New Shelby County health directive to take effect Saturday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Saturday will mark a return to earlier health guidelines with the Shelby County Health Department issuing health order and Directive No. 17.

While a majority of the foundational restrictions will remain in place, the biggest changes include capacity for restaurants and bars and live music.

According to the directive, indoor seating will increase from 25% to 50%.

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Restaurants and bars still must close by 10 p.m., although curb-side, drive-thru and delivery services may continue after this time.

As has been the case, no more than 6 people can be seated at the same table and must be from the same household. They’re also required to wear a mask at all times except when seated and dining.

Food service can’t go over two hours either.

Live music will be allowed, with performers required to be separated by at least 18-feet from other fellow performers and the audience.

For businesses such as nail salons and barber shops, a record must be kept of all customers including full name, time of service, and contact information for contact tracing.

Establishments such as grocery and retail stores and gyms are required to have an employee or 24-hour monitored security camera at the entrance to make sure people are wearing masks when entering the building.

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According to the health department, the directive also focuses on individual responsibility.

The directive says people should avoid gatherings, which includes activities that aren’t essential and involve people from outside households.

One other note. While sports are allowed in compliance with Governor Bill Lee’s executive order and TSSAA guidelines, the directive strongly encourages schools to stop all close-contact sports.

Shelby County Schools have postponed sports until further notice, while other districts in the area are currently competing in winter sports.

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