Is Shelby County ready to lift the mask mandate?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s a big week in Memphis.

On Wednesday, the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ competition will take over Downtown.

Also this week, the Shelby County Health Department is expected to lift the mask mandate that started July 3, 2020. During Good Morning Memphis, FOX13 asked Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland if this is a move that the city and county are ready for.

“I’ve not had a deep dive with our local medical experts over the last few days. I do believe the county health department will lift that mandate at the end of this week,” said Strickland.

Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, said that it may be time for federal regulators to loosen restrictions.

RELATED: Fauci says indoor mask rules should begin to be relaxed

“You can start looking at things that you were restricted from doing, that gradually you will see the CDC lifting restrictions. That would be anything from indoor dining to the workplace to sports arenas to the theaters and things like that,” said Dr. Fauci.

Dr. Fauci said that everything depends on a community’s vaccination rate.

“We do need to start being more liberal as we get more people vaccinated. As you get more people vaccinated, the number of cases per day will absolutely go down,” said Dr. Fauci.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland agrees with the infectious disease specialist.

“It won’t matter if we all get vaccinated. That’s the key. We have to get more people vaccinated. I understand people being worried about the mask mandate, but turn that worry into advocacy for the vaccination,” said Strickland.