Threat of severe weather causes City of Memphis to postpone all vaccine appointments Wednesday

Vaccine appointments canceled Wednesday, new directive is on the way

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Representatives from the City of Memphis say because their vaccine sites are drive-through, that the weather expected Wednesday would make giving vaccines too dangerous.

The Shelby County Health Department also announced a new health directive and mask directive loosening restrictions Tuesday.

All vaccine appointments in Shelby County for Wednesday have been canceled.

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The City of Memphis says because a majority of their vaccination locations are run outdoors under tents, the risk of hail, lightning or even tornadoes Wednesday makes it unsafe to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

“We want everyone to be safe not just our workers but anybody who happened to be out in the elements,” said Doug McGowen, chief operating officer of the City of Memphis.

The city says everyone with a vaccine appointment Wednesday will be given the first chance to reschedule.

“Anyone who has an appointment in our public vaccination sites will receive an email from us and will be given the opportunity to reschedule on Thursday, Friday or Saturday of this week. We have lots of appointments still open,” said McGowen.

Also during the briefing, the Shelby County Health Department announced a new health directive and mask directive.

Health Directive 19 further loosens restrictions on restaurants, requiring owners to close at 1 a.m. instead of midnight, opening bar seating with 6 feet spacing and allowing tables to seat up to eight people together from one family or close contact unit.

“Remain steadfast, hold the course and let’s continue to get back to some sense of normalcy,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph with the Shelby County Health Department.

Mask Directive 4 only makes slight changes, allowing people in Shelby County to not wear a mask if they medically cannot tolerate it.

The directive also asks gyms to follow CDC guidance for mask-wearing while exercising.

“It’s now time that we move from more of a big brother perspective it’d be more of an individual responsibility to make sure that you, your loved ones, your family members and community remain healthy and safe,” said Randolph.

The City of Memphis says a lot of vaccine appointments are still available this week and they’re encouraging more people to sign up to get the vaccine.

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