Mandatory Mask Order in Sevier County TN Updates
A mandatory mask order in Sevier County went into effect on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. The mask requirement came after the county saw a rise in the number of coronavirus cases. The original order lasted through August 3, 2020 before being extended monthly since then. The most recent executive order extended the mask requirement through April 15, 2021. On April 13, Sevier County officials announced the mask mandate will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 15. As of August 5, 2021, masks are required indoors in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here is more information on the mask requirement in Sevier County TN:
Update: Masks Required Indoors for Visitors of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced on August 5, 2021 that visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks if they enter any building in the national park. This decision was made due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on areas of substantial or high transmission. As of now, visitors are not required to wear masks outdoors.
Update: Sevier County Mask Order Expires April 15, 2021
The mandatory mask order in Sevier County ends April 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Regarding the end of the mask order, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters issue the following statement:
“While the mandate appears to have had a positive impact on COVID-19 in Sevier County, I said from the beginning this was a temporary order. We urge our citizens and visitors to follow the Tennessee Pledge and CDC guidelines to keep our COVID-19 numbers low.”
Masks will still be required in public areas of county government buildings, including libraries, the Sheriff’s Office and Public Works Building. Sevier County business still have the rights to set their own regulations when it comes to the use of face coverings.
Update: Sevier County Mask Order Extended Through April 15, 2021
Sevier County has extended its mandatory mask order once again. The mask mandate is now in effect through April 15, 2021. The order was originally set to expire on February 27. The mandate requires face coverings in all public indoor areas and businesses.
Update: Masks Required in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
On Feb. 2, face masks became a requirement in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Face masks are now required in all park buildings, including visitor centers, historic buildings and gift shops. They are also required where social distancing cannot be maintained, including busy hiking trails, and overlooks.
The National Park Service is requiring face masks in all national parks for visitors, employees, partners and contractors. The mask mandate comes after President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring masks to be worn on all federal property.
Update: Sevier County Mask Order Extended Through Feb. 27, 2021
Sevier County has made the decision to extend its mask mandate through February 27, 2021. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters signed Executive Order 55 on Dec. 29, which is an extension of the mask mandate. The mandate requires face coverings in all public indoor areas and businesses. The new order was announced as a response to the increase in cases in the county and region.
You can read Executive Order 55 here.
Update: Sevier County Mask Order Extended Through Dec. 29
Less than 3 weeks after it was announced Sevier County would extend its mask mandate through Nov. 30, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters announced his decision to extend the order through Dec. 29, 2020 with Executive Order 48. Waters said the goal of the extension is to “protect the health of the residents, employees and visitors of Sevier County.”
You can read Executive Order 48 here.
Update: Sevier County Mask Order Extended Through Nov. 30
On Oct. 30, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters signed Executive Order 44, which extended Sevier County’s mask mandate through Nov. 30. Sevier County has required face coverings in public indoor areas and businesses since July 10. The extension of the mask mandate was intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19, reduce hospitalizations due to the disease, and protect the health of the residents, employees and visitors of the county.
You can read Executive Order 44 here.
Update: Sevier County Mask Order Extended Through Oct. 30
On Sept. 30, Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters signed Executive Order 39, extending Sevier County’s mask mandate through Oct. 30. This executive order is an extension of Executive Order 23, which has required face coverings in all public indoor areas and businesses since July 10. In regards to extending the mask order, Waters said, ““The mandate appears to have been effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Sevier County. Therefore, I am extending the executive order through Oct. 30. Barring a significant increase in cases between now and then, I intend to allow the order to expire on Oct. 30.” Waters said October is one of the busiest months in the Smoky Mountain area, so extending the mask order is an effort to keep the community as healthy as possible.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the Sevier County’s daily positivity rate decreased about 8.5% and average daily cases dropped from a high of 40 to 14 during the previous mandates.
You can read Executive Order 39 here.
Update: Mandatory Mask Order Extended Through Sept. 30
On Aug. 28, Waters signed Executive Order 34, which extends the mask mandate through Sept. 30. Executive Order 34 is an extension of Executive Order 23, which has required face coverings in all public indoor areas and businesses since July 10. The previous executive order extending the mask mandate was set to expire on Aug. 29. Officials said Mayor Larry Waters extended the mandatory mask order with support from city leaders. Officials said that between July 24 and Aug. 28, the 7-day average daily case rate decreased by more than 70%, and the 7-day daily positive case rate decreased by more than 11%.
You can read Executive Order 34 here.
Update: Executive Order 29 Extends Mask Mandate
The mandatory mask order is extended through August 29, 2020. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters signed Executive Order 29, which requires face coverings in certain circumstances through August 29. This is an extension of Executive Order 23, which required masks in public indoor areas beginning July 10. In a press release, Mayor Larry Waters stated the following:
“I am extending the mask mandate for the health and safety of the residents, employees, and visitors of Sevier County. We are still collecting data from the tests performed during the original mandate, and I do not feel that we have enough information to end the order. The Sevier County School Administration also believes extending the mandate would be beneficial with regards to opening school later this month. We’ve heard a variety of opinions, including those of the city leaders, health care providers, local businesses, and tourism officials regarding wearing a mask. The majority of the people we’ve spoken to are in favor of continuing the mandate. The wearing of masks is a temporary inconvenience that I believe will help slow the transmission of COVID-19.”
Mandatory Mask Order
The mandatory mask order began on Friday, July 10 and applies to all public indoor areas and businesses. Masks are not required outdoors. Sevier County businesses are asked to put up proper signage that matches the new requirement. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said the decision to make masks mandatory was done out of concern for public health and safety.
Click here to view the official executive order.
Where Are Masks Required?
Masks are mandatory in all indoor areas and businesses that are accessible to the public. Exceptions to this include places of worship and private businesses that can impose stricter social distancing guidelines. When you visit Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, expect to wear a mask at indoor attractions, shops, and restaurants before you’re seated at your table.
Where Are Masks Not Required?
Masks are not required in outdoor spaces, though you’re expected to maintain a safe social distance from others. Masks are not required in your home or your car, your cabin rental or hotel room, when you’re eating or drinking at a restaurant, or exercising indoors. They are also not required in situations in which wearing a mask poses a safety or security risk.
Who Is Exempt from the Mask Order?
Children 12 and under are not required to wear a mask. People who have a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask are also exempt from this order, as well as people who are incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance. The Sevier County School System is exempt from the mask order as well, as it will formulate its own reopening guidelines.
Why Face Masks in Sevier County?
The Tennessee Department of Health, Knox County Health Department and other health agencies, doctors and experts stress that face coverings are one of the most effective tools available to slow the spread of COVID-19, along with hand-washing and social distancing. The masks stop people who don’t know they’re sick from spreading it to anyone else.
What Happens if I Don’t Wear a Mask?
By law, people and businesses who do not comply can potentially face penalties such as fines. According to Sevier County officials, first time offenders against the order will be given a warning and educated on “the purpose of the order.”
Be Safe When You Visit the Smoky Mountains!
The health and safety of our visitors and locals is our top priority! If you have plans to visit the Smoky Mountains, please be safe and wear a mask to protect the health and safety of those around you.
Visit our COVID-19 page for more information on Smoky Mountain tourism regarding COVID-19.