Parents question health department’s new directive

Watch: Parents question health department’s new directive

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department issued a new directive that gives schools the authority to make their own decisions in response to COVID-19.

For parent Michelle Merritt, the health department’s decision doesn’t sit well with her.

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“People aren’t taking it serious anymore. At first, they were so strict, and now, they’re getting more and more lenient, and now you see more and more cases arising,” said Merritt.

Under health directive 14, school officials can determine if students and staff will wear masks and social distance.

The directive also said school board officials can make the decision to remain open or close school districts during an outbreak.

Instead of leaving it up to schools to make their own rules, Merritt believed the health department should apply the same COVID-19 health regulations to all schools across the county.

“Our children are our futures. without them we are nothing. let’s do right by them and keep them protected. Don’t let the school systems make the decisions,” said Merritt.

The health department still recommends students and staff wear masks and social distance, but ultimately, it’s up to school officials to figure out what’s best which is the issue for Merritt.

“I think it is absolutely mandatory. If you are going to have them packed in school have them wear a mask. It is for their protection,” said Merritt.

Health directive 14 also offers help for people facing eviction during the pandemic. It requires landlords to give anyone whose household is quarantined or in isolation because of COVID-19 and unable to secure housing a phone number to ask for temporary housing help.

If you or a loved one needs assistance call (901) 222-MASK.