Carter County extends mask mandate, Mayor Barnett has a message for citizens

Published 7:46 am Monday, August 31, 2020

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Carter County’s mask mandate has been extended until Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. 
On July 15, Carter County’s original mask mandate went into effect and has since been extended twice (the first extension was Aug. 3 and the second being current) in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The benefits of wearing cloth coverings are detailed in Mayor Rusty Barnett’s resolution for the mandate. 
“After extensive consultation with our local and state health experts, there is a consensus that the wearing of cloth or other face coverings is helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, and continuing to wear a face covering in public along with following social distancing guidelines may prevent the need for more drastic measures which could be devastating for the local, state and national economies…” 
The extension to the mandate does not change any aspects to the resolution already in place. As with the previous extension, local education agencies, schools and institutions of higher learning are encouraged to implement their own policies in regards to mandating cloth coverings that ensure safety. 
When asked about the effects of the mandate so far, Barnett said overall he believes it has been successful. 
“I think it’s been successful,” he said. “There’s been a few not wearing them, but overall I think it’s really helped. With this extension, we will continue this for 30 days and see where we’re at.”
Despite numbers in the county still being relatively high, Barnett said this was expected as testing increased. Additionally he believes this will slow down soon. 
“Hopefully we can slow this down with another 30 days,” he said.
To the residents of Carter County, he had a message to share. 
“Be patient, wear masks, practice social distancing and continue doing what you’re doing,” he said. “Let’s see what we can do to knock this out.”
Barnett concluded by expressing an optimistic view for the future after the 30 day extension to the mask mandate. 
”In 30 days we might be declining in numbers,” he said.  “Once we start declining in numbers, we can maybe take away mandates.”

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