Shelby County mayors show support for new health directive

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FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — All of the municipalty mayors have relased a joint statement in support of the Shelby County Health Department’s latest health directive.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman, Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner, Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo, Lakeland Mayor Mike Cunningham, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Millington Mayor Terry Jones issued the following joint message Monday:

“The Shelby County Health Department has put in place new measures to contain and eliminate the spread of COVID-19. While the authority for the issuance of the restrictions contained in any health
directive rests with the Health Department, we, as the elected leaders of the communities within Shelby County urge all the citizens of Shelby County to comply with these restrictions so that no further restrictive measures and closures become necessary. Working together as citizens and business partners in Shelby County to support the Health Department’s directives is essential to keeping all residents safe while balancing the concerns of our local economy. We, as the Mayors of our Shelby County communities, ask for your support and renewed effort to comply with these rules in order to keep our community healthy and economically vibrant.”

Last week, WREG reported that there was some pushback from McDonald, Wissman and Cunningham to the health directive before it was even issued. They told WREG that intially health officials discussed closing gyms and ending indoor dining at restaurants Thursday just a day before the health directive was released.

That ultimately did not happen, but there were additional restrictions put in place in Shelby County.

Among the rules, diners must wear a mask at all times, unless they are taking a bite or a sip. Food and beverage sales have to end at 10 p.m.

The following applies to businesses that have food and/or alcohol permits:

  • Must require their customers to be seated while eating or drinking, and
    indoor seating must not exceed 50% capacity of the establishment.
  • Must require their customers to wear a mask at all times except for when
    the customer is actually eating a bite of food or drinking a beverage.
  • No more than 6 guests (with a maximum of 4 adults) may be seated at the
    same table, and they must be of the same household.
  • Any person at one table cannot be within 6 feet distance from any person
    at another table.
  • Food service shall not exceed two hours.
  • All bar counters must be closed for seating.
  • Standing, gathering, or ordering at a bar is not allowed.
  • Dancing is not permitted.
  • All food and beverage service shall close at 10 pm. This means that any
    guests who are already receiving service at 10 pm may remain there until
    10:30 pm to complete payment arrangements but may not be served food or
    beverages after 10 pm.
  • If properly permitted by local and state law, any curb-side, drive-thru, or
    delivery services may continue, but any such sales of alcoholic beverages
    must end at 10 pm.
  • Only staff needed to close, open, clean, or operate curb-side/delivery
    services shall be in any establishment between the hours of 10:30 pm and
    5:00 am. Legally permitted curb-side, drive-thru, and delivery service may
    continue (except for the sale of alcoholic beverages as provided above)
    without the restriction of closing at 10 pm as long as such services also
    comply with state law.

The complete Shelby County Health Department Health Order is here.

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