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Mayor Glenn Jacobs announces end of Knox County mask mandate

Lee requested counties with independent health departments, including Knox County, lift all mask mandates by the end of May.
Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 4:20 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:46 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs announced the end of the countywide mask mandate Tuesday.

According to Mayor Jacobs, Knox County’s mask mandate will end at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, April 27. The announcement comes after Governor Bill Lee announced the end of statewide public health orders Tuesday.

Mike Donila of Knox County says, Executive Order 80 signed by Gov. Lee gives county mayors the ability to remove mask mandates. According to the mayor’s office, Mayor Glenn Jacobs acted on guidance of the law director David Buuck to end the mask mandate.

“This is a significant development that demonstrates we are another step closer to getting back to normal. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Buchanan and her team for the uncompromising work they have done throughout the pandemic. Thankfully, now they can begin returning to normal business and get back to focusing on the many important programs they oversee everyday—like childhood nutrition, diabetes prevention, and environmental health to name just a few. It is still everyone’s personal responsibility to protect themselves and their families from the virus. We should all be understanding and respectful of how people choose to do that as we move forward,” said Knox Co. Mayor Glenn Jacobs.

Lee requested counties with independent health departments, including Knox County, lift all mask mandates by the end of May.

“COVID-19 is now a managed public health issue in Tennessee and no longer a statewide public health emergency,” said Gov. Lee. “As Tennesseans continue to get vaccinated, it’s time to lift remaining local restrictions, focus on economic recovery and get back to business in Tennessee.”

According to Mayor Jacobs, any private business or organization that desires to keep a mask requirement in place for entry will be allowed to do so and customers are expected to abide by and respect those decisions.

As of Tuesday, April 27, Knox County had 734 active COVID-19 cases, 43 hospitalizations and 628 COVID-related deaths.

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