Order 4 from the CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR Cloth Face Coverings or Mask Order
Pursuant to the Declaration of Public Health Emergency adopted by the Board of Health for Nashville and Davidson County on March 15, 2020
From: Dr. Michael C Caldwell, Chief Medical Director of Health
In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, and guidelines promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this Order regarding cloth face coverings or masks is being issued to protect the public health of the citizens of Nashville and Davidson County, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, to bend the curve, and to disrupt the spread of the virus, with the goal of saving lives and reducing strain on regional healthcare resources as much as possible.
Wearing a cloth face covering or mask is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a cloth face covering or mask is not intended to protect the wearer but may prevent the spread of virus to others. This is especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms.
Citizens and visitors of Nashville and Davidson County should wear a cloth face covering or mask to cover their noses and mouths whenever in a community setting, especially in situations where other people are near. These settings include, but are not limited to, grocery stores, pharmacies, and the workplace. Wearing a cloth face covering or mask is especially important in areas of widespread COVID-19 illness.
Cloth face coverings and masks are not a substitute for social distancing. Even if wearing a cloth face covering or mask, persons should practice appropriate social distancing, stay six feet apart, clean hands frequently, and take other everyday preventive actions.
Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC guidance. Cloth face coverings can be made at home from common materials at low cost.
Cloth face coverings or masks should not be placed on children younger than 2 years of age, or when it would be contrary to the health or safety of the wearer due to a medical condition such as trouble breathing, unconsciousness, incapacitation, or inability to remove the covering without assistance.
Businesses or facilities open to the public shall post conspicuous signage at all public entrances stating to the effect:
Please help us follow CDC GUIDELINES by wearing a cloth facial covering or mask while in our business/facility. This will help PROTECT our EMPLOYEES and EACH OTHER.”
Businesses, facilities, and critical infrastructure sectors, including but not limited to construction sites, warehouses and car lots, should require that employees wear a cloth face covering or mask when physically interacting with the public or other employees, except when wearing a mask would be contrary to the health or safety of the wearer. Such businesses, facilities, or sectors also should encourage customers and visitors to wear a cloth face covering or mask while inside the business, facility, or workplace, or at a worksite, except for children under two years of age, older children who are unable to wear masks safely, and others for whom wearing a mask would be contrary to the health or safety of the wearer.
No person declining to wear a cloth face covering or mask because of a medical condition shall be required to produce verifying medical documentation.
Metro Government will use all available enforcement options to assure compliance with this Order.
If any provision, sentence, clause, phrase, or word, of this Order or any application of it to any individual, business, or circumstance is held to be invalid by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.
This Order 4 shall be effective at 12:01 AM CDT on May 1, 2020 and shall remain in effect through 11:59 PM CDT on May 31, 2020, subject to extension.