Hamilton County Mask Mandate
On Monday, July 6th, in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger approved a mask mandate.
Facial coverings shall fit snugly and securely against the side of the face. Cloth masks are preferred and should ideally include multiple layers of fabric. Surgical and other medical masks such as N95 are not required. According to the executive order, these should be preserved for health care personnel.
The mandate goes into effect on Friday, July 10th and requires masks or facial coverings be worn over the mouth and nose “at all times when indoors in all public and private buildings.” This mandate is currently set to last through September 8th. People who violate the mask mandate face up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.
Here are some quick facts regarding the Hamilton County, Tennessee mask mandate:
People Excluded From The Mask Mandate:
- Children under the age of 12
- People with pre-existing respiratory conditions
- People with mental challenges
- People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
Masks must be worn indoors at all times with the exceptions of:
- Places of worship
- Seated at a restaurant for dining
- While inside your home (common areas in apartment complexes or condos such as elevators and laundry rooms are not exempt and still require a mask/facial covering)
When outside, masks are not required UNLESS people are unable to “substantially maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of their household.” Individuals should have a mask ready to put on in the event that this becomes difficult or impossible.
Businesses are required to post signage warning of mask rules and are expected to uphold the rules of the mask mandate. Like individuals, businesses are subject to fines and criminal penalties. There are a few exceptions:
- Polling places are exempt from turning people away due to lack of masks
- Hamilton County Schools are exempt — their policies are set by the Department of Education
** See full list of exemptions below**
At The Lung Docs, we accept and encourage this mandate with absolute seriousness. Our top priority is the health and safety of our patients! We see patients with all manners of lung ailments, so we are very conscious of the need to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus.
Here is what you can expect when you visit The Lung Docs during this mask mandate:
- Everyone who enters a Lung Docs facility will be required to wear a mask.
- If you do not have a mask, we will supply you with one.
- If you do not have a mask and we run out of masks to hand out, your visit will be converted to a TeleHealth appointment.
For more information about masks, their effectiveness, guidelines on how to wear them, and how to make them yourself, visit the CDC’s website.
As always, give us a call with any questions or concerns. 423-710-3864. One number, one call — that’s all. Remember that we are all in this together, Chattanooga, and by working cooperatively, we can beat this virus.
** Full List of Hamilton County, Tennessee Mask Mandate Exceptions**
Facial masks/coverings are not required for:
- Children under 12 years old
- People with documented medical contraindications
- People who are acutely short of breath/incapacitated such that they would be unable to remove the covering on their own.
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing — or anyone who cares for or interacts with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing if they rely on lip reading to communicate. In this situation, consider using a clear face covering. If a clear face covering is not available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a cloth face covering that blocks your lips.
- People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions or other sensory sensitivities who may have challenges wearing a cloth face covering. Those People are encouraged to consult with their healthcare provider for advice about wearing cloth face coverings.
- People in a house of worship unless required by that house of worship, but wearing a face covering in such locations is strongly encouraged.
- People who are outdoors UNLESS the person cannot substantially maintain appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household. However, facial coverings should be kept accessible in case of encountering a group.
- People in cars, trucks, or other private or commercial vehicles either alone or with household members. However, ALL occupants in vehicles transporting more than one coworker, carpooling, or carrying other non-household passengers, shall wear facial coverings. This includes services like Uber and Lyft.
- People working under conditions where appropriate social distancing from others outside of the person’s household can be maintained. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event that others enter the area.
- Office workers and any other employee working alone in an area (such as a private office) where the public or other workers are not present or do not usually enter. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event others enter that area.
- People who are exercising, such as jogging, bicycling, or swimming, etc, either alone or in small groups where physical distancing of 6 feet or greater can be maintained. A facial covering should be kept accessible in the event of encountering a larger group.
- Private residences are exempt, but hallways, elevators and other common areas of apartment buildings, condominiums and other medium or high density residential structures are not exempt.
- People seated for the purpose of dining in any restaurant or business that provides food and/or drink for on premises consumption.