Tennessee doctors press for statewide mask mandate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee doctors are calling for state lawmakers to make a statewide mask mandate happen quickly.

Governor Bill Lee has not called for a statewide mandate.

The group of doctors from across the state represents ForwardTN.

The doctors are hoping their calls for a statewide mandate will be taken seriously on the first day of the state’s legislative session.

Tennessee reported over 3,000 new cases Tuesday and 146 more deaths due to COVID-19, according to the state health department.

A Vanderbilt University study released in November found that counties without mask mandates had more deaths due to COVID-19 than those that did have a mask mandate.

Gov. Lee has resisted previous requests for a statewide mask mandate.

A spokesperson for Tenn. House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) said the representative supports the governor’s decisions about a mask mandate.

Wearing a mask is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

Staying home, social distancing and avoiding crowds and gatherings are other ways to prevent the spread of the virus.