NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Multiple Middle Tennessee counties are under mask mandates as cases are soaring across the state.
Tennessee saw its highest daily COVID-19 case count on Monday with 7,951 new cases reported. The state now has 320,729 cases overall and a death toll of 3,995.
As cases surge, some Middle Tennessee counties have reinstated mask mandates, while others, like Davidson County, have never lifted the requirement.
Tennessee counties without mask mandates have a higher COVID-19 death toll per capita, according to a new analysis from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).
Areas that adopted early face covering requirements over the summer have a substantially lower death rate compared to those who didn't implement one, the hospital's Department of Health Policy says. While deaths were initially higher in these counties who adopted mandates, once the requirement was put in place the death rate began to decline.
The Centers for Disease Control says coronavirus-related face masks not only protect others from the virus, but protect the wearer as well.
In updated guidance, the CDC says masks can block virus particles, both outgoing and incoming. The organization also cited the filtration power of masks.
Despite multiple calls for a statewide mandate, Gov. Bill Lee remains adamant that he won't issue a face requirement. Lee said he believes directives are better coming from the local level.
FOX 17 News reached out to four county mayors in the midstate area that have never had a mask mandate: Cheatham, Dickson, Lewis and Hickman.
Cheatham County Mayor Kerry McCarver responded, saying he hasn't ordered a mandate simply because there's no way to enforce it.
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