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Mask Mandate Extended in County

RECEIVES COVID-19 VACCINE – Shannon Deal, of Martin, director of UT Martin Student Health and Counseling Services and nurse practitioner, was among first responders and others who received the first of two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine December 23, 2020, at the Weakley County Health Department. The health department was prepared to administer up to 200 shots in this first round of vaccinations for pandemic frontline personnel. Other UT Martin student health employees receiving the vaccination were Patricia Floyd, of Union City, senior licensed practical nurse, and Jenny Harrison, of Martin, medical receptionist. First responders across the county and members of the health care profession also received vaccinations last week. Photo courtesy of UT Martin/University Relations

WEAKLEY COUNTY (December 28) – On Monday, Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum issued Executive Order 5, which extends the face-covering mandate. After consultation with healthcare professionals, local and regional hospital representatives, the Tennessee Department of Health, Governor Lee and members of his administration, and a study of data as local active cases continue to climb, Bynum said he has determined that it is appropriate to continue to require cloth or other face coverings in certain circumstances in Weakley County to slow the spread of COVID-19.

After Governor Lee authorized county mayors to require face coverings within their jurisdictions, Mayor Bynum issued a face coving requirement on August 11 due to escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases in Weakley County at that time.

According to a release issued by Bynum’s office, Weakley County was successful in reopening businesses, opening schools for in-person learning, and providing government services while for a time reducing the spread of COVID-19 through this and other health and safety measures.

However, in the last 30 days, numbers have again significantly increased by over 750 new cases, putting the continued operation of businesses, schools, and public health in jeopardy, according to Bynum.

“No one likes the fact that it is crucial to reissue a mask mandate in our county. Unfortunately, the numbers can’t be ignored,” Bynum stated.

The mayor’s declaration containing the mandate, is effective Monday, December 28, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. on February 27, 2021, when Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 73 expires.

Mayor Bynum said, “I appreciate the Governor granting us tools to address this issue. As an elected official, I swore an oath to protect the public welfare. In utilizing every resource to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Weakley Countians can take an active role in halting the current spike in cases including this measure, as well as practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and avoiding gatherings with those outside their household.”

Mayor Bynum added he recognizes that there are many varying opinions on this issue. Still, he said, he believes this mandate is a necessary safety measure for our local businesses and school to remain open in the coming months.

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With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Weakley County in the last week, numerous first responders and public health workers have taken the first round of the vaccine.

On Tuesday, December 29, 2020, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the four-county region showed a slight drop, compared to the number of cases a week prior.

In Weakley County, the Tennessee Department of Health recorded 305 active COVID-19 cases, a decrease from 387 reported Monday, December 21. There were 43 COVID-19-related deaths recorded in the county and 3,025 total coronavirus cases.

Carroll County active case numbers were recorded at 304 as of Tuesday, December 29, a slight drop from 352 a week prior. The county recorded 51 COVID-19-related deaths and 2,654 total cases.

Of the four-county region, Obion County has recorded the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths with 71 listed as of Tuesday, December 29. There were 282 active cases listed in Obion County, a decrease from 375 reported last week. Obion County’s total case count was recorded at 3,577.

On Tuesday, December 29, the TDH reported 208 active COVID-19 cases in Henry County, a decrease from 310 listed a week ago. Henry County has recorded 36 COVID-19-related deaths and 2,287 total cases.

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