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Haley signs executive order urging mask wearing
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By Chris Simones

Wear a face covering in public, County Executive Jimmy Haley urges all Warren County residents, in an executive order he signed Tuesday.

“With continued mixed signals coming from both Washington and Nashville, the burden of this pandemic lies on the shoulders of every single Warren County resident,” said Haley in his weekly COVID-19 press conference Tuesday. “If we wish to change the situation at hand, we must all act accordingly with diligence, compassion, and common sense.”

Haley’s executive order declares, “Persons are urged to wear facing coverings in public places.” It is a suggestion and not a requirement.

Locally, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has tripled in the last three weeks. The number of positive cases in Warren County was at 317 on Tuesday.

“None of us want any of this but it is the crisis we face each and every day now,” said Haley.

Haley urged residents to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, practice good personal hygiene by washing hands thoroughly and often, and to avoid large, public gatherings.

Haley announced all people employed by the county are required to wear masks.

“Your action and cooperation are the key to our success,” said Haley. “Without you we will not be able to start back to school and businesses won’t be able to get back to normal.”

Saint Thomas River Park Hospital CEO Dale Humphrey reported Tennessee continues to be designated as a hotspot due to a rising number of positive COVID-19 cases.

“There are three confirmed deaths in Warren County where COVID-19 was a factor, although we expect more deaths in the near future,” Humphrey said.

Medical professionals are learning more about the virus as they treat more cases.

“Asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients can spread the virus quickly,” Humphrey said. “The virus produces more symptoms than we originally believed. Children can develop the disease. The virus effects blood clotting, creating more danger of heart attacks and strokes.”

“Masking, social distancing, and hand hygiene are very effective at preventing the spread of the virus,” Humphrey added. “The most helpful thing you can do for our community and your loved ones is to wear a mask and not congregate in groups of more than 10.”

Added Haley in summary, “Your task as a resident, as a citizen, as a vested interest in our community and our economy is to follow a few simple guidelines. Wear a mask. It’s a sign of community pride and your service to protect others. Keep it clean. Use good personal hygiene. Social distance and avoid large crowds.”

Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is being conducted Monday through Friday from 9-11 a.m. in the parking lot of Warren County Health Department. The test is free.