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Athens City Council discusses adopting mandatory mask-wearing ordinance

The city of Athens has joined a growing list of Alabama cities discussing mask ordinances.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 7:09 PM
Updated: Jul 9, 2020 8:39 PM

Athens is now the latest city to consider a mask ordinance.

The city council met to discuss the possibility of putting a policy in place on Thursday afternoon.

As has been the case with nearly every city or county to discuss a masking policy, there’s a clear divide among residents.

Comments from citizens opposed to an ordinance included:

"What authority does the City of Athens, or any other state or local government organization, have to infringe on the rights of healthy, law abiding citizens?”

“You don't have the right to mandate it for anyone."

There was an equal amount of support from those who are in favor of a masking policy. A coronavirus survivor said he wouldn’t wish it on his worst and enemy and said that we need to take any precautions we can:

"I think whatever precautions -- I wear my mask ... and I'll give you a testimony -- whatever we can do to prevent the spread of this disease."

In this case, the divide is strong enough that the Athens City Council decided it needs more time to discuss the measure before a vote can be made.

"In view of everything that's been said, I think it would be quite unfair for us to come to a rush decision about that this afternoon,” Councilmember Frank Travis said, calling the decision a “tremendous task.”

There is currently no timeline as to when a vote could happen. Travis said it could be in the next few days or next week.

Mayor Ronnie Marks announced during the meeting that he plans to sign an order on Friday that would require city employees to wear masks at work. It would be effective immediately.

Limestone County reported its first coronavirus death Thursday. The county has 525 cases total.

Athens Limestone Hospital reported eight coronavirus in-patients Thursday, 25% of all the hospital’s in-patients.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 101496

Reported Deaths: 1821
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13578262
Mobile10747221
Montgomery6999153
Madison555035
Tuscaloosa435080
Unassigned406169
Baldwin374429
Shelby338137
Marshall320738
Lee273647
Morgan244320
Etowah220934
DeKalb186614
Calhoun185319
Elmore178339
Walker156265
Houston145913
Limestone139313
Russell13912
St. Clair138120
Dallas134825
Franklin131022
Cullman124612
Colbert123218
Lauderdale121320
Autauga119622
Escambia109417
Talladega108714
Jackson10794
Tallapoosa87879
Dale85629
Chambers84838
Blount8355
Chilton8309
Clarke82710
Coffee7816
Butler77536
Covington75521
Pike7167
Marion59226
Barbour5866
Lowndes57524
Marengo57217
Bullock49311
Hale48726
Bibb4575
Winston45611
Washington45313
Perry4484
Wilcox44510
Monroe4256
Pickens41310
Randolph40411
Conecuh39710
Sumter37019
Lawrence3603
Macon34414
Crenshaw3338
Choctaw29012
Cherokee2888
Clay2785
Geneva2692
Henry2683
Greene25511
Lamar2372
Fayette2275
Cleburne1301
Coosa1063
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Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128511

Reported Deaths: 1313
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23943319
Davidson21280221
Rutherford683455
Hamilton654756
Knox494641
Williamson370225
Sumner353873
Unassigned31513
Out of TN302419
Wilson241123
Bradley206615
Montgomery204115
Sevier19479
Putnam187820
Robertson159621
Trousdale15836
Hamblen145615
Washington13822
Blount137315
Maury13299
Madison124423
Tipton123312
Sullivan110615
Hardeman97518
Bedford95511
Macon87313
Lake7980
Loudon7793
Gibson7659
Dickson7433
Bledsoe7272
Fayette7258
Anderson7227
Dyer6969
Henderson6362
Cheatham6229
Obion6194
Jefferson6164
Lawrence6137
Carter5936
Coffee5843
McMinn58320
Warren5674
Rhea5662
Greene5529
Haywood5477
Lauderdale5359
Weakley5295
Hawkins52010
Cocke5145
Roane5102
Cumberland5027
Hardin4938
Monroe46910
Smith4674
Giles40213
McNairy4006
DeKalb3791
Franklin3594
Carroll3526
Lincoln3251
Marshall3254
Johnson3180
White3155
Henry3071
Claiborne2960
Hickman2901
Crockett2855
Campbell2611
Chester2402
Marion2395
Overton2351
Wayne2312
Decatur2263
Polk2245
Grainger2120
Unicoi1800
Benton1731
Union1660
Cannon1590
Jackson1371
Morgan1331
Humphreys1313
Scott1302
Grundy1242
Sequatchie1151
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Hancock832
Lewis801
Stewart790
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Houston630
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