NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 14, 2020) - Metro Nashville Police Department, in consultation with the Mayor's Office and the Metropolitan Health Department, will begin active enforcement of the Health Department's mandatory mask order effective Wednesday throughout the city, but with dedicated teams on Broadway downtown.

The most recent heat map of active COVID-19 cases shows a high concentration in the downtown core. Officers have been issuing citizen advisory notices to persons not in compliance with the mask order since June 29.

Teams of School Resource Officers (SROs) will be assigned to both sides of Broadway in shifts for 16 hours, 9am to 1am. Persons failing to comply with the mandatory mask order will be subject to a Metropolitan Government civil citation, which, upon adjudication by a General Sessions judge, could result in a $50 fine. A person who refuses to sign/accept a civil citation is subject to the issuance of a State of Tennessee misdemeanor citation (failure to comply with the Health Department's order is also a Class C misdemeanor).

Four large Public Works Department trailered electronic signs have been placed on the sides of both east and westbound traffic lanes on Broadway, reminding persons that masks are required in Nashville. Limited exceptions include:

  • Children under the age of 13 (Children under the age of 3 should not wear face covering due to the risk of suffocation)
  • Persons who cannot medically tolerate a face covering (under the order such persons are not required to carry/produce verifying medical information)
  • Persons eating or drinking in public at a restaurant or other food establishment
  • Persons outdoors in public spaces UNLESS maintaining a physical distance of six feet from others is not feasible
  • When engaging in outdoor work or recreation, such as bicycling, walking, running, UNLESS maintaining a physical distance of six feet from others is not feasible

Persons entering or walking through interior common areas of buildings are required to wear face coverings. Medical grade masks are not required. Face coverings that shield the nose and mouth can be fashioned from scarves, bandanas or other fabrics.

Several Broadway businesses have masks for sale or provide complimentary ones to patrons, including:

  • Betty Boots
  • Trail West
  • Jason Aldean's Kitchen
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant
  • Old Town Trolley
  • Boot Country
  • Margaritaville

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is urging all residents and visitors to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and frequently washing/sanitizing hands.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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