Going to Warren County? Better put on a mask

Neighboring Warren County has issued a mask mandate after seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases that have equaled and, on some days, surpassed the numbers in the significantly larger Coffee County.

Warren County Executive Jimmy Haley issued the mandate Thursday afternoon, surrounded by his COVID-19 response team, noting the move was a group decision based on the spiking numbers of cases in Warren County. The case count in Warren County sat at 567 as of Thursday, opposed to 584 in Coffee. There were 265 active cases in Warren while 300 were reported in Coffee, with most of the active cases coming as part of the July and August spike that has swept the Volunteer State. Four people have died in Warren County, all four fatalities coming from NHC Healthcare after an outbreak swept through the assisted living facility last month. The remaining employees and patients there have all recovered. There have been three fatalities in Coffee County.

In making the mandate, Haley said law enforcement will be giving verbal reminders that masks are required in public. Exceptions include houses of worship (unless required by the church), outside where social distancing can be achieved, one’s home and property and those who are physically unable to wear masks.

Warren County joins other middle Tennessee counties like Williamson, Davidson, and Rutherford in requiring masks be worn in public. Coffee County residents have been strongly urged to wear masks in public but no mandate has been put down. Gov. Bill Lee, while strongly urging people to wear masks, has left it up to the county mayors to decide whether a mandate is put into place.

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