A Sumner County mask mandate has been extended through the end of the year following a record-breaking week of new coronavirus cases locally.
The mandate, which was reinstated last week, is now set to expire on Dec. 29 at 11:59 p.m.
According to data from the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 566 new cases of the virus reported countywide between Oct. 21 and Oct. 27 – the largest weekly total for the county since the pandemic began earlier this year.
“Sumner County is still experiencing a substantial increase in the number of active Covid-19 cases,” Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt said in a prepared statement announcing the extension Friday. “It is important that we continue to take steps to slow the spread of the virus in order to prevent continued detrimental effects on our everyday lives.”
As a result of the extension, Sumner County middle and high school students along with all staff are expected to continue to be required to wear face coverings while at school. Elementary students have been strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as well.
The decision came shortly after Gov. Bill Lee extended an executive order giving 89 county mayors across the state the authority to issue their own local face covering requirements through the end of the year.
As of Friday afternoon, there had been a total of 6,439 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 reported countywide along with 117 deaths and 5,660 recoveries, according to state health department data. In Tennessee, there had been 244,886 confirmed cases, 3,156 confirmed deaths and 229,669 recoveries.
Anyone who does not comply with the face mask mandate in Sumner County could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which can be punishable by a maximum $2,500 fine and up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, according to the Sumner County District Attorney’s Office.