MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mask wearing is the law of the land in Memphis.
On Thursday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland signed the mandatory face-covering ordinance passed by Memphis City Council the week before.
It requires a face mask to be worn in businesses, inside public buildings, and when at the doctor.
But if you’ve been out this week, you’ve probably noticed not everyone is adhering to that rule.
FOX13′s Winnie Wright visited a popular shopping center on Poplar in East Memphis to check in with the lunch crowd, to see if they were wearing masks. She found about 4:10 or 40% of the people were not wearing masks.
The only exemptions in the City of Memphis ordinance are for people who suffer from health conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering.
The ordinance states one reason its implementation is necessary is because “employees of businesses that reopen are put in a vulnerable position when patrons come in without a face covering.”
FOX13 watched Monday as a Chipotle employee turned several people around who approached the door without a mask.
One group of men sat outside for several minutes after talking to two different employees, then eventually left.
Meanwhile, the Edwin Watts Golf shop and the PetSmart just across the parking lot were letting customers go in and out freely without having masks on.
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stephen Threlkeld said with many diseases it’s hard to make people understand the severity of the illness until they’re impacted personally.
“If a member of your family has gotten this, if you’ve gotten this, I have no trouble making believers out of those people,” said Threlkeld. “They tend to be relatively compliant with everything we suggest because they’ve been very ill, seen someone in their family be very ill, or die.”
The Shelby County Health Department has said wearing a mask in public is the single greatest thing each of us can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.
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