New restrictions now in effect in Shelby County

New restrictions now in effect in Shelby County
Shelby County Health Department (Source: WMC)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department’s latest, “Safer at Home” health directive, is now in effect in Shelby County. The directive, which limits indoor dining among other things, will be in effect for the next four weeks.

SCHD’s Health Directive 16 calls for the following:

  • For the four weeks from December 26, 2020 to January 22, 2021, residents of Shelby County are asked to remain home as much as possible.
  • Retail capacity is decreased to 50%
  • Indoor dining capacity will be at 25%
  • Gyms and fitness facilities capacity are decreased to 50%, including staff. Masks are required unless a customer has medical condition that prevent him/her from doing so.
  • Social activities related to entertainment and recreation should be curtailed because they expose everyone to unnecessary risks of spreading COVID-19
  • Health Directive No. 16 strongly encourages employers to allow non-essential employees to work remotely (where feasible).
  • Any previously approved events scheduled during the four weeks should make plans to reschedule or contact the health department to see if it can proceed.
  • Certain listed businesses, including some that provide services to customers onsite, may continue to operate (see number 9 beginning on page 4).
  • Health Directive No. 16 includes certain restrictions on gatherings and sporting events in Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 70. All gatherings, including wedding receptions, will be limited to 10 or fewer people.

Some Shelby County restaurateurs have pushed back on this directive. The Memphis Restaurant Association has said their industry is being unfairly targeted as a source of spread.

Health department officials say dining at a restaurant is riskier than doing other things because of a variety of factors like the size of facilities, length of stay, and ventilation.

Shelby County is in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Health officials are concerned holiday gatherings will lead to an even greater surge in cases.

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