Germantown board votes to encourage Gov. Bill Lee to issue statewide mask mandate
The Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to support pushing Gov. Bill Lee to implement a statewide mask mandate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 3-2 vote Monday night urged the governor to consider statewide masking. It came after Mayor Mike Palazzolo sent a letter to Lee on Oct. 28 asking him to consider statewide masking.
In the letter, Palazzolo mentioned how counties around Shelby County are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases and these cases affect hospitals in Memphis and the suburbs.
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Palazzolo wants Lee to issue statewide masking that aligns with Shelby County and keep businesses and schools open, while also keeping health care workers safe.
Aldermen Scott Sanders and Dean Massey voted against the resolution.
Sanders said he does not support the statewide masking resolution because it infringes on people's civil liberties and is concerned about the mandate's effects on the police department and court systems.
Massey said masks are "creating a false sense of security," and would like to see a debate about the matter after all the facts about the virus and masks are gathered.
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At the board meeting, Fire Chief John Selberg updated the board with the latest COVID-19 news for Germantown and Shelby County.
"For the past six weeks we have been seeing the cases increase again, we're currently seeing about 300 new cases per day locally," Selberg said. "We [Germantown] saw an average of 76 cases per week for the last two weeks of October. To be honest, this has us concerned."
More:As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Shelby County, hospitals prepare for another surge
City Administrator Patrick Lawton said the city can buy time by adopting measures until a vaccine is made and distributed.
"We now know that masking is a very effective way to control the virus," Lawton said. "The administration recommends full support of the adoption of this resolution and send this on to Governor Lee."