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New Shelby County health directive lifting restaurant rules, new face mask rules go in effect – WREG NewsChannel 3

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new health directive lifting some restrictions on businesses goes in effect Wednesday in Shelby County, along with a new directive on face masks.

New changes in the health directive include:

·         Increase in number of people at tables to 8 instead of 6.
·         Persons seated together must be of the same family unit or close contact group.
·         Bartenders are encouraged to wear a face shield or double mask while serving multiple groups at the bar, but are not required to do so.
·         Operating hours for dine-in service ends at 1 am (customers may stay until 1:30 to complete meal/payment arrangements).
·         Two hour limit for food service is removed.
·         Any location that serves beer or alcohol must serve food as required by state law (and have a permit to do so).
·         Removes the requirement of maintaining contact tracing records.

Key changes in Face Mask Directive No. 5:

·         Face masks are required pursuant to this directive. Medical or procedure grade masks are recommended but not required; coverings which are made of suitable layered fabrics are acceptable but scarves, ski masks, and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks.
·         Persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering are not required to wear a face shield, and no person declining to wear a face covering because of a medical condition is required to produce verifying medical documentation.

The Shelby County Health Department says while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat, these revisions are deemed allowable now because the community has experienced reduced transmission of the virus for a period of greater than 14 days.

Weekly COVID-19 test positivity rates are the lowest they been since October.

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