Hamilton County mayor extends mask mandate through April 28, will lift it afterward

CDC urges continued COVID-19 precautions

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter/ Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger speaks during a COVID-19 news conference Monday, March 29, 2021.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger is extending a countywide mask mandate through April 28 but committed on Monday to lift the requirement as of April 29.

"As we said from the beginning, the mask mandate would be temporary, but we would stay in place until we could accomplish several things," Coppinger said during a Monday afternoon news conference. "And we feel like we have."

The decision to lift the mandate in a month means the county will be focusing all its efforts to end the pandemic on its vaccination campaign, which has increased but has yet to reach the vast majority of Hamilton County residents.

So far, 14.9% of the county's population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, health department Administrator Becky Barnes said Monday.