Yesterday, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an Order requiring anyone with business in any Tennessee courthouse to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth at all times while inside the building.
Chief Justice Bivins first issued an Order declaring a judicial emergency on March 13, 2020. The emergency has been extended multiple times through additional Orders. The May 26 Order eased restrictions on in-person hearings, allowed for jury trials to begin after July 3, and allowed judicial districts to continue to operate under their approved plans. Yesterday's Order does not change those provisions and only adds a state-wide face covering requirement. The face covering requirement is effective Tuesday, July 14, and continues until further notice.
The face covering requirement is consistent with directives from the Centers for Disease Control, the Tennessee Department of Health, and several Tennessee county mayors--including Montgomery County Executive Order #9, issued on July 6th, as well as similar orders recently issued by Montgomery and Robertson County judges.
The Order provides several exceptions, including for those under age 12, those with an underlying health condition, and situations in which a face covering would pose a safety or security risk. Face coverings are available for free or low cost at https://tnmasksupply.com. Courthouses are also coordinating with local Tennessee Emergency Management Agency offices to have masks available.
Further information is available on the Court's coronavirus webpage - https://www.tncourts.gov/Coronavirus