MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Does the Memphis City Council have the power to pass an ordinance requiring you to wear masks in public?
Councilman Jeff Warren said that’s a question the Memphis City Attorney is looking into.
Tuesday afternoon, the council passed its second reading of the ordinance.
“There are things we do as communities that are common sense that allow us to keep our freedom, and this is one of them,” said Warren.
Shelby County Commissioners passed a similar resolution Monday night.
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It was originally proposed as an ordinance before the county attorney sent a letter Sunday stating only the Shelby County Health Department has the power to require masks.
The resolution passed urging the health department to make masks a requirement.
Dr. Bruce Randolph with the health department said the plan is to align the health directive with the resolution but there are some mixed messages.
“We should give the public credit in terms of ability to make wise and sound decisions,” said Randolph.
Randolph hinted that the health department could always choose to take things to the next level and require masks if needed.
“The health directive gives establishments the right to require patrons’ customers and visitors to wear face coverings masks,” Randolph said.
There will be more discussion during the City Council’s third reading of the ordinance.
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