On Monday, call-outs were made to Mason residents notifying them they were under a town-mandated curfew.
The move is the most aggressive response to the COVID-19 threat in the area, but it was also relatively unannounced.
The curfew was included in Section 3(f) of the mayor’s March 24 order declaring a state of emergency. Tennessee Code 38-9-103 allows a mayor to order a curfew, which has the force and effect of a law, after proclamation of a civil emergency.
On March 23 and 24, each of Tipton County’s seven incorporated cities and towns made the same declaration using the exact same wording.
Mason, however, added the curfew for its residents.
“Every resident must be within the confines of their residence or on their residential property at 8 p.m. each night. No exception. This curfew is in effect each and every night until 5 a.m. the next morning until further notice,” the call-out said.
It went into effect a week ago and the order says it will be in effect for the duration of the state of emergency. However, TCA 38-9-103 says curfews “shall continue in effect until rescinded in writing by the chief administrative officer, but not to exceed 15 days.”
The declaration was posted to the town’s website. No other announcement was made to the public, including The Leader, until Monday’s calls to utility consumers.
Cities like Clarksdale and Dresden have mandated curfews, but few others in the state have. There is no curfew for even Memphis or Nashville, the hardest hit areas in Tennessee.
Mayor Emmit Gooden did not respond to our requests for comment.