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Interim Mayor Woodby extends local mask mandate

CONTRIBUTED – In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic in our region, Carter County Interim Mayor Patty Woodby issued Executive Order No. 9 today extending the requirement for masks to be worn in public places in Carter County until 11:59 p.m. on December 27, 2020.
“As we saw the number of cases begin declining in September and early October, I, like many of you, had hoped we might be nearing the end of this pandemic. Sadly, this was not the case,” Woodby said. “Carter County, like other areas of Tennessee, is seeing a resurgence in cases.”
Woodby said local and regional health officials told her the rise in cases is not due to increased testing because testing numbers have remained fairly stable while the infection rate has increased.
“I know this pandemic has been going on for a long time. I am weary of it, too, but we must not let ourselves become complacent,” Woodby said. “We all need to continue taking what precautions we can to slow the spread of the virus so we can help protect our community.”
“That includes social distancing, avoiding large crowds when we can, practicing good hand hygiene, and wearing our masks when we are out in public,” she added. “And, perhaps most importantly, we need to remember that if we are not feeling well, we should remain at home to avoid the risk of spreading the virus to others.”
Woodby said health officials are also cautioning residents that we are moving into flu season, which could present additional risks. “Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu symptoms according to health experts,” Woodby said. “It is very important that if you begin feeling ill that you get tested so you know what you are facing, and what precautions you need to take.”
As the pandemic continues, it is also important to remember the impact the pandemic can have on a person’s mental health as well as their physical health, Woodby said.
“There are resources available for anyone who finds themselves struggling with mental health or substance abuse,” Woodby said. “It’s okay to not be okay.”
Anyone in need can reach out to the Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line 24 hours a day by calling 1-855-274-7471 or by texting TN to 741741. You can also reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s distress hotline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746.
In addition to extending the mask requirement, Woodby said the Carter County Commission and its committees will continue to hold their meetings electronically through the month of November to help protect the health and welfare of the public. Live public access to these meetings is available for everyone by accessing the Zoom meetings either electronically at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4787669850 or by telephone by calling toll-free to 1-877-853-5257 and entering Meeting ID: 478-766-9850. The meetings are also broadcast live on Carter County’s YouTube channel.
To see copies of Executive Orders issued by the Carter County Mayor as well as the Executive Orders issued by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee along with other COVID-19 information and resources please visit www.cartercountytn.gov/covid-19-resources.