Wearing a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19 has long been a strong suggestion from the Knox County Health Department, but it’s rarely a requirement. To enter certain businesses like salons and barbershops, a mask is required. But for the majority of establishments, it’s an option.
Knox County will begin phase two of reopening Tuesday, May 29, and one of the guidelines that still stands from the KCHD is the recommendation of wearing a mask when in public. Charity Menefee of KCHD addressed the perception that wearing a mask is a sign of weakness..
“We’ve seen comments on social media that seem to denote that mask wearing is a sign of weakness or control. Where we think it’s actually a sign of compassion and kindness. Wearing a mask protects the people around you, your family, your friends, your co-workers. While you may be healthy and not at high risk of the virus, the people around you may not be. Wearing a mask is letting those around you know that you care about their health and their safety.”
KCHD does not ask positive COVID-19 patients if they typically wore a mask before becoming infected.