In the hours after Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson lifted the mandate on wearing masks or facial coverings that was issued in July in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore released an advisory statement on the matter.
Anderson’s decision not to extend the mandate went into effect at midnight Saturday and came under Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 59.
Below is the statement Moore released Sunday afternoon to the citizens of Franklin and those visiting the city.
“As Mayor of Franklin, my first priority is to protect the wellbeing of our community. I respect County Mayor Anderson’s position and the decision he made regarding the mask/face covering mandate. However, I urge the citizens of Franklin in the strongest possible terms to continue to wear masks/facial coverings in public and in any area where appropriate physical distancing cannot be maintained. As your Mayor and as a Medical Doctor for more than 50 years, I am imploring Franklin citizens to continue to do their part to fight COVID-19.
“Part of what makes Franklin a special place is the care our community exemplifies every day. Franklinites are always ready to help a neighbor or volunteer for a project. In the same spirit, I urge each and every one of our citizens and businesses to step up at this critical time when students are returning to school and we are continuing to fully reinvigorate our local economy.
“Governor Bill Lee’s Tennessee Pledge continues with the goal to safely bolster our recovering state economy while keeping businesses open and citizens safe. Governor Lee’s mask campaign is also ongoing, calling on all Tennesseans to fight COVID-19 by wearing masks/facial coverings.
“The data clearly shows that we are making progress in combatting COVID-19, but we have more work to do in fighting this pandemic. I firmly believe that the widespread wearing of masks/face coverings has made a positive impact in our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
"Since the active COVID-19 cases peaked on July 19th at 1,545 cases, the community has seen a consistent, steady decline. As of August 29th, the Williamson County community is at 1,129 active cases, a decrease of 26.9%. But keep in mind, this is still a higher active case count than when the initial mask order went into effect on July 8, 2020.
“While this progress in encouraging, our community is certainly not 'out of the woods' when it comes to beating COVID-19. The fact that there are still 1,129 active cases in the community paired with a current positive testing rate of 7.7% is of real concern.
“Again, I urge all citizens and those visiting our community to do their part by wearing a mask/facial covering, keeping appropriate physical distancing, and washing hands frequently. These simple, commonsense actions will help keep you, your family, your friends, and the community safer during these challenging times.”