Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron

Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron announced Monday afternoon that Rutherford County will officially impose a mask mandate beginning Wednesday, July 22 at midnight.

“We are still asking the community to be #RutherfordResponsible,” said Ketron, “but rather than strongly encouraging wearing a mask, we are requiring it.”

The Murfreesboro Post asked representatives for each local police office if they would be issuing citations.

On Monday evening, Smyrna spokeswoman Kathy Ferrell said, "Smyrna personnel, including Police Department personnel, will continue to educate our citizens on the importance of wearing a mask. We will evaluate each complaint/incident on a case by case basis."

Ketron said the decision to make masks mandatory came just two weeks after the #RutherfordResponsible initiative was launched.

“We received a lot of support from our local businesses including some of our big box stores,” he said, “but the reality is, some of our citizens and visitors just are not taking this health event seriously enough.” 

The mask mandate for Rutherford County follows Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 54 (attached). This order outlines the exceptions for when masks are required. Executive Order 54 expires at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 3. “Upon the expiration of the order, I will reassess our local situation and act accordingly,” said Ketron.

Town of Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed says she supports Ketron’s decision. “The Mayors’ Caucus has been in constant contact about this ongoing health situation and collectively, we have supported the decisions that have been made thus far. Though difficult to make, we hope this decision will help protect our communities and move us in the right direction.”

“The majority of local health care officials ask the community to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible. It is important for us to do all that we can to prevent the spread of the virus and avoid another shutdown,” said Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland. “So, please cover the nose and mouth whenever you cannot socially distance.”

City of La Vergne Mayor Jason Cole echoed McFarland’s comments stating, “The health and welfare of our citizens is of the upmost concern for us during this pandemic. Masks are an important way to stop the spread and keep us all safe.”

“When staying six feet apart is not possible, wearing a mask combined with other protective measures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can potentially get us back to a state of normalcy in our communities more quickly,” said City of Eagleville Mayor Chad Leeman.