Shelby County health officials emphasize social distancing, order non-essential businesses to remain closed

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County leaders say people are obeying stay at home orders, but not nearly enough.

Health officials say we are at a 45% reduction in traffic compared to when this order wasn’t in place. Officials say we need that number to be more like 60%.

Shelby County Health Officer Bruce Randolph is issuing a tougher order that cracks down on folks not taking this seriously.

Once again, non-essential businesses are ordered to cease operations or the county will shut them down, and they can possibly face a misdemeanor and fine. This includes churches, beauty salons, entertainment venues and gyms.

He noted this has been a problem. There are businesses that have tried to stay open when they aren’t allowed.

Randolph also gave a stern warning to those businesses that can stay open. He said will he go after essential businesses, too, if they aren’t following CDC and federal safety guidelines.

“You are required to provide the appropriate personal protection equipment to your employees and take steps to enhance personal hygiene of employees and provide extraordinary sanitization,” Randolph said. “This is not a joke. This is a life or death situation. We have got to do something about it.”

He says people need to stay at home unless they’re going out for something essential. He urged people to keep their distance from people who don’t live with you, unless you’re outside, six feet apart, and it’s under 10 people.

You can call 311 to report violators, including your workplace. You can also call the county mayor’s action center at 901-222-2300.

Memphis Police officers and code enforcement will also be out downtown this weekend enforcing this regulations.

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