Gov. Lee’s Order Sparks Mask Mandate Requests

Hamilton County, Tenn. (WDEF)- Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order to reduce the spread of covid-19 but it doesn’t include a statewide mask mandate.

“I would personally like to encourage the Governor to make a mask mandate” said Chattanooga pastor and funeral director John Taylor Senior.

The order, which limits public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people if social distancing is not possible, does not effect restaurants, bars, or places of worship.

A decision that Chattanooga pastor and funeral director John Taylor Sr. does not agree with.

“It’s a simple thing to do. It can save lives. His wife was infected” said Taylor.

News 12 reached out to everyday folks to see how they feel about the executive order and if a mask mandate should be in place.

“I believe that bars and restaurants should probably be closed down for a while” said one person at Coolidge Park.

“I feel like the sooner we can just take care of it and everybody mask up the better”said another person at Coolidge Park.

Dr. Mark Anderson from CHI Memorial says everyone should take precautions during the holiday.

“And even 10 people is too much if you’re I  a small room” said Dr. Anderson. “You need to be in a space and with numbers so that you can maintain that physical distancing of at least six feet or more apart.”

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier in the year.

Hammond released a statement in regards to Gov. Lee’s decision:

“In light of the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases we are seeing, I support Governor Bill Lee’s directive to limit public gatherings to 10 people as we seek to slow the spread of this virus, especially throughout the holiday season.

As someone who has experienced COVID-19 firsthand, I understand the serious health issues surrounding the virus and how quickly it can affect someone. While this directive may not be popular with all our citizens, the safety and wellbeing of our community is paramount as we attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As my office has demonstrated since the pandemic began, it is neither my goal nor my objective to have my deputies actively seeking violators out. I am going to continue to leave the enforcement of this order to my deputies’ discretion and be reviewed on a case by case basis. It is my hope our citizens will understand the importance of slowing the spread of COVID and will continue to take the necessary precautions this holiday season. I strongly encourage Hamilton County citizens and those visiting our county to comply with the Governor’s directives. It is up to each of us to do our part to mitigate this deadly virus.”

The order is in effect until January 19th

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Marion County, McMinn County, Meigs County, Ooltewah, State News-Tennessee