Robertson County Now Requiring Masks- Mayor Billy Vogle
ROBERTSON COUNTY TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – According to an announcement by Robertson County Mayor Billy Vogle Tuesday afternoon, starting on Wednesday, July 8th at 11:59 pm masks will be required in public places in Robertson County.
All the specifics of the order are below. To see Smokey’s interview with Robertson County Mayor Billy Vogle click here.
We have provided the details from both the County Mayor and the governor regarding the specifics of this order. We have also provided a statement on the enforcement of this order from the Robertson County Sheriff’s department below.
Dear City Mayors and Citizens of Robertson County:
On July 3, Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 54 granted county mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue local mask requirements in the event of a significant rise in COVID-19 cases. A copy of that Governor’s Order is attached. After consulting with health professionals and discussions with city and county leaders, I am issuing a county-wide Executive Order requiring the wearing of face masks in public places. We are currently experiencing a public health emergency. We need everyone’s help to slow the trend of rising COVID-19 cases. My purpose is to reduce the rate of infection of this deadly virus.
Over the past couple of weeks, our numbers of confirmed cases have risen dramatically, which is concerning and dangerous.
Pandemic fatigue is real; our confusion and frustration is real…but now is the time to take proactive measures and focus on the health of our family, friends, neighbors and community. Not only has this virus had a detrimental effect on the health and welfare of our citizens but has also been responsible for wrecking our economic welfare.
Robertson County has been in contact today with legal representatives of other surrounding Counties and the legal representatives of the County Technical Advisory Services (CTAS), who represent and advise all Tennessee County governments. Further, CTAS representatives advise that these issues have been discussed with legal representatives of MTAS, which is the similar entity that represents and advises Tennessee cities. It appears that these parties agree as follows:
1. The Governor’s above Executive Order grants to the County Mayor, without any local City action necessary, the authority to require face coverings for all persons in each County, unless exempted by the Governor’s Order, and applies to all persons who both reside within the City limits of a municipality within the County, and those persons that reside in the more rural areas of the County outside a City.
2. Upon issuance of such Local Emergency Order by the County Mayor, as Agreed by CTAS and MTAS, such an Order takes the force of State law, and as such is enforceable by not only the County Sheriff’s Department, but officers of each municipal police department in the County, in the same manner as any other State Law.
It is my understanding that officials in Williamson County and Sumner Counties have issued such Orders yesterday.
My first thought was to issue an Order which required persons to determine when they entered a public place if in their judgment, appropriate CDC social distancing could be obtained, and if not, then to either leave or put on a mask at that point. I am advised that because of the ambiguity in such requirement this is likely not legally enforceable and could draw the County into legal action.
Based upon all of the above, I have signed the attached County Executive Emergency Order. I expect other surrounding Counties to soon issue similar Orders.
This is a very fast-moving issue and I wanted to reach out to each of you regarding our understanding of these circumstances. Since Robertson County is in the higher bracket for COVID cases in the State, it seems this would best for the protection of our citizens and guests.
Now it is up to all of us to be responsible and to take the advice of health professionals. We need to change the current dynamic to slow the spread. Health professionals recommend that wearing face coverings is the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus. If community action is not taken, the spread of this virus will continue to intensify and our daily activities will be impacted. If we don’t take these steps, we may end up where we started with businesses closing which in turn will have a devastating effect on our family and our ability to earn a living. With this Order, I am asking that you wear a mask. This Order will be enforced.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Thank you for keeping your family and our community safe. God Bless.
-Robertson County Mayor Billy Vogle
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order does not apply to:
1. Any person who is under age 12;
2. Any person who cannot safely wear a face-covering because he/she has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face-covering;
3. Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
4. Persons in a private residence;
5. Persons who are outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate 6-foot social distancing from others outside of the person’s household;
6. Persons while eating or drinking;
7. Persons in a place of worship (unless a face covering is required by the place of worship), although persons in places of worship are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19;
8. Persons within private motor vehicles, unless such vehicle is being used for public transportation or a vehicle for hire;
9. Persons working under conditions where appropriate social distancing of at least six feet from others outside the person’s household is substantially maintained;
10.Persons present in government facilities, or on government premises, who shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the governmental entity operating the facility or premises. Persons present in the public areas of all Robertson County government facilities will wear cloth or other face coverings, subject to the age and health restrictions outlined herein, and subject to number 11,
below. Other local governmental entities may issue their own directives regarding their facilities;
11.Persons in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election; although such persons are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19;
12.Persons who are engaging in strenuous exercise and/or physical activity, provided, however, that such persons shall maintain 6-foot social distancing when not wearing a face covering;
13.Persons for whom wearing a face covering would pose a safety or security risk.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that businesses and facilities subject to this Order shall post signage at public entrances informing patrons of the requirement to wear a mask within the establishment and shall enforce the requirement within the establishment.
