.

That kept Dade County from shutting down Cloudland Canyon State Park.

But when he was asked about whether he would go to court to stop cities from requiring masks, he said he hadn’t had time to decide yet.

But he says he is not interested in further politicizing the issue.

Even President Trump today told Fox Business News that he believes face masks are good, and he would even think about wearing one himself in a tight crowd.

“I’m all for masks.”

But he has no interest in a national mandatory rule, either.

Categories: Chattanooga, Dalton, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News

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