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METRO POLICE TO START ENFORCING NASHVILLE’S MASK MANDATE

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Planning a trip to Nashville soon? You will need to have your mask with you and wearing it once inside the city.

Nashville Metro police will begin enforcing Nashville’s mask mandate starting today (Wednesday, July 15, 2020).

In a statement released yesterday, police will also be patrolling Broadway because “the most recent heat map of active COVID-19 cases shows a high concentration in the downtown core.”

Violation of the mask mandate in Nashville carries a fine of up to $50. Police said anyone who refuses to sign or accept a citation would be subject to the issuance of a misdemeanor citation for failure to comply with the Health Department’s order, which is a Class C misdemeanor. This can be enforced by way of a Tennessee code regarding emergency situations. Tenn. Code Ann. 68-2-601(f)(3)(authorizing adoption of regulations to “protect the general health and safety of the citizens of the county” that “shall be at least as stringent as the standard established by a state law or regulation as applicable to the same or similar subject matter”). And the Commissioner of the Department of Health, acting under statutory authority to promulgate rules to prevent the spread of disease, Tenn. Code Ann. 68-1-201, 68-5-104, has given local health officers confronted with an epidemic the power—indeed, the obligation—to “[e]stablish appropriate control measures which may include examination, treatment, isolation, quarantine, exclusion, disinfection, immunization, disease surveillance, closure of establishment, education, and other measures considered appropriate by medical experts for the protection of the public’s health.”

Exceptions to the mask requirement include:

  • Children under the age of 13 (Children under the age of 3 should not wear face covering due to the risk of suffocation);
  • Persons who cannot medically tolerate a face covering (under the order such persons are not required to carry/produce verifying medical information);
  • Persons eating or drinking in public at a restaurant or other food establishment;
  • Persons outdoors in public spaces unless maintaining a physical distance of six feet from others is not feasible;
  • When engaging in outdoor work or recreation, such as bicycling, walking, running, unless maintaining a physical distance of six feet from others is not feasible.
  • Persons entering or walking through interior common areas of buildings are required to wear face coverings.

Medical grade masks are not required.  Face coverings that shield the nose and mouth can be fashioned from scarves, bandanas or other fabrics.

As of yesterday (July 14, 2020), the Tennessee Department of Health reported 14,205 total cases of COVID-19. Of that number, 5,811 are active. Officials say as of today, 155 died from the coronavirus in Davidson County (Nashville).


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