Franklin Tomorrow is one of the partners with Visit Franklin, the City of Franklin and multiple organizations in Williamson County to strongly recommend both local citizens and visitors alike wear a mask when out in public.

As detailed in the mandate today, July 6, 2020, by Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson requiring masks in the county and following the recommendations in Governor Bill Lee’s executive orders, the Tennessee Pledge, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, and other medical professionals, we know wearing a mask is the best way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Leaders from these organizations will be launching a campaign on social media with the tags #wearamask, #FranklinTN and #CityofFranklin sharing why they wear a mask and asking the public to do the same.

Other Williamson County organizations included in the #wearamask campaign are; Downtown Franklin Association, Williamson County Health Department, Williamson Inc., and the Williamson Medical Center.

“I am in total support of Mayor Anderson’s Executive Order mandating the use of masks in our county. As a doctor and Mayor of Franklin, I’ve urged everyone to wear a mask when in public spaces. A mask is the best defense to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Let’s keep Franklin a safe place for folks to live, work, and play,” said Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor of Franklin. “By joining with Visit Franklin and our community we hope to build awareness of the importance of masks and that everyone should wear one to protect our families and our community.”

“Tourism is a vital piece of the local economy, as visitors typically spend $1.31 million per day in our community supporting our local businesses all across the county,” said Visit Franklin President & CEO Ellie Westman Chin. “But the tourism industry here is hurting like it is across the country. Medical research shows that wearing a mask is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that’s important not just for the health of our local community, but also because travel research indicates that it is a major factor in the decision making process of travelers now.”

Westman Chin added, “I applaud Mayor Anderson for requiring masks in the county. I wear a mask because visitors are choosing to go where they have a sense of safety from the virus. A key to tourism having a major economic impact here again quickly is providing that level of confidence to visitors that our community is taking this virus seriously as we reopen.”

Weekly national research conducted by the US Travel Association and Longwoods International most recently points to an overall stall in the nation’s confidence in traveling. According to the survey, 69% of travelers planning to travel in the next six months will change their travel plans due to coronavirus, and travelers are more likely to support tourism businesses which demonstrate a clear, thorough cleaning and hygiene plan (43%), as well as those that have controls on social distancing at the business (34%).

Research conducted by Visit Franklin that sampled over 2,400 Williamson County residents also indicates that local residents feel more comfortable in public when they and people around them wear a mask. Less than 30% felt comfortable going to grocery stores, retail shops, indoor restaurants, or large indoor gatherings without a mask.

To help encourage the use of masks, Visit Franklin and the City of Franklin are ordering 1,500 Franklin-branded masks from the Tennessee Economic Recovery Group’s Tennessee Strong Mask Movement that will be distributed to businesses and citizens in need of a mask. They will also be available at the Visitor Center while supplies last. 

The Visitor Center located in downtown Franklin will also serve as a satellite mask pick up location for a portion of the Williamson County Health Department’s supply of free masks from the state of Tennessee. Free masks will be available to the public at the Visitor Center from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Saturday, and noon – 4 p.m. Sundays.