Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain said Saturday he is extending his order for a mask mandate after Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee extended his order allowing county mayors that discretion

The face covering mandate will be in effect until Sept. 30.

“We have experienced a gradual decline over the last month of active COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the daily average of new cases,” Brittain said. “Not everyone is convinced that wearing masks help prevent the spread of the virus, but a combination of masks, social distancing, avoiding large crowds and washing hands frequently are the measures that many health experts recommend and we need to keep following them.”

Lee extended his order at the end of the day Friday.

Lee first issued his order on July 13 allowing county mayors the ability to order face coverings in public areas and later extended it to Aug. 29.

His order was set to expire today.

Brittain issued a mask mandate on Aug. 2 after initially encouraging the public to wear masks, which scientists say are proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Since that time, the amount of active cases of the virus have dipped from a peak of 512 on Aug. 1 to 324 confirmed cases Friday, according to state records.