No mask mandate

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Whether to wear a mask or not as a preventative against the spread of the COVID-19 virus has become a divisive issue.

Marshall County Mayor Mike Keny issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon stating that Marshall County would not require the wearing of protective masks in public.

Keny, in the statement, said that “much thought and deliberation” had gone into the decision, as well as consultations with other county leaders and departments.

He added that, even without a mandate, he strongly encouraged residents to wear masks when in public and continue following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing and hygiene.

He allowed that some residents would not agree with the decision.

Gov. Bill Lee issued an order last Friday allowing county mayors in the 89 counties without locally run health departments to mandate the wearing of masks in public, when social distancing is not feasible.

Williamson County mandated masks in public beginning Wednesday.

Maury County and Rutherford County chose not mandate masks this week.

Davidson County/Nashville, with its own health department, mandated masks be worn in public, beginning on June 29.

The state overall has seen rapid increases in positive tests since the easing of restrictions.

Marshall County has seen a spike in the number of cases in the county over the last two weeks.

On July 1, Marshall County had 73 confirmed cases. Tuesday, July 7, the count had risen to 98 confirmed cases. Those additional 25 cases were the result of 256 test results during the week, a 10% rate of positives.

Those numbers mirror results from the last week of June. After 16 additional cases during the first three weeks of the month, 25 positives were detected between June 22 and June 30 after 230 tests, higher than 10%.

Forty-eight of the 98 cases since March are classified as recovered, leaving 50 active cases currently in the county.

Marshall County is currently above the state’s infection threshold, averaging 10.78 new cases per 100,000 residents per day over a rolling 14 day period.

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