Knox and Shelby join Nashville, Memphis in mask mandate

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee wears a face mask as he visits an area hit by tornadoes on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Tornadoes went through the area Sunday, April 12. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Knox County and Shelby County on Friday joined Nashville and Memphis in requiring people to wear face masks in many public settings to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The orders come as the virus cases continue to surge in Tennessee. The state recorded 1,822 new cases on Friday, a new one-day record. That tops the previous record of 1,806 set on Wednesday.

An additional 13 deaths were reported on Friday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Tennessee to at least 633.

Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Friday granting 89 counties the authority to issue local mask requirements if COVID-19 cases spike. Lee said in a statement that local governments expressed a need for greater flexibility to address a rise in cases.

Lee's