This local order constitutes an order promulgated pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 58, Chapter 2, Part 1.
While it is the hope and expectation that Robertson County citizens will comply with this Order out of a sense of civic duty and respect for their fellow citizens, and attempts at education and communication are the preferred methods of obtaining compliance, state law provides for enforcement of this Order if necessary. Pursuant to Executive Order 54 and Tennessee Code Annotated §58-2-120, violation of this Order shall constitute a Class A misdemeanor.
This Order shall become effective at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, and will expire on August 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner cancelled or unless extended, and may be extended from time to time.
To read the full press release, click here.
On Friday, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order 54.
The order gives 89 county mayors the authority to issue mask requirements in case the number of COVID-19 cases rises.
1. Persons are urged to wear face coverings in public places. To reiterate Paragraph 5 of Executive Order No. 38 (as extended by Executive Order No. 50), in accordance with CDC guidance, persons, including employees or customers of businesses, are strongly urged to wear cloth face coverings or other similar coverings in public settings where being in close proximity to others is anticipated, and particularly where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain at all times. Such cloth face coverings can be created from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Surgical masks and N-95 respirators should be reserved for health care workers and first responders.
2. Specific delegation of authority to issue • orders concerning face coverings. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Paragraph 13.b. of Executive Order No. 38 (as extended by Executive Order No. 50, and as may be subsequently extended), county mayors in the 89 counties that do not have a locally run county health department shall have the authority to issue orders or measures requiring or recommending the wearing of face coverings within their jurisdictions, consistent with Paragraph 3 of this order.
3. Contents of 1 aJ order . Orders or measures issued by county mayors pursuant to this Order should be consistent with CDC guidance and may have such exemptions as deemed advisable, provided that, at a minimum, there shall be no requirement that a face covering be worn:
1. Within one’s residence or automobile, unless transporting others for hire;
11. By a child twelve (12) years of age or younger;
111. By someone who has trouble breathing due to an underlying health condition or another bona fide medical or health-related reason for not wearing a face covering;
1v. By someone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance;
V. While eating or drinking;
vi. While outdoors, unless the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household;
vu. While working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household is substantially maintained;
vu1. In situations in which wearing a face covering poses a safety or security risk;
1x. While in a house of worship unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged; or
x. While in a voting site for the purpose of voting or administering an election, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged.
4. Suspension flaws that would Umit application of this Ord r. Any law, order, rule, or regulation that would otherwise limit the enforceability of this Order is hereby suspended, pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 58-2-107.
5. Nothing preempts or supersedes any authority of bodies in six counties with a locally run county health department. Nothing herein or in Paragraphs 5 or 13 of Executive Order No. 38 (as extended by Executive Order No. 50, and as may be subsequently extended) preempts or supersedes any existing authority, as provided by executive order, statute, charter, or otherwise, of a locally run county health department, board of health, official, or local legislative body, located in a county with a locally run county health department, to issue or enact orders, ordinances, rules, or law regarding face coverings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order No. 38 (as extended by Executive Order No. 50, and as may be subsequently extended) is hereby amended to the extent necessary to effectuate this Paragraph 5, which amendment shall survive expiration or termination of this Order.
6. Effect of Order. A local order promulgated under the authority delegated by this Order constitutes an order, rule, or regulation promulgated pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 58, Chapter 2, Part 1, for purposes of Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 58-2-120.
7. Severability. If any provision of this Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this Order which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this Order are declared to be severable.
8. Term and effective date. This Order shall be effective upon execution and shall remain in effect until 11 :59 p.m., Central Daylight Time, on August 3, 2020.
Statement from the Robertson County Sheriff’s Department:
In order to comply with Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 54 and Robertson County Mayor Billy Vogle’s County Executive Emergency Order, the Sheriff’s Office will attempt to educate and communicate with the community as the preferred methods of obtaining compliance. There are many exemptions to this Executive Emergency Order; therefore, education and communication is vital to ensure its intent.
“Official warnings may be issued if there is a failure to comply after education.”
For the health and safety of yourself and your family members, we encourage all citizens of Robertson County to adhere to the directives in the Executive Orders issued by Governor Bill Lee, and the Emergency Orders by Robertson County Mayor Billy Vogle.
We also encourage everyone to review the Executive Orders for themselves at https://sos.tn.gov/products/division-publications/executive-orders-governor-bill-lee, and the Emergency Orders at https://www.robertsoncountytn.org/.
In order to reduce the circulation of rumors on social media that are untrue; citizens should only use official sources for accurate information.