Shelby County bars can reopen Wednesday

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department issued a new health directive allowing bars and other limited-service restaurants to reopen. Additionally, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris made an announcement as well.

The county is launching a new program called, “Share the Tab.” It is the county’s newest effort to help bars. They are offering, $10,000 grants to cover operating expenses while these businesses have been closed by law.

The news excited bar owners across the county, including Max Lawhon, the owner of Max’s Sports Bar in downtown Memphis. He said he plans to apply for the grant, and he is glad that it is available.
Lawhon said he is looking forward to reopening his business.

At the press conference, both Harris and the Shelby County Health Department director spoke about what this new health directive will mean for bar owners.

“Limited-service restaurants have to adhere to all restrictions full-service restaurants adhere to,” Alisa Haushalter, the Shelby County Health Dept. director, said.

That means the businesses will close at 10 p.m and masks and social distancing inside. But Haushalter is reassuring the public, they have evolved since July.

“We have added capacity to respond to (an) outbreak at (a) bar, but also have data sets to more timely identify if there’s an outbreak associated with a certain bar to be laser-focused,” Haushalter said.

The health directive goes into effect early Wednesday morning.

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