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Tennessee Supreme Court issues mandatory mask order

The Tennessee Supreme Court issued a mandatory mask order Thursday evening for all courthouses and court clerks offices in the state.
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Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 10:34 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Supreme Court issued a mandatory mask order Thursday evening for all courthouses and court clerks offices in the state.

According to a release from the court, the mandate will go into effect on Monday, July 13.

“On March 13, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief of Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court declared a state of emergency of the Judicial Branch of Tennessee Government and activated a Continuity of Operations Plan for the courts of Tennessee,” the release reads.

The order is allowing for in person court proceedings to be relaxed as long as masks or face coverings are worn by those in the courtroom at all times.

The following conditions are exempt from the mask order:

1) Except as otherwise expressly provided herein, all persons who, for the purpose of conducting court-related business, enter a courthouse or other building in which court facilities are located shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth. The face covering shall be worn at all times while inside the building.

2) Children aged twelve (12) years or less are not required to wear a face covering. Parents or caregivers shall supervise the use of face coverings by children to avoid misuse.

3) Persons who have trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or who have another bona fide medical or health-related reason are not required to wear a face covering.

4) Face coverings are not required in situations in which a face covering poses a safety or security risk.

“Under the terms of this order, the courts of Tennessee remain open, consistent with the Judicial Branch’s obligation to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19. Judges should work with local law enforcement and other county officials to ensure that, to the extent possible, courthouses remain accessible to carry out essential constitutional functions and time-sensitive proceedings,” the order reads.

The order will be in effect until further orders from the court. You can read the full order here.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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