Memphis Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force gives update

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force gave mixed reviews for the Labor Day weekend.

Health officials said overall, they were generally pleased that most people were responsible over the weekend. Many people got a chance to enjoy the nice weather during the unofficial end of summer.

Health officials said they were also happy to see the efforts made by the University of Memphis to host its season opener at the Liberty Bowl.

But, said Dr. Alisa Haushalter, director of the Shelby County Health Department, some businesses did not follow the health directives that are in place.

“Throughout the weekend, we continued to receive a significant number of complaints about businesses that were opened, despite from the health directive,” Haushalter said. “They should have been closed.”

Inspectors visited 12 businesses and shut down five of them that were in violation.

“We did close those five establishments,” said David Sweat, Shelby County Chief Of Epidemiology. “And over the course of the weekend, that meant we had multiple interactions with them with the assistance of the Memphis Police Department.”

Health officials reiterated that bars, limited services restaurants, clubs, beer pubs, wine bars, and multi-service vehicles that serve alcohol or beer, shouldn’t be open.

Suburban businesses in Shelby County there were hurt during the pandemic will have some relief available.

Mayor Lee Harris said a $3.4 million grant transfer is available, and $1 million in Cares Funding is set aside to help close contact businesses like barbershops and beauty shops through the Our Beautiful Comeback program.

“We will continue to support close contact businesses,” Harris said. “As they safely come back online, and we realize we have a whole lot more do support the recovery and safe operation. This is just the start.”

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