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Gov. signs executive orders extending State of Emergency, County Mayor follows suit

By Tamas Mondovics

Late last week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order No. 59 to extend certain targeted provisions of Executive Order Nos. 36, 38, 49, 50, 54, and 55 through September 30, 2020.According to Lee, the order is in place to facilitate the continued treatment and containment of COVID-19 through regulatory flexibility, promoting social distancing and wearing face coverings in public places, and protecting vulnerable populations.

Lee also signed Executive Order Nos. 60 and 61, which extend through September 30 provisions that allow for electronic government meetings subject to transparency safeguards and remote notarization and witnessing of documents, allowing for the implementation of best practices developed during COVID-19 for providing live broadcasts of electronic meetings and safely conducting in-person transactions, respectively, beginning October 1.

Executive Order No. 59 extends previous provisions urging persons to wear a cloth face-covering in places where in close proximity to others while facilitating local decision-making concerning face-covering requirements.
Other guidelines include social distancing and limit social and recreational gatherings of 50 or more persons unless adequate social distancing can be maintained.

Executive Order No. 61, as previously extended by Executive Order No. 52, is extended through September 30 and allows for remote notarization and remote witnessing of documents, subject to compliance with certain procedures.

Mayor Mike Taylor followed suit and released Johnson County’s Executive Order 6, stating that “further action is necessary to urge and advise the public to take personal safety measures to help prevent the spread of this serious virus within our community and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.”

Mayor Taylor’s Executive Order 6 includes the following guidelines:
“Effective at 12:01 a.m., Sunday, August 30, 2020, all Johnson County residents, visitors, employees, or patrons of business, industry, restaurants, retail, organizations, or venues are required to wear/use of infection control masks or other such facial coverings to assist with control of droplet/breath/projectile transmission of COVID 19 in public where there is general public activity (i.e. grocery store, shopping, courthouse or other locations including large outdoor venues).

Infection control masks/facial coverings should be worn properly covering the nose and mouth in areas where large groups may congregate and close, prolonged contact between persons is likely, and where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Infection control masks/facial coverings should not be worn by children under 12 or anyone who has trouble breathing, in unconscious or incapacitated state, unable to remove the mask without assistance, or otherwise has conditions in accordance with CDC that would preclude wearing a mask.

Places of worship are exempt from the requirements of this order, pursuant to Governor Lee’s Executive Orders No. 38 and 55.This order does not require business, industry, restaurants, retail, organizations, or any venue to supply infection control masks or facial coverings.

Use of infection control masks/facial coverings shall not be required by members of the public while seated for the purpose of dining in any restaurant or business that provides food and/or drinks for on-site premises consumption or bother business as defined by the Tennessee Pledge.

Johnson County, Tennessee continues to be governed in all other aspects by Tennessee State Law and the Executive Orders issued by Governor Lee.This order shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m., on September 30, 2020, unless modified or withdrawn by future orders by the State of Tennessee.”

For more information about Gov. Lee’s Executive Order, please visit For more on Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor’s Executive Order, please visit  See the official document here.