White County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson said county residents will not be required to wear masks.
Executive Order 54 signed Friday by Governor Bill Lee gives county mayors the authority to issue local mask requirements in the event of a significant rise in COVID-19 cases. Robinson said the order blindsided the county.
“Governor Lee just kinda popped that on us out of the blue,” Robinson said. “There was no warning, so we did not have time to really dive in and be prepared. I started to get questions as soon as the executive order came out. I think that was bad on the governor’s part.”
Robinson said residents should not be required to wear masks for such a small percentage of confirmed cases. As of July 6th, White County has 17 active cases.
“What research I have done after that fact has not lead me to believe we need to do that,” Robinson said. “We are somewhere around a half of a percent in our population. I do not feel the need to quarantine the rest of the county due to less than one half of a percent of the county.”
White County has confirmed 70 cases, 50 recovered and 3 deaths. Robinson said at-risk residents should continue being safe and wear masks if needed.
“It is good to have that authority if something were to go bad,” Robinson said. “That is a good tool to have in the tool chest.”