When will Shelby County’s mask mandate end?

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — This week Mississippi and Texas lifted mask mandates, and Arkansas is considering doing so as well.

While Tennessee never had a statewide mask mandate, Shelby County has had a mask requirement since last summer.

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Health leaders said that isn’t ending anytime soon.

Masks are a must in Shelby County, but not a few minutes down the road in Mississippi. Across the river in Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson has said he might lift their statewide mask mandate at the end of the month.

“I’d like to see medical professionals agree on something,” said Matthew Riker, Memphis.

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There are nine Tennessee counties in the FOX13 viewing area. Only three still have mask mandates: Shelby, Dyer and Fayette. Shelby County plans to stay the course.

In a statement, the health department told Fox13 it has not set any tripwires to rescind the mask rule.

The health department said they’re concerned about new COVID variants and there still haven’t been enough people vaccinated yet to ease up.

“With the vaccinations coming out we are getting somewhere, things are becoming safer, but if we stop that right now, we will put a halt on the progress,” said Nicole Byler, Oxford

So far the health department said only 16 percent of Shelby County’s population has gotten at least one dose of vaccine.