Full breakdown of new Shelby County health directive

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department issued Health Order No. 26 Monday. It will go into effect on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

Health Order No. 26 includes the following additional information and changes:

  • Data about a recent decline in cases and why we should continue with current measures so that we do not experience a plateau followed by another surge.
  • New information on developments that have occurred since Health Order 25 was released, including:
    - Guidance on booster doses that are now available to certain groups of people;
    - Update on a recent court order requiring the Department to enforce its indoor mask requirement;
    - Notice of a possible new emergency temporary standard from OSHA regarding vaccines and employers with 100 or more employees; and
    - Announcement from Pfizer that it is seeking approval for use of its COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 years and older.
  • Requirement that businesses and schools report to the Department within 24 hours any employee, student, worker, or contractor who has tested positive or who had contact with a person who tested positive.
  • Requirement that businesses and schools post “mask required” signs at entrances to provide notice to employees, students, and visitors that masks are required in public, indoor areas.

According to SCHD, “Shelby County is still considered by the CDC to be an area with a high rate of community transmission of COVID-19. In large part, this is due to the low percentage of vaccinated people in the County and in Tennessee. Vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent severe illness and death.”

A single dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine (“Pfizer vaccine”) booster shot is available to the following people who have received their first and second doses (“primary series”) of the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago:

• People 65 years and older;

• Residents in long-term care settings;

• People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions;

• People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions, based on their individual benefits and risks; and

• People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting, based on their individual benefits and risks.

SCHD said it will work with schools on enforcing its mask requirement, which includes visits to schools, technical assistance, and referring compliance issues to the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Court regarding the indoor mask requirement.

According to SCHD, employers with 100 or more employees should prepare for a new emergency temporary standard from OSHA requiring them to mandate that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or else undergo weekly testing. The health department advises employers to consult with their legal counsel about coverage and implementation of the emergency standard.

Businesses and schools are required to cooperate with health authorities’ efforts to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. This includes notifying the Department within 24 hours that a student, visitor, contractor, or employee has tested positive.

Businesses and schools are required to place prominent signs at entrances to businesses and high-traffic areas notifying employees, customers, and visitors that masks must be worn as required in public, indoor areas.

Businesses and schools are required to require all workers to stay home if they are sick pursuant to the following CDC guidance. Workers who meet CDC criteria or symptoms for COVID-19 should be directed to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing.

If an employer is informed that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the employer must close the areas where the employee worked for cleaning and disinfecting pursuant to CDC and OSHA guidance.

You can read the full Health Order No. 26 here. http://shelbytnhealth.com/healthdirectives.