Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady said mandated mask wearing will not happen in Jackson County at this time.
Governor Bill Lee’s executive order gives county mayors the option to require residents to wear masks in public. Heady said the issue should be handled by the state, not the counties.
“I did not see this coming,” Heady said. “I did not ask for it. I think you are getting outside of my jurisdiction of being a county mayor.”
Heady said forcing Jackson County to wear masks is completely against his beliefs. However, Heady said he does ask residents to social distance and wear masks in groups of people.
“I do not think you should have to wear a mask if you are outside or even in a building where no one is around you,” Heady said. “So, why would we mandate masks for that. Secondly, we need to be respectful to others. If I see somebody with a mask on, the first thing that I will do if I do not have a mask on is give them their six foot distance.”
Jackson County will follow guidelines from its health department regarding mask wearing in the future. Heady said the health and economy of Jackson County is still the number one priority.
“We have low numbers,” Heady said. “We have five active cases today. We have been very fortunate and blessed to live in a rural community, but I would like to continue that. That is why i am asking people to wear masks in a group of people. If you do not have to be out in public, then do not go out in public.”
Heady said people who do not feel safe going out can contact the mayor’s office for food and transportation.