Officials make masks mandatory in Shelby Co. after highest weekly positivity rate, daily case increase reported

Updated: Jul. 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - Leaders with the Shelby County Health Department are making masks mandatory.

Everyone over the age of two is now required to wear a mask in public in Shelby County.

Director Alisa Haushalter with the Shelby County Health Department said no specific enforcement measures are in the initial order but they can be added moving forward.

Haushalter added they anticipate the holiday weekend to result in more cases. They expect to discuss more restrictions next week, specifically looking at bars, restaurants and other facilities.

Dr. Bruce Randolph with the Shelby County Health Department said, “We want to observe the next couple days of data before announcing more restrictions next week. Settings where social distancing is difficult (bars, restaurants, etc.), we find it necessary to take other measures to keep numbers from rising.”

Friday, the Shelby County Health Department reported the highest weekly COVID-19 positivity rate and day-to-day case increase so far.

The COVID-19 testing positivity rate for June 21 through 27 was 12.7 percent, up from 10.4 percent the week before. It’s the sixth week of increases, which began during phase one of the county’s reopening plan.

On Friday, 442 new cases of COVID-19 were identified.

***Editor’s note: Initially, the health department said masks were required for everyone over the age of 12, then later said the order applied to anyone over 2. On Tuesday, July 7, SCHD director Dr. Alisa Haushalter clarified, saying the order applies to everyone over the age of 12. Children 12 and younger are exempt.

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