Health department explains why it cannot require everyone to wear a mask

Health department explains why it cannot require everyone to wear a mask

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Many viewers have asked us why the Shelby County Health Department hasn’t issued a mandatory mask order.

Memphis City Council Chairwoman Patrice Robinson held a virtual town hall this evening where the matter was addressed.

The council, you’ll recall, passed a mask ordinance last week.

Bruce Randolph with the Shelby County Health Department was asked why the health department didn’t issue an order requiring citizens to wear masks.

“Our legal counsel has advised me that a health directive could not be issued to force someone to wear a mask who’s not infected with the disease,” said Randolph.

Randolph says they could mandate masks for those who have COVID-19, but not for the healthy.

The city council's mask ordinance has not taken effect yet.

At last check, the enforcement portion of the ordinance was under review by Mayor Strickland’s legal team.

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