SCHD: Even if you wear a mask, you must strictly follow all other safety measures

SCHD: Even if you wear a mask, you must strictly follow all other safety measures

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department held a press briefing Saturday with updates.

There are 66 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 706 in Shelby County. Two more people have died from the virus, bringing the total to 10 deaths with more than 8,000 people tested.

The Centers for Disease Control has issued new guidelines recommending every American wear a mask in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Shelby County Health Department says even if you do wear a mask, you still must strictly follow other safety measures in place.

“It’s not the mask is instead of those measures. It’s not that the mask removes the safer-at-home orders, it’s that in addition to,” said David Sweat, Shelby County Health Department Chief of Epidemiology.

The health department says it is up to each individual essential business to determine how many customers can safely enter a store at one time.

Shelby County Health Department addresses coronavirus preparedness

Customers are told to wait six feet apart outside Whole Foods on Poplar Avenue until another customer leaves, keeping the number of customers inside at a minimum.

“We still want to emphasis the importance of social distancing while in those places. Both to protect the employees and the patrons,” said Sweat.

Mayor Jim Strickland says there have been 125 complaints of business not following the Safer at Home Order.

He says 68 of those businesses were in compliance when visited by code enforcement and 19 warnings have been issued.

You can report violations or get questions answered by calling 311 or the county at 901-222-2300.

“Let us know about those places, and we’ll get people to respond to it,” said Sweat.

The health department reports there is still enough personal protective equipment for health care workers at local hospitals and they are not currently overrun with patients.

“We are still operating within our capabilities, so far all the facilities do have the PPE that they need at least at the hospital level. There are some challenges for some of our nursing homes,” said Sweat.

As we enter a second full week of stay at home orders, the health department says those extreme measures will hopefully have a positive effect on COVID-19 cases soon.

“It’s too early but this next week we should start to see some more data about that,” said Sweat.

Starting Monday, the press briefings from the Shelby County Health Department will be held online at noon each day with no one attending in person.

The location of the briefings is also being switched to right here at the closed Benjamin Hooks Library.

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