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Shelby County health directive lifts most business restrictions

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 2:58 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department released a new health directive Wednesday that lifts majority of the prior restrictions on businesses.

Health Directive No. 22 comes in as “metrics indicate vaccination efforts are working to limit the spread of the virus in our community. More than 70 percent of adults in Shelby County have some level of immunity to the COVID-19 virus,” according to the health department.

The new health directive goes into effect midnight June 12 and makes changes to the mandatory mask policies, preventative measures for individuals and businesses.

Masks are still required in these situations for vaccinated individuals:

  • Mass transit (airplanes, trains, buses, ride-shares, etc.).
  • Entering property on which a local, state or federal authority has propriety interest and the authority requires masks.

Masks are highly recommended in these situations for non-vaccinated individuals:

  • If you are in a public setting around people who don’t live in your household, especially when indoors and six-feet of social distancing isn’t possible.
  • If you are around people who don’t live with you, regardless of whether you are in your home or someone else’s.
  • If you are inside your home with someone sick with COVID-19 symptoms or illness.
  • If you engage in outdoor activities but physical distancing of six feet or more from persons not in your household is not feasible, regardless of crowd size.

Preventive measures for individuals include:

  • Individuals must cooperate with the Department on contact tracing and case investigation.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must report this information to the Department by calling 901-222-MASK (which is 901-222-6275) or by faxing the information to 901-222-8249.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must notify those who are known to have been in contact with them.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate in accordance with CDC Guidance, and individuals who have been in close contact with someone with COVID19 must quarantine if you have not had COVID-19 in the past three months or have not been fully vaccinated

Preventive measures for businesses include:

  • Private businesses and institutions are no longer forced to require masks in their facilities and operations but should place signs at entrances and high-traffic areas notifying employees, customers, and visitors if masking is required or recommended.
  • Employers must continue to require cooperation with disease prevention measures, such as contact tracing.
  • Employers can make site-specific determinations on physical spacing due to the increasing number of fully-vaccinated individuals.
  • Employers must require all workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • If an employer is informed that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the employer must close the areas where the employee worked for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in all indoor areas of any business location
  • Continue promoting frequent and thorough handwashing by providing workers, customers, and visitors a place to wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer at or near entrances to a facility and other high-traffic areas. It is strongly encouraged that CDC handwashing guides be placed in all bathrooms and near any handwashing sink. Wash Your Hands!
  • Clean and sanitize all drinking fountains when in use and encourage customers, staff, or attendees of any event to bring their own water.
  • Discourage workers from using other employee’s phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
  • Regularly clean/disinfect restrooms, lounges, gyms, and shower facilities.

Event planners for large-scale events may, but are not required to, seek the Department’s feedback for their event plans.

Read the full text of the health directive below.

